About Spice SoukDubai Spice Souk, also referred to as the Old Souk is a traditional market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Other than shopping malls, theatres, and attractive monuments, Dubai is equally famous for this Spice Souk around the world. Through parallel streets filled with open and closed rooftops, it offers a variety of spices, herbs, fragrances, textiles, artefacts, etc. to its customers. And that’s why many cooking enthusiasts arrive here and buy the rich ingredients necessary for a typical Middle-Eastern cuisine. With plenty of spices, nuts and herbs, they just always try new recipes and surprise their patrons.
The small store vendors receive fresh products on a daily basis from different countries such as India, Pakistan and Iran. Buyers can get Arabic spices and herbs at discount prices, and other products at their original rates. Beyond a tourist-perspective, you can see tiny shops selling groceries, plastics, and other house products to locals and sailors from the dhows. Unlike other places like supermarkets and household stores, here the prices are negotiable and worth the cost. You can get the top quality pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, and dried fruits at the lowest prices than you’d expect.
Being situated next to Dubai Gold Souk in Deira on Baniyas Street, it is easily tracked through its unique aroma and atmosphere. Due to ever-growing demand, the place is open every day in a week at different timings. Besides a tourist destination, it’s a place where numerous healthcare and medicinal products meet their customers every day. The extremely good dried fruits, almonds, cashews, hair oils, lotions, and so on are available at affordable prices. Foreign tourists visit this place at least once and stock their bags with products that ensure good health. Thus, ultimately, it gives them the best shopping experience ever in Dubai.
Location – It’s in 26 34th Street, Dubai. It’s adjacent to the Dubai Gold Souk in Deira. Al Ras Metro Station is the nearest.
Timings – The general timing is from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm. However, the shops will be closed between 1.00 pm and 4.00 pm (Saturday to Thursday), and 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm on every Friday. So tourists can spend plan some other activities during the interval.
Price – No fixed prices. People need to bargain to the vendors. At some shops, they accept credit cards for payment.
Places to visit near Dubai Spice Souk:
1. Dubai Gold Souk – This place is famous for the bustling environment featured with many small and large gold stores selling glittering jewellery. You can find different varieties at different prices.
2. Dubai Creek – This small voyage on saltwater relishes one’s mind and gives sightseeing experience to all. It’s mainly indulged to relax and enjoy the soothing atmosphere around.
3. Dubai Municipality Museum – This building was constructed in 1957, which is usually called as ‘wakalah or Khan’. Due to its historical significance, it was well equipped and furnished by the government. It’s located in the middle of the Trade Center, and it retro-look makes one curious to know about it. It carries a huge historical significance since its open.
4. Seawings Seaplane Tour – This marine-based tour is exciting yet adventurous to tourists. One can traverse the coastline, charters, and enjoy the very climate of Dubai
5. Heritage House – If you want to go 100 years back, you must visit this great place. The Heritage House has the exact lifestyle of a typical Emirate family lived during the 1890s.
6. Bur Dubai Abra Dock – Being emerged as the sought-after tourist destination, Bur Dubai Abra Dock gives way to sightseeing and at the same time tranquil from the busy hectic life
7. Shiva Temple – For all Hindu deities, there is a Shiva temple exclusively for Hindus to worship and offer eatables. Besides this, there is also another temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
8. Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding – This non-profit organization promotes awareness of Emirati culture and heritage among foreigners and aims to remove the cultural barriers.
9. Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood – This beautiful construction is unique and sophisticated, compared to other buildings in Dubai. It represents the culture practised since age-old times. It houses several art galleries like Majlis Gallery, XVA and the Alserkal Cultural Foundation.
10. Meena Bazaar – To attract women buyers, this place is embellished with plenty of shops stocking apparel, gold jewellery, restaurants, etc. Curiously, this place is previously referred to as Khus Ruz (Day of Joy) in the earlier Mughal era.
Things to do in Dubai Spice Souk:
1. Shopping – The main objective of this Old Spice Souk is doing unlimited shopping. When you’re looking for buying home-made items, food ingredients, and healthcare products, etc. this is the right place to come. With lots of small stores, one is easily engaged in shopping for a few hours.
2. Sightseeing – As we know, Dubai Spice Souk is surrounded by many tourist attractions, where each place has its uniqueness. Tourists generally take a stroll across the streets after finishing their shopping and enjoy the mere landscape. Thus, they are sure to get an incredible sightseeing experience ever.
3. Eating – Besides many stores selling spices, herbs, and so on, there are still plenty of street food available around the Spice Souk. Tourists can fill their tummy with exquisite meal, snack or a fresh drink that boosts one’s energy and shopping mood.
4. Exploring – The place is featured with hundreds of small vendors and shops, selling the best quality food items, groceries, nuts, dried fruits, and other rich ingredients for masala. In addition, one can find plastic products, textiles and apparels, etc. Thus, it gives a big opportunity to explore all kinds of products satisfying one’s daily needs.
5. Photography – With a variety of items, the entire landscape itself looks vibrant and colourful. Hence, it’s worth capturing in pictures and sharing their people’s charm and beauty in social media. For foreigners, this place is nothing but a whole new world, filled with spices, fragrances, and other medicinal products.
Shopping places near Dubai Spice Souk:
1. Dubai Gold Souk – The souk is situated in Dubai’s famous commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Dhagaya. It is surrounded by nearly 380 retailers, where jewellery is their main commodity. Surprisingly, it is the largest gold market in the world, and it’s still expanding due to growing demand.
2. Dubai Textile Souk – It’s nothing but a textile souk located in Dubai’s historic Bur Dubai neighbourhood. The place not only offers voguish clothes but also souvenirs, sandals, fabrics, etc. People can walk in and try out all varieties of clothes at ease and have a great shopping experience
3. Happy Lace – This garments and accessories store is a place where tourists buy beautifully embellished garments like shawls, hijab, sarees, churidars, and others in different colours and designs. The shop keepers are extremely friendly and show you only the best-selling dresses.
4. Mamiya Jewelers – If you want to give a surprise present to your partner, then this is the right place for you. More than gold, it offers diamond, platinum, and other jewellery items at reasonable prices. Each jewel is unique and having mind-blowing craftsmanship.
5. Dubai Perfume Souk – It is a hub of popular scents & fragrances in tiny glass containers. It’s an ideal place for alluring scents that includes both traditional and new ones. Many perfume lovers come here and get their perfect one easily.
6. Coffee Museum – Here, the museum contains shops that sell barista equipment like tampers, jugs, art pens, followed by books including recipes, home roasting, coffee-producing methods, etc. Apart from that, one can also get the best coffee powders and other eatables.
7. Hindi Lane – It is a one-stop destination for all clothes, housewares, and souvenirs. The location itself is spacious and wide, and it gives a pleasant ambience to do shopping. People can bargain and get their favourite product at reasonable prices.
8. Meena Bazaar – This Bazaar carries selling items from India. You can get their style of ornaments, clothes, and souvenirs. Moreover, the place is surrounded by cosy restaurants. If this is your first time, you should try some Indian cuisines at least once
Best time to visit Dubai Spice Souk:
As we know, the Dubai Spice Souk is mostly crowded and engulfed by all kinds of tourists to satisfy their travel needs. However, the best time to visit the place is between January and March in a year, where everyone can enjoy the soothing climate and find many varieties of spices.
Tips for visiting Dubai Spice Souk:
- Before visiting Dubai Spice Souk is to have a tour guide. He helps you in communicating with the locals.
- Bring your wallet with lots of cash in it. Since the whole market is filled with small vendors, they don’t have any Credit/Debit card withdrawal machine.
- Wear a casual outfit like trousers, jeans, and t-shirts and make sure it looks appropriate to others. Similarly, footwear can be anything like sandals or shoes that matches your dress.
How to reach Dubai Spice Souk from public transport?
The easiest way to Dubai Spice Souk in public transport is by metro rail. You need to take the Green line metro and get down at Al Ras Metro Station. Then you’ve to take a small boat that takes you directly to the destination. The boat ride costs AED 1 per person, and it’s available on all days.
Since the shops follow different timings during weekdays and weekends, tourists are requested to plan their visit accordingly and reach the place on time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best time of the day to visit Dubai Spice Souk?
In a typical day, one can visit Dubai Spice Souk around 11.00 am. Considering huge crowd during evening time, the first-time visitors and other shopping enthusiasts are advised to come in the mid-morning. It gives a perfect atmosphere to explore every shop and buy their desired products. However, tourists are requested to wear hats or shawls on the head as the climate is very hot. Additionally, they can carry drinking water while coming and a sunscreen lotion just in case.
2. What is unique about Dubai Spice Souk?
In Dubai, the Old Spice Souk is incomparable to any other destination because of its amazing shopping experience that offers a huge variety of herbs, spices and flavours. This place is filled with hundreds of small shop vendors who stock fresh goods like food ingredients, groceries, nuts and fruits, and so on. The best part here is that tourists can get only the top quality products at the cheapest prices that came from different parts of the world.
3. How long does it take to go around Dubai Spice Souk?
To traverse and explore all shops in the Spice Souk, one can take at least 1 – 2 hours and get the best goods out of it. The entire landscape is filled with narrow streets having open and closed rooftops. These parallel lines are well connected, and one can move easily from one street to another. If you feel tired, you can take a soft drink or a snack and boost your energy instantly.
4. How many types of spices are available in Dubai Spice Souk?
There are nearly 15 – 20 different types of spices are available. As we know, in Middle-Eastern recipes, spices and herbs play a vital role, and it’s found in huge varieties. However, the most commonly used spices are cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric, sumac, baharat, caraway, aniseed, allspice, and cinnamon. Interestingly, the Baharat means mixed spices in Arabic, and it gives a sweet, smoky flavour. Most of the spices are imported from countries like India, Pakistan, and Iran.
5. Are medicinal herbs also available at Spice Souk?
Yes. There are certain shops exclusively for medicinal herbs and other healthcare products. Tourists rush here and buy the necessary medicinal herbs to cure their troublemaking diseases and fatigues. Since they’ve come from different countries, it ensures organic products without adding any supplements. If anyone in your family suffers from incurable diseases, they can get the best medicinal herbs here.
6. Other than spices what things are available at Dubai Spice Souk?
Apart from spices, there are plenty of items bought and sold every day in Dubai Spice Souk. The place is also famous for household items, groceries, and other products necessary for daily usage. Many cooking lovers visit here and buy rich ingredients to make any Arabic cuisine. The place also has medicinal herbs, fragrances, and many more. There are eateries located in small dots here and there. Tourists can take a break while shopping and get hydrated instantly or grab street food.
7. What is the nearest metro station to Dubai Spice Souk?
Al Ras Metro Station is the closest one to this place. Once you reach the metro station, you need to take a boat ride and arrive at the Spice Souk.
8. Is it cheaper to buy spices from Dubai Spice Souk?
Yes. The cost of spices in Dubai Spice Souk is relatively cheap when compared to other places like supermarkets and household shops. But if tourists are good at bargaining, they can get the best prices ever.
9. What is the must-buy item from this market?
From the name ‘Dubai Spice Souk’ itself, it is evident that spices are the most sought-after product in this market. The world’s best quality of spices is available here, and it can be bought at the cheapest prices. Other than spices, the place is also best for saffron, and it is sold in huge amounts.
10. Is parking facility available at Dubai Spice Souk?
Unfortunately, the place is not featured with parking facility. It is difficult to park your vehicle near the souk. Hence, one needs to park his car/bike at nearby parking lots and walk from there. And that’s why people are requested to use public transport, which is running throughout the year on a regular basis.