Spice Souq, Dubai
The Gold Souk, Perfume Souk and the Spice Souks are part of the Huge Old Dubai Souk in Deira Area and if you on a shopping tour or just doing a walking tour around the Area, then you can also visit the shops that sells assorted spices and other flavor enhances that are sourced from around the world. The souk is composed of narrow lanes and assorted shops that sells these aromatic and flavorful spices from around the world and you will see bags and bags of cardamoms, chili powders, assorted curry powders, turmeric, masala, basil, cinammon, cilantro, paprika, assorted spice mixes and a lot more! they also sell inscence, oils, perfumes and date fruits here. You can buy a lot of your favorite spices and spice mixes and they will gladly pack them in leak proofed bags that you can hand carry or put in your check in luggage.
opens: Daily 0700-1200 and 1700-1900; Fri 1700-1900.
according to wikipedia:
Dubai Spice Souk (Arabic: ÓæÞ ÇáÊæÇÈá$#*(ý) or the Old Souk is a traditional market (or souk) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Spice Souk is located in eastern Dubai, in Deira and is adjacent to the Dubai Gold Souk. The Spice Souk, situated on Sikkat Al Khail Road, is in the locality of Al Ras. The souk comprises several narrow lanes which are lined with open and closed-roof stores.
Stores in the Spice Souk sell a variety of fragrances and spices from frankincense and shisha to the many herbs used in Arabic and South Asian food. In addition, several textitles, incense, rugs and artefacts are also sold in the Spice Souk. A majority of the trading occurs through haggling. The quantity of trade as well as the number of stores trading spices in the Spice Souk have been significantly reduced in recent years due to the growth larger stores and supermarkets.
Heading to the gold souk, we didn't pay much attention to the spices souk in the way.
It is small, but it shows all the usual colours and smells, looking wider and calmer than the ones in north Africa.
EVERYDAY LIFE TO SEE THE TRADERS OF SPICES AND GOLD. THIS IS OLD SCHOOL, THE WAY LIFE IS IN DUBAI THAT USE TO BE. TAKE A FERRY ACROSS THE RIVER AND SEE THE MUSUEMS AND MOSQUE. ONLY PLACE TO FIND A TOILET IF YOU REALLY NEED ONE WAS IN THE MOSQUE, THANK ALLAH.
Souq is the Arabic word for Market.
Just adjacent to the Gold Souq, the Spice/Perfume Souq offers a multitude of Arabic fragrances & seasonings, with exotic aromas from cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla pods & incense, imported from all over the region. The Spice Souq is also known as the "Perfume Souq" or simply "Deira Old Souq".
You've probably had certain ideas about what an exotic Middle-Eastern bazaar ought to look like - Dubai's very own Spice Souq does not disappoint this expectation.
Even after all these years, I still LOVE walking through the narrow passages, sampling with my nose & eyes, vibrant colours, hectic merchants, running delivery men... yes, this truly is one of the few places where time seems to have stood still...
TIP: If you pass by a bakery/restaurant, try a "Zaatar Manakish" - a hot, cheesy bread sprinkled with thyme; delicious! Most of the herbs & spices you find here are far cheaper than in Europe & possess far stronger flavour, such as cinnamon sticks, saffron, vanilla pods & cloves.
--> UPDATE March 2012: I went to the Spice Souk to purchase some ingredients for my cooking & baking... a fair price for 3 vanilla pods (make sure they're moist) is max Dhs 15.-
There are hundreds of shops offering a profusion of heavy, oily scents in the adjacent "Perfume Souq". A little goes a long way! Frankincense and "Buchhur or Oud", the traditional incense that is sprinkled over glowing coals, is widely used by Gulf Arabs in their homes & on their clothes.
TIP: Don't forget to bargain; don't accept the first price & be sure to compare prices in the numerous shops.
Many shops sell small "incense sets" consisting of a miniature Persian carpet, and a small wooden & golden chest containing myrrh and frankincense - the famous gifts the 3 Wise Men brought the Christ Child.
TIP: Women visiting the Souqs should please make sure their legs & shoulders are covered. Dubai is very safe, but the Souks 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, in the belief that they are prostitutes.
Opening Hours: Sat. to Thur. 10:00am-01:00pm & 05:00pm-10:00pm.
NOTE: The main walkway is open to the elements, only the individual shops have air-conditioning. Therefore, only visit the souks after sunset during the summer.
Although having lost some of its original authenticity, the Spice Souk is the most traditional among the souks in Dubai. Not only the buildings give you an impression to be in a story of 1001 nights. It’s all the good smells from the spices that contribute to this atmosphere. The Spice souk is widespread and you’ll also find many shops which have nothing to do with spices and perfumes as well as some cafés.
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.
At old souk or market ... you'll be amazed at the different types of spices coming from all around the saudi region. Smell them, and by the time you finished you'll be confused just like me... and to make things easier for the tourist, these shops sell miniature boxes of spices all packed for you...
You can smell Dubai's Spice Souk before you get to it as it's tucked away in a few streets near the creek in Deira. The narrow streets are lined with huge sacks that are brimming over with spices such as dried lemons, whole cinamon sticks, chilli, ginger root and cardamom, to name but a few. I bought some rosemary in one shop as I use it for cooking roast lamb and also a set that contained frankincense and mur which I've never seen before plus a little urn for heating them as they are both aromatic incenses.
One of the nicest souqs of Dubai in my opinion. You can find all sorts of wonderful spices and herbs here and not very expensive but please don't be fooled, just because it is Dubai and it is the spice souq it does not mean that it is automatically going to be cheaper than back at home.
Bargain, bargain and bargain till death at the risk of offending the seller if needed.
Really, if you don't do it could happen as to me, you could buy some stuff as cheap or expensive as at your local supermarket and you will have to carry it all the way back in your suitcase and by plane as opposed to in the boot of your car ten minutes from home.
So, be wise and don't buy just because.
Check the prices and aim to get the items a bit cheaper than your local Tesco.
Good items to buy are saffron, herbs, frankincense, dates and red henna for tatoos.
Spice Souk is located in Baniyas Street. In front of Abra Station. It’s worth visit if you are happen in the area. You can find a lot of spices from Cardamom to hair oil. The aroma of the spices creates a nice atmosphere while you browse the souk. You can fin traditional Arabic spices to Indian and Iranian spices.
Spices souk is another interesting place in Dubai. It is located close to the Gold souk in Deira. Great variety of spices are available here. Local residents come here to buy spices. Many tourists especially come to spices souk for photography & some time to buy these spices.
Visit the spice and gold souq in downtown Dubai to do a bit of bargain shopping. Nice location by the Creek.
There you can find spices from all over the world and plenty of different types of particular products.
Dubai is famous for its souks. So, don't miss out on spice souk where you can find numerous kinds of spices, many of which you have never seen before! Make sure you buy something to take home!
The spice souk is the perfect embodiment of old Arabia: narrow alleyways, jute bags of aromatic seeds and nuts; brass scales, the sounds of bargaining, the colors of the land.