Dubai Spice Souks

The exotic aroma of spice calls you as you enter the traditional area of Dubai that is home to the Dubai spice souks. The word ‘souk’ is Arabic, for market and the souks were developed hundreds of years ago when the traders on the ships used to display and sell their wares at the harbor. Today though, while retaining its traditional influences, the souks are geared up for tourists, locals alike, and offer a myriad of treasures, just waiting to be discovered.

If you are visiting the fascinating city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates then you must spend some time in the winding streets of Dubai’s spice souks, as this is one of the most popular things to do in Dubai. Located next to the famous gold souk, this area is redolent with the scent of exotic spices and fragrances. From the comforting homely scents of cardamom and cinnamon, you will be drawn into a world of authentic Arab traders and bustling streets filled with the traditional haggling or bargaining technique that is necessary if you are going to purchase anything from the souks.

The Dubai spice souks are a fascinating experience in the traditional way of doing business in this region of the world; don’t hold back, if you don’t haggle to get the best price, you’ll end up paying a premium. Located in the city centre of Deira the souks stretch across both banks of the Creek, which are easily reachable from most of the big hotels by taxi. For a truly unique experience though, you should take one of the water taxis (abras) which are traditional Arab dhows that make their way up and down the Creek. They are cheap and a wonderful way to get to the souks.

Shopping for spices is a journey and you will be able to come across some unusual spice items that you can take back home with you. Look for the best bargains in spiced and dried fruit that are sold by many shops; they are a treat. While the spice souk seems to be getting smaller and there are other types of shops alongside the spice sellers, it is still well worth a visit. Be prepared to spend some time in Dubai spice souks, the shopkeepers are always ready to talk and to advise you on the full range of spices and fragrant perfumes that you can get. It is a learning experience and one you will treasure for the rest of your life.

The best time to visit the Dubai spice souks is in the late afternoon or early evening when the temperature is cooler. This is also the time of day when the spice souks are busiest, with the calls and shouts of the traders and the customers, making for a bustling experience, with a cacophony of sounds and scents that will surround you. The spice souk is open in the morning from 7 am – 12 noon, if you prefer something a little quieter. Afternoon and evening trading is from 5 pm – 7pm and that is when it really comes into its own. The spice souks are a wonderful way to experience the true tradition of Dubai and the Arab world while you are on vacation.

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