While Dubai may be famous for its lavish malls, innovative architecture and lively parties, any trip to this place is incomplete without visiting the souks. Tucked away in the narrow lanes of Dubai, lies a place, which will enthral you with fragrances ranging from cinnamon to vanilla pods to ginger roots. Welcome to the ‘Spice Souk of Dubai” and enliven your senses to a whole new world of spices you had read about only in fancy recipe books until now.
The Spice Souk of Dubai
Traditional markets or souks of Dubai are famous all over the world for the wide variety of goodies they offer. The Spice Souk is quite popular among the many souks of Dubai. The aroma of a combination of spices fills up the narrow lanes of the souk. The vendors receive fresh stocks everyday from different countries such as India, Pakistan and Iran. Numerous jute bags full of colourful spices from distant lands make for a weekly shopping venture for the locals. Despite the fact that it is not a tourist spot, the vibrant colours of the herbs and seasonings attract a lot of tourists and photographers. Ranging from kitchen spices to medicinal herbs, to the sweet smelling frankincense, to the best quality dried fruits to even hair oils, this souk has it all. You might want to leave some space in your suitcase since you will end up buying more than you had expected. Haggling adds a certain charm to the whole process. Never agree to the first price they offer. If you have time, then feel free to compare prices at the other shops and then settle for the best one.
Here's where you can add some spice to your life
You might find it a little difficult to locate, but the Spice Souk is situated next to the gold souk in Deira on the on Baniyas Street. It is at a walking distance from the Al Ras metro station. With the influx of high end shopping malls, the trade in the souks has considerably reduced over the years. However, the good natured and hospitable behaviour of the vendors makes for a pleasant visit. The operating hours are roughly from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. from Saturday to Thursday. On Fridays, the operations start at 4 in the evening. Keep in mind that it is closed between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every day. The operations are at full swing in the late afternoons and evenings, which also serves as the best time to visit the souk. Also, it would be best if you had some leisure time on your hands since a visit to the souk wouldn’t be enjoyable if you were in a hurry.
Treasures to be found at the souk
The souk also sells other household utilities such as groceries and plastic items. You will definitely be confused as to what you should buy. So here’s a little help – saffron, rose water, sheesha or water pipes, vanilla pods, cinnamon sticks and dried lemons seem to be among the most popular buys. You probably can’t go wrong with it. If you love tea, you will find more tea flavours than you can identify. Try the hibiscus, lavender and rose bud tea among many others.
The souk being a male dominated area, women might find themselves being followed by uncomfortable stares. Not that they mean any harm but it would be advisable for women to have their shoulders and legs covered.
You may not be a cook or may have absolutely no interest in cooking. But you do have to eat your dinner. Why not make it even more appetizing by adding all those exotic flavours. And doesn’t the sound of chocolate covered dates tempt you to at least have a look. We’re not trying to entice you, but if it works then book your flight tickets and set off to Dubai with our Dubai Tour Packages.
Author : Juni Bahuguna