The Spice Souk (or «souq» — «marketplace» in Arab countries) is also called Dubai Spice Souk, Deira Spice Souk, and Old Souk. The entrance to the market is located directly opposite the Deira Abra station, on Dubai Creek, very close to the Gold Souk. Contrary to the expectations of tourists, Old Souk is not very large in size. It is more like a labyrinth, with a number of small covered streets intersecting each other, and it sure is very bright and colorful. This is a great place for tourists who want to see and feel the essence of old Dubai, get acquainted with its oriental, exotic soul, bargain, find souvenirs, and enjoy a rich smell of a variety of spices.
The first thing that strikes when entering the Spice Souk is the strong smell of spices and a lot of bright colors. Rumor has it that here you can find spices from all over the world, from ordinary cinnamon to something rare and exotic. Almost all sorts of tea and coffee, as well as various dried fruits, dates, local sweets and souvenirs can be found in its numerous small authentic stores. Some products are quite affordable, but other spices can be quite pricey – although local merchants usually give initial prices with a larger margin, just for the sake of bargaining. If you haven’t decided what exactly you need, then ask the sellers, who will be able to give you a good advice about spices.
Even if you don’t have a goal to purchase anything specific, you will not waste your time walking by small streets of the Spice Souk. This place existed since the mid-19th century, and have not really changed since then. As in any other middle eastern market, it has its own unique atmosphere, with merchants who were there since the beginning of time – quite often they still remember Dubai without modern skyscrapers and crowds of tourists.
There is an opinion that the Old Spice Souk has no future. In Dubai, large modern shopping malls are constantly being opened, which offer the widest range of various goods, including souvenirs and spices. Many tourists simply don’t want to go to Deira district just to visit one of the markets.
But for those who value oriental flavor, and would like to feel the real essence of Dubai, Spice Souk is really a jewel, a small place of large wonders.
You can visit Dubai Spice Souk any day from 10:00 to 22:00. But we do not recommend coming here on Friday, as most shops will be closed.
And really, do not forget to bargain!