Visiting the iconic Dubai Gold Souk? Good for you! This famous market shouldn’t be missed, and in this post you’ll find all you need to know to organize your visit.
Dubai Gold Souk, also known as the Dubai Gold Market, should definitely be on your list if you’re traveling to the city.
It’s the most famous Dubai souk (traditional market) and is considered one of the best things to do in Dubai not only for gold buyers in Dubai but also for tourists who want to admire the dazzling jewelry and precious stones that are for sale in this bustling bazaar, without the intention of buying.
The Gold Souk in Dubai is one of the oldest traditional markets in the Emirates and offers a gigantic selection of gold pieces with designs from around the world.
Home to hundreds of shops, some of which have been there for over four decades, the market will exceed your wildest gold dreams as you walk along the covered labyrinth of retail stores and shining showcases.
Make sure you have travel insurance before leaving for your trip to Dubai! As we all know after the last couple of years, unexpected things can happen and you want to be covered when you need it the most.
SafetyWing is the insurance I’ve been using for the last 3 years. It costs USD 42 for 4 weeks (and much less if your trip is shorter!) and provides coverage for COVID-19. For a more comprehensive, but pricier, coverage you can check out WorldNomads, which is another excellent choice.
Before Visiting the Gold Souk in Dubai
The Gold Souk in Dubai opening hours are from 10 AM to 10 PM Saturday to Thursday (although many Gold Souk shops close from 1 PM to 4 PM). On Fridays, the Gold Souk opens from 4 PM to 10 PM.
How to get to the Gold Souk
The Gold Souk shops are located in Deira, an area in Dubai bordered by the Persian Gulf and the Dubai Creek. Since these gold shops in Dubai are so popular, there are plenty of ways to get there from the center of the city.
➤ The nearest metro station is Al Ras (Green Line). Gold Souq Metro Station is within walking distance, also on the Green Line.
➤ If you’re getting there by bus, the nearest bus stations are Al Sabkha and Gold Souq.
➤ A different option of getting to the Dubai gold shops is by taking an abra, a traditional boat that crosses the Dubai Creek and is regularly used by tourists and locals alike, as it’s the fastest means of transport between Bur Dubai and Deira.
Since most tourists take it from the Bur Dubai Abra Station, those boats can get really crowded, which is not ideal especially in current times. Try taking the abra from a different station, like Al Fahidi Marine Transport Station, to avoid the crowds and enjoy the experience more comfortably. Depending on where you take the abra, the ride is going to be 3 to 7 minutes.
If you’re visiting in the afternoon, afterward you can take an abra ride back and enjoy Al Seef at night (strolling around here and having dinner on the creekside is one of the best ways to enjoy Dubai at night).
➤ Another great way of getting there is with the Big Bus Dubai Hop On Hop Off Tour. Since you can create your own personalized itinerary, you can hop on and off as many times as you want at the attractions you want to explore. The Dubai Gold Souk Mall is one of those attractions, as is the equally sought-after Spice Souk and other top rated landmarks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you plan to get there by any other means, the Gold Souk address is Gold Corner Building, 3rd Floor (Gold Souq, Deira).
➤ If you have limited time in Dubai and want to see all the highlights in one day, check out the Old and Modern Dubai City Tour. You’ll explore the best attractions in both parts of Dubai with a professional guide, ready to answer all your questions. You’ll stop by The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah and the iconic Burj Al Arab, among other landmarks, and you’ll get to see and buy gold at the the Gold Souk. Pick-up and drop-off are included. ➥ CHECK IT OUT HERE
Best Tours to the Dubai Gold Souk
Unless you plan on buying gold in Dubai, it doesn’t cost anything to visit the gold market since there’s no entrance fee. However, there are certain things to consider before you decide to embark on this trip by yourself.
If you’re a woman traveling solo, men can get pretty insistent when you visit their shops and make you feel really uncomfortable. Even if you’re traveling with someone else it can be overwhelming the number of people trying to force their products on you.
The other downside of visiting the gold market on your own is that this area of Old Dubai can’t truly be understood unless someone points things out to you and tells you about its history. Otherwise, you could end up disappointed in what you see and miss out a lot on your visit.
Editor Note: We visited the Dubai Gold Souk on our own, but if I were going back, I’d definitely hire a guide or join a tour. Wandering on our own felt overwhelming for the number of people trying to get us into their shops, and at the same time underwhelming because we didn’t know what we were looking at. That’s why I highly recommend visiting the Gold Souk in Deira with a tour (even more if you’re planning to buy gold!).
There are several tours to the area that include the Gold Souk in their itinerary, and you’ll not only feel safer but also understand about the commercial district of Deira and the history of this iconic market. I’ve researched the best tours that include a visit to the gold market in Dubai so you can choose the one that fits your interests.
➤ In this Half Day Dubai City Tour you’ll explore the historic sites of Dubai, stop for pictures on famous landmarks and climb aboard an abra to cross the Dubai Creek. In Deira you’ll visit the Spice Souk, the traditional spice market, before you go shopping for gold in Dubai’s souk. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ Check out the Souks, Sheiks and Spices Private History Tour if you’re interested in learning about the history of Dubai, its economy before oil was discovered and the local stories of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood while you stroll along its streets. It also includes an abra ride and a visit to both the Spice and Gold souks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ In this Old Town, Dubai Creek, Souks and Street Food Tour you’ll learn about Dubai’s history and religion, visit a famous art gallery featuring local artists, sample camel milk ice cream and admire the views from the roof of the coin museum. The Gold, Spice and Old Dubai Souk are included, and you’ll learn how to bargain with the local merchants beforehand. You can also choose between a shared or private tour. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ If you’d like to explore this area of town with an insider, check out the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider tour. It showcases the old residential and souk quarters and takes you to explore Al Bastakiya’s lanes and wind towered houses, all while you learn about Emirati history and culture. You’ll also enjoy a traditional Arabian lunch, as well as a visit to the Spice, Gold and Textile Souk. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
What You’ll Find at the Gold Souk Dubai
The Gold Souk Dubai mall is one of the largest gold markets in the world, and the strong trade of precious metals and gold bars in Dubai that has been going on for over a century helped to give it the name of ‘City of Gold’.
If you enjoy history, fashion, or just love the idea of being surrounded by tons of gold in different shapes and sizes, then you shouldn’t miss the gold market. You’ll definitely be smitten by all the gold on display, and astonished about the things that are made with this metal, from impossibly heavy necklaces to actual dresses (yes, dresses!).
Since the Emirates has no import duty tax on gold and very low taxes on jewelry, buying gold in Dubai at the daily gold rate is significantly cheaper than in most parts of the world, so the famous market attracts buyers from all over.
The gold rate changes every day. Although you’ll find the current prices per gram displayed on signs around the market, you can check the daily gold rate online before you visit.
You’ll find from 18K to 24K gold jewelry in Dubai’s market, and though the weight price is non-negotiable because it depends on the gold rate of the day, the craftsmanship is. The sellers will set high prices initially, but you can always bargain to get a better price. Don’t be shy to do so if you intend to buy gold from Dubai souk; the retailers who trade gold products expect you to negotiate.
If it’s your first time buying gold products, know that the higher the karat, the purer the gold. A 24k gold is pure gold.
Even if you don’t intend to buy gold products, visiting the Dubai Gold Souk is a really interesting and different thing to do in the city. It’s probably the one time you’ll be surrounded by so many items in that precious yellow metal.
Fun Facts About the Gold Market
Did you know that the Dubai Gold Souk was host to the Star of Taiba, the largest ring in the world and a Guinness World Record? The piece is owned by Dubai-based Taiba and weighs 64 Kg. It cost little over half a million dollars to make, and today its cost is estimated to be 3 million dollars.
There also used to be a Gold ATM in Dubai Mall, where you could get gold bars, coins and medallions in exchange for money. Crazy, right?
Its motto being Gold to Go, you didn’t need to shop around the souk for a piece of this precious metal: you selected the grams you wanted to buy, slid your bills or credit card through the machine and voilá! There’s your gold already packed in a box, ready to go.
But the gold tradition doesn’t stop there…ever wondered if there was a gold festival in Dubai? Well, you’re pretty close. Every year in the Dubai Shopping Festival the Gold Souk participates offering giveaways for buyers and special prices, so if you’re in Dubai at that time, it may be the best one to invest in your gold cravings.
Tips for Visiting the Dubai Gold Souk
As I already mentioned above, for a more enjoyable experience I recommend visiting the souk with a tour and an experienced guide. However, regardless of how you visit, there are certain things you should be aware of:
➤ The items sold in the market’s stores are strictly regulated and inspected by the Dubai Municipality to ensure that they’re genuine and worth the market price. However, you’ll also find street vendors outside the souk – keep clear of those, as you could get scammed into buying products that are not authentic.
➤ If you like a certain item and are willing to buy it, look around first. There are over 380 retailers in the souk, and you’re likely to find very similar jewelry pieces at different prices.
➤ While in certain places you want to be careful about bargaining, the gold souk is not one of them, so feel free to haggle over your jewelry piece. Since gold prices fluctuate constantly, check what the current prices are before hitting the stores.
Once you choose your item, it will be weighed in front of you and you’ll get the price shown in a calculator in your chosen currency: this is the time to start haggling.
You could frown slightly at the price, make further questions about the carats and real value of the item, suggest you saw a very similar one for much less right around the corner…pick your strategy, but always be gentle and patient, not aggressive. That won’t take you far.
The Gold market is really close to other souks (a souk is a traditional market). One of them is the Spice Souk, a vibrant bazaar filled with scents and colors that should be visited if you’re in the area. The vendors will be happy to chat and give you ideas on how to use the exotic spices they offer, so be ready to fill your nostrils and discover new recipes.
If you’re a foodie or aspiring cook, take a pad to make notes as you’ll likely want to remember everything you learn.
Still in the mood for markets? Then head out to Old Souk, a traditional souk that sells textiles, clothes, footwear and souvenirs.
EXTRA TIP: There’s a new Gold Souk in the Bur Dubai area you can check out, if the original one didn’t suffice your gold ambitions!
Frequently Asked Questions
Gold in Dubai is considerably cheaper than in other countries because the Emirates has no import duty tax on gold and very low taxes on jewelry. Its price depends on the gold rate of the day.
Yes, tourists can buy gold in Dubai. The most popular place to do so is the Dubai Gold Souk, with over 380 retailer shops selling all kinds of jewelry and precious metals. If you intend to visit, though, consider going with a tour, as you’ll understand more of Dubai’s commercial district and history and avoid being harassed by vendors.
The Gold Souk address is in Deira, the commercial district in Old Dubai. It’s really close to the Dubai Spice Souk and Old Souk, and can be reached by different means of transportation, from bus to metro, abra and even on the Hop On Hop Off Bus.
Yes, you can travel internationally with gold. However, there are certain things to be aware of.
You should find out the regulations of the country you’re traveling to, and declare the gold you’re carrying (you’re likely to pay customs duty for it).
If you’re wearing gold jewelry you don’t need to declare anything, nor is there any limit on how much you can wear. Bear in mind that if you have too much jewelry around you and it catches the attention of customs authorities, you may be asked to provide proof that they’re yours, like a receipt or bill of purchase.