Souq is the Arabic word for market. Even today "Dhows" (wooden cargo ships) from the Far East, China & India discharge their goods at the docks adjacent to the Souqs.
I'm no great fan of jewellery (isn't my fiance lucky!) but a trip to the Gold Souq truly demonstrates why Dubai has earned itself the title of "City Of Gold". It's worth a visit even if you have no intention of buying, just to soak in the atmosphere of more than 300 shops glinting with 18, 21 & 22 carat gold, showing-off the abundant riches of the region.
Gold is aggressively promoted with special offers & raffle draws during Dubai Shopping Festival & Dubai Summer Surprises. Many different shades of gold are available: white, pink, yellow & even purple. There are also a few shops selling silver jewellery, semi-precious stones, diamonds & platinum.
Prices here are among the lowest in the world (also lower than in the airport's Duty Free) & largely determined by weight; also depending on whether the piece is machine-made or by a craftsman.
TIP: Don't forget to bargain; don't accept 1st price & be sure to compare the numerous shops.
In the narroweside streets, enjoy a relaxing break with a cup of tea or Arabic coffee in small restaurants. These side-street shops offer souvenirs, jewel-studded belly-dancing belts, Local & Indian clothes & fabrics, coins for collectors, etc.
TIP: Women should please make sure their legs & shoulders are covered. The Souqs are male-dominated areas where every bit of female skin is gawked at. You may even find that some men will follow "indecently" dressed women around, believing they are prostitutes.
UPDATE early 2008: There is now a WEBSITE for the Gold Souq. See below in the contact details!
Opening Hours: Sat to Wed 10:00am-01:00pm & 05:00pm-10:00pm.
NOTE: The main walkway is open to the elements, only the shops have air-conditioning. In summer, only visit after sunset.
(Cross the creek & explore the Textile Souq on the opposite shore.)
The gold souk is in essence a long covered gallery with dozens of shops on either side. Even if you are not in the market for gold jewelry, you should walk through. By the time you reemerge into the bright sunlight at the other end, you will feel as if you are covered in gold dust and glow like the shining disc overhead.
If you would like to invest in Dubai's economy through the purchase of some of the yellow metal, keep in mind the pricing system. There is a base price for the weight of the gold, so the first thing the jeweler will do when you express an interest in a piece is to weigh it. Depending on the complexity of the work involved in creating the piece, the per-gram price will increase. Therefore, a simple piece will cost less that an elaborate one of the same weight. It is this difference between the base price of the gold itself and the increased price for the work invloved which you can try to bargain to reduce.
Deira Gold Souk offers a wide variety of jewelry items. Emeralds, rubies, rings, bracelets, anklets and much attractive stuff could be found at the Deira Gold Souk, Dubai has it. Available in the latest designs these gold items are sure to please the buyers. Dubai has streets lined up with innumerable shops selling gold jewelry. Owned by people of varied origins, these shops are places where you need to do heavy bargaining, and also beware of hagglers selling artificial stuff.
Going around the souk you will meet many sellers offering you fake labl watches or glasses, but I must say this is the first time I hear these sellers clearly say that their label stuffs are fake.
One of the most amazing sites in Dubai and definitely worth a visit.
You will know you are there because you will see lots of, well... GOLD!
Cross the carved gates that provide entrance to the souq and prepare yourself to be amazed! There is gold everywhere but most of it is Indian designs so, not very covetable for us, Westerners.
The reason is because there are lots of Indian population in Dubai and the tradition is to wear loads of gold and jewels at weddings, but only new gold. Not antique or inherited or in any case, old.
So, there is a constant recycling of old gold into new pieces and designs and the gold travels too ! it comes from South Africa, it gets melt and sent to Italy or Turkey to be refined and it travels again to India to be crafted and it comes back to Dubai to be sold.
The prices are the international price in the Gold market, so it changes everyday.
There is room for bargaining so never accept a given price. Bargain to death !!
Even if you don't buy, it is a fantastic sight, really.
One of the recommended goods to buy in Dubai is… gold.
Well, the gold souk is astonishing: hundreds of shops side by side, with all kind of gold and golden artefacts may turn into any woman’s dream. But for me it was somewhat constraining: too many qualities, too hard to bargain too much money for a "cheap" item that may be lost or stolen during our trip.
Fernanda felt in love with really beautiful earrings, that didn’t match her price. And I escaped, this time.
Good! I really appreciated the gold souk. No kidding! It is something that really has to be visited.
I was pretty amazed when I walked through the Gold Souk. There are so many shops selling gold and the rings, necklaces and bracelets shine from the reflection of the light in the display windows. There are of course no prices on the different items so you have to ask to get a price estimate. The price is based on the weight of the item and also the complexity of the work. And the price is just a starting point because if you bargain the price will go down. The prices seem to be pretty good at least compared to what I’m used to here. And most of the items in Dubai are in 18 carat gold that means that it is better quality than in Norway (where most items are in 14 carat gold). The shop Hemendra Jewellers where we bought some of our gold had friendly salesmen but this was not the case for all the shops. Some of the shops we were in were not really interested in our demands they just wanted to sell something to us. I had a picture of a necklace that I was buying for a friend of some of the shops presented totally different necklaces and said “same, same”.
The old Gold Souk is a place not to miss, even if you are not interested in buying gold. People call Dubai the "City of Gold" and the reason is very simple: in a small area you can find more than 300 jewelleries - at a good price. The entire souk glitters like gold, but it's not the only thing that's on sale; you can also find diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Look at the siye of those gold bracelets and those gems: they are amazingly big...
If you want to know what's on sale, just linger about... someone will approach you and list (very fast) all the items he has on sale... everything from jewels to designer handbags to anything. The first time a salesman produced us his "selling" list, we were left speechless... over here one would need a supermarket to display all those goods: he had one cosy tiny shop.
The Gold Souk is where modern Dubai luxury meets old souk atmopshere and local goldsmith art. Many shops are seen with windows full of jewellery. There are a couple of shops selling other kind of items and some of the jewellery shops also sell souvenirs. However, the main thing here is gold. One thing I found really annoying were the people here and furthern down the electronics souk, trying to sell you fake high-class-brand – watches or purses. Just give them a friendly no and continue with the real things.
As with all souks, haggling and price-comparing is essential. Never take the first offer you get. As souks are one of the most traditional parts in arab cities, it is a part where you should pay a little more respect to local cultures than elsewhere. Women should cover legs and shoulders, if they do not want to attract unwanted attention.
The Gold Souk of Dubai is famous all over the world due to its concentration of more than 400 jewelleries, where you can find really good deals related to all kind of gold jewellery.
It is open until very late in the evenings (around 10 pm), 7 days per week.
Dubai is known for its large number of American style shopping centres/malls. However, a more traditional form of the shopping mall existed in Dubai well before the arrival of the air conditioned shopping centre, known as the souk. The most famous souk in Dubai is the Gold Souk, where jewellery and watches are sold in abundance. 24 carat gold is common sight, as well as intricate Indian jewellery. There are also many seller of new and second-hand watches. A trip to the souk is worthwhile, if simply to see the dazzling windows (see attached photos).
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