Known for its bustling and dynamic atmosphere, the UAE is one country where you can’t leave without shopping. If you’re in search of the heart of the UAE, then visiting souks would be the best bet. With lavish gold jewelry, cheap knickknacks, traditional fragrances, handmade fabrics, aromatic spices – you’ll find a fascinating mix of traditional items with modern things at the souks of the UAE. Here is a short list of top souks from Dubai to Al Ain that you need to have on your checklist for your next UAE trip.
Top Souks of the UAE That Should Feature in Your Next Trip
Everything Shines Here
The Gold Souk is a traditional market of Dubai that has gold, silver, and other precious stones. Being home to the world’s largest gold ring (the Najmat Taiba), Dubai Gold Souk is the best place to source the great value gold. Studded with 5kg of diamonds and Swarovski crystals, the Najmat Taiba weighs 64 Kg which is a special asset of the souk. Located near the famous creek, the souk boasts of more than 300 retailers. Don’t hesitate to haggle, it’s allowed and expected too.
Attractions located near the Gold Souk:
- Spice Souk
- Women’s Museum Bait al Banat
- Heritage House
- Deira City Center Shopping Mall
- Dubai Dolphinarium
Your Living Room Needs a Makeover
Carpet Souk Abu Dhabi – an ideal place to purchase original and authentic carpets across the Middle East. Located on Mina Road in Abu Dhabi, Carpet Souk boasts over 100 stores selling an impressive selection of hand-knotted as well as machine made carpets. A talk with the shop owners may land you with some great deal on the traditionally handmade Persian and Afghani rugs. If handcrafted is not in your budget, go for the machine-made imitations which come reasonable rates. Don’t hesitate to haggle for the best cost!
Attractions located near the Carpet Souk:
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- Observation Deck at 300
- The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
- Yas Waterworld
- Emirates Park Zoo
Time Travel Here
The Central Souk or Blue Souk is a tranquil spot situated between King Faisal Road and Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah. Built in 1978, the souk would take you to the old world charm with its authenticity and look. The intricate design of Arabic architecture in the buildings are a sight to behold. The souk offers wide and varied options such as jewelry, watches, clothing, pashminas, rugs, coffee pots, gold, silver, and home ornaments, etc to purchase. The Central Souk is one of the best place to purchase oriental carpets in Sharjah.
Attractions located near the Central Souk:
- Sharjah Arts Museum
- Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
- Al Noor Island
- Sharjah Maritime Museum
How About Some Camel Shopping?
Never miss visiting the Camel Souk in Al Ain. Probably it is the most authentic livestock market throughout the country. Enjoy a drive or walk through the souk to know more about the Arabic culture. The souk is located half an hour taxi ride away from the centre of the city. Camels are brought to the souk via lorries for auction. People enjoy watching the traditional camels bidding process. Seek for permission before you photograph camels. Dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention.
Attractions located near the Camel Souk:
- Jebel Hafeet
- Al Ain Zoo
- National Museum of Al Ain
- Oasis in Al Ain
- Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum
The Busy World in the Silent Wadis
Masafi Market is one special attraction of Fujairah, bordered by the Hajar Mountains. This area is renowned for wadis and fresh water springs. The other names of the Masafi Market include Masafi Friday Market and Souk al Juma. Despite its name, the souk opens on every day of the week. The souk is stocked with a wide range of goods from rugs, woolen carpets, earthenware, souvenirs, pottery, antiques, and much more. A visit to the souk incomplete without purchasing an ear of corn that roasted on the sizzling fire and served with lemon and salt. Allow yourself a lot of time to explore the souk.
Attractions located near the Masafi Market:
- Al Badiyah Mosque
- Fujairah Fort
- Wadi Wurayah
- Masafi Fort
- Jebel Al Mebrah
Souks or bazaars are the mirrors to the history that is left behind and the modern aura that is setting in. Go to one to discern the look and feel.