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Souks in Dubai: A Guide To The Best 10 Markets

Wondering which souks in Dubai you should visit? Discover all the Dubai markets to find out the most interesting ones for your trip!

Dubai is popular for many things, but one of the city’s main attractions are the Dubai souks. Souk means market – Dubai has had trading markets since the early 1900s, most of which have grown to become massive souks that attract people from all over.

The Gold Souk in Dubai is possibly the most famous one, but it’s not the only one by a long shot! From spices to textiles, perfumes, souvenirs, and crafts, you can find pretty much anything at the souks in Dubai.

A woman in a white dress standing in front of a carpet shop, surrounded by carpets of different colors and designs, in one of the souks in Dubai

Everyone always has this image of Dubai as a modern, glitzy city, and I won’t lie – I too had the same idea when I first moved to Dubai. Yet, there’s more to it. Dubai, despite growing so much so fast, has conserved its traditional soul. You just need to know where to find it!

Visiting the souks in Dubai and haggling for souvenirs and parfumes and spices is one of the most fun things to do in Dubai.

Read on to discover the most amazing markets in the city, although it won’t be easy to only pick a few for your itinerary.

How To Visit the Dubai Souks

You can definitely visit the Dubai souks on your own, they all have free entrance and are easy to access from the city center.

👉 That said, I heartily recommend booking a tour to visit the souks, especially the traditional souks in the Deira district. Vendors can get very insistent – and rather aggressive – when you pass by their shops, trying to impose their products and making visitors uncomfortable in the process.

This is particularly true for women traveling solo, but the experience can be overwhelming even if you’re traveling with a partner or a group, and kill the enjoyment of visiting these amazing attractions.

Best Tours to the Dubai Souks

Here you’ll find the best tours to visit the Dubai souks. In all of them, you’ll be accompanied by a local guide, experienced in visiting these bustling attractions, and you’ll also get to visit some other landmarks nearby. Check them out!

➤ The Old Town, Souks, and Food Tour is guided by a local, who will take you around the heritage neighborhoods of Dubai. You’ll also get to sample local delicacies and ride an abra across the creek to visit the Gold and Spice Souks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Walking Tour with Dubai Souks is a half-day excursion to the old part of the city. You’ll visit a few museums in the area, try some local street food, and get to explore the impressive gold, spices, and textile souks after an abra ride across Dubai Creek. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Private Heritage Tour offers a personalized experience for your group, taking you around the Old Town as you discover Dubai’s heritage and history. You’ll also visit the traditional Dubai souks in Deira. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Traditional Souks in Dubai

Dubai Gold Souk

The Dubai Gold Souk is considered by many the best souk in Dubai, and it’s undoubtedly the most popular. It’s the largest of its kind, featuring over three hundred stalls selling gold pieces, 18K to 24K jewelry and accessories, and precious stones.

All items sold in Deira Gold Souk are closely inspected and regulated, so you don’t have to worry about scams if you intend to buy some gold (although avoid buying from vendors outside the souk!) What you should definitely do is haggle: not only is it ok, but it’s also expected to bargain the price.

Image of a window display with gold necklaces, rings, and accessories of all sizes, in one of the most famous souks in Dubai: the Gold Souk

Since Dubai has no import duty tax on gold, and jewelry taxes are incredibly low, this city offers cheaper prices for the precious metal than most parts of the world. Even if you’re not buying, wander around to be mesmerized by the size, designs, and prices of the products on display!

🕒 Opening Hours: This gold market is open from Saturday to Thursday from 10 AM to 10 PM and from 4 PM to 10 PM on Friday.

📍Location of Dubai Gold Souk (Deira District)

🚕 How to get there: You can get to Deira Gold Souk by metro (Green Line to Al Ras Metro Station or Gold Souq Metro Station), by bus to Al Sabkha or Gold Souq bus stations, or by abra from Bur Dubai.

Dubai Spice Souk

Dubai Spice Souk is a bustling bazaar located near Gold Souk. It features spices from all over the world, and it’s a feast for the eyes of any visitor, but especially for foodies and cooks.

The vibrant colors and scents of the aromatic spices offer a sensory experience, and you’ll have the opportunity to discover very unique herbs and teas, learn new recipes from the vendors, and maybe even buy some spices to try your hand at the kitchen.

You can buy most of them either by weight or in packages (it’s cheaper if you buy by weight), and you’ll be expected to haggle at this traditional souk as well.

Premium quality saffron, nuts, oils, dry fruits, and dates are some of the products you’ll find at this old souk, besides an immense amount of traditional spices from Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

🕒 Opening Hours: The Spice Souk in Dubai is open Monday to Friday from 7.30 AM to 10 PM, and Saturday & Sunday from 7.30 AM to 11 PM.

📍 Location of Spice Souk (Deira District)

🚕 How to get there: To get to the Spice Souk, take the bus or the Metro Green Line to Al Ras Station. You can also take an abra across Dubai Creek and get off at Deira Old Souk Dubai Abra Station.

Textile Souk

Dubai Textile Souk is another colorful bazaar that sells all kinds of fabrics. Offering everything from raw cotton and silk to fabrics featuring all sorts of patterns, hand-woven pieces of clothing, and textiles with intricate embroidery designs, this market is a shopping heaven for seamstresses and fashion enthusiasts.

The textile souk also displays all kinds of accessories, including lace, buttons, sequins, and ribbons. It´s one of the city’s traditional souks, and back in the day it was very popular for making custom clothes, garments for special events, and Arabian dresses.

Nowadays it’s more of a tourist attraction, but it’s very worth the visit!

🕒 Opening Hours: The Dubai Textile Souk opens daily, from 4 PM to 10 PM on Fridays and from 10 AM to 10 PM the rest of the week.

📍 Location of Textile Souk (Bur Dubai)

🚕 How to get there: You can take the Green Line to Al Fahidi Metro Station, which is a 10-minute walk from Textile Souk Dubai.

Perfume Souk

East of the Gold market is the Perfume Souk, another popular Deira souk in Dubai that specializes in scents of all kinds, from fragrances to incense, homemade and brand perfumes, and even personalized aromas!

One of the highlights of the Perfume Souk in Dubai is the bakhoor ( aromatic wood chips), which you’ll find in many of the market’s hundreds of stalls.

You’ll also get to try an immense amount of different perfume scents, from sweet and airy ones to some very strong and bold ones, and also choose among the wide variety of incense sticks, rocks, and powders.

🕒 Opening Hours: The Perfume Souk is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 AM to 2 PM and from 5 PM to 9.30 PM.

📍 Location of Perfume Souk (Deira)

🚕 How to get there: The easiest way to visit the Perfume Souk in Dubai is by taking the Green Line to the Al Ras Metro Station.

Bur Dubai Souk

Bur Dubai Souk (market) is located right by Dubai Creek, featuring an attractive waterfront. It’s a very lively market with plenty of varied stalls, offering a great diversity of products and shopping opportunities.

From trinkets and souvenirs of your visit to the Dubai souks, to tasty snacks, traditional costumes, accessories such as handbags and belts, and even homeware are featured at Bur Dubai Souq.

You’ll also get to enjoy the beautiful views of the creek, and the fewer crowds, as most tourists only stick to the Gold Souk or the Spice Souk on their visit.

🕒 Opening Hours: Bur Dubai Souk opens daily from 10 AM to 10.30 PM.

📍 Location of Bur Dubai Souk

🚕 How to get there: This Old Dubai souk is in Bur Dubai, and the closest metro station is Al Fahidi, which you get get to with the Green Line.

👉 Other traditional souks in Dubai include the Al Fahidi Souk, Souk Naif Dubai, and the street market Karama Souk Dubai.

Modern Souks in Dubai

Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Souk Madinat Jumeirah is one of Dubai’s most visited markets. Situated on a breathtaking spot, surrounded by waterways and palm trees, this souq in Dubai boasts modern shops, lovely cafés, restaurants, and art spaces, while maintaining the charming aspect of the traditional buildings and souks of Dubai old town.

You’ll come across both luxury brand stores and Arabian shops selling crafts and souvenirs, as well as perfume shops, plenty of outlets for a bite of traditional food, and rooftop bars with views of the canals.

You can take an abra ride around the canals to admire the Burj Khalifa and the market’s architecture from the water. There’s also the Madinat Theater where you can catch a play or musical after exploring the souk.

🕒 Opening Hours: The shops at Souk Madinat Jumeirah open daily from 10 AM to 11 PM.

📍 Location of Souk Madinat Jumeirah

🚕 How to get there: The more hassle-free way to get to the souk is by taxi. If you’d rather take the metro, though, get the Red Line to Mall of the Emirates station, and from there get a taxi, as Souk Madinat in Dubai is about 1.5 miles from the metro station.

Al Seef Heritage Souk

Al Seef Heritage Souk may seem like an old, traditional souk. And it’s supposed to mimic one! But like the Al Seef neighborhood, it’s actually a modern attraction that pays homage to the heritage souks.

Once you step foot inside the souk, you’ll see that it’s even more modern than Madinat Jumeirah! The market features shops selling a great variety of handicrafts and accessories, as well as clothing, home décor, carpets, all sorts of souvenirs, and perfume.

Henna drawings and jewelry can also be found at this souk, which will give you the feeling of exploring a historic bazaar – but with some very 21st-century stores.

Modern cafés and restaurants with an old-looking facade surround the souk, and you could also go for a stroll along the Dubai creek after wandering around the market. Al Seef is truly a gem in Dubai!

🕒 Opening Hours: The souk opens Sunday to Thursday from 9 AM to 10.30 PM, and Friday & Saturday from 10 AM to 11 PM.

📍 Location of Al Seef Heritage Souk

🚕 How to get there: To get to Al Seef, you can take the Metro Red or Green Line to the Burjuman stop. You’ll then have to walk for about 15 minutes.

Souk Al Bahar

Souk Al Bahar is another modern market in Dubai that attracts visitors and locals alike. Located near Dubai Mall, it features close to 100 stores and boutiques where you’ll be able to shop for books, handicrafts and souvenirs, luxury brands, and jewelry.

That’s why visiting it is one of the best things to do at Dubai Mall!

There are also many restaurants, bars, and cafés that offer fine dining, including the well-known Time Out Marker which serves food from all over the world.

Souk Al Bahar’s name means market of the sailor, and while there’s no marine theme at the souk, it sits right over Burj Khalifa Lake, surrounded by water and featuring a lovely waterfront promenade with views.

Souk Al Bahar is also a great place to go for a drink if you’re visiting Dubai Mall, as the mall’s eateries aren’t allowed to serve alcohol.

🕒 Opening Hours: This souk in Dubai is open daily from 10 AM to 1 AM.

📍 Location of Souk Al Bahar (Downtown Dubai)

🚕 How to get there: To get to Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Mall is the closest metro station. Take the Red Line, and then access the souk through the footbridge from Dubai Mall’s Lower Ground Floor.

Dubai Mall Souk

The market at Dubai Mall is one of Dubai’s souks that will very likely make it to every visitor’s itinerary. The mall is among the most famous attractions in the city – even more than Dubai Gold Souk!

The souk at Dubai Mall represents the traditional souks of the city, with very distinctive architecture and design. It’s also very photogenic, so make sure to take a look when you visit Dubai Mall.

Once you’re done, spend the rest of your time exploring the mall, which is the biggest in Dubai! It boasts a large number of shops, restaurants, and fabulous activities to keep you entertained for a whole day.

One of its highlights is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, home to hundreds of sharks and rays, as well as penguins, otters, and crocodiles.

There are also hundreds of retail stores that sell the world’s most renowned brands, as well as local handicrafts and art, plus countless entertainment options.

🕒 Opening Hours: Dubai Mall opens Sunday to Thursday from 8 AM to 12 AM, and Friday & Saturday from 8 AM to 1 AM.

📍 Location of Dubai Mall (Downtown Dubai)

🚕 How to get there: Take the Red Line to Dubai Mall Metro Station. It’s a short walk to the mall’s entrance via the Metro Link Bridge.

Global Village

Global Village is one of the most bustling of Dubai’s souks. Open from October to April, this massive outdoor complex features a vast amount of retail stores, but it’s more popular for its cultural and entertainment attractions.

Lavishly decorated pavilions represent more than 70 countries in the world, selling typical dishes, sweets, and traditional products, which makes it a delightful destination for foodies.

There are also nightly shows and concerts, fair rides, adventure zones for children, and activities related to the different cultures and traditions of each country.

A large selection of items, from skincare products to souvenirs, silk, and clothing, are available in the boutiques and shops of Global Village.

🕒 Opening Hours: Global Village is only open during the winter, from 4 PM to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 4 PM to 1 AM Thursday to Saturday. You can find the exact dates for this season here.

📍 Location of Global Village

🚕 How to get there: You can get to Global Village by bus, using the 103, 104, or 106 lines. An alternative is taking a taxi to the souk.

Tips for Visiting the Souks in Dubai

▶️ Haggle! In most souks in Dubai, bargaining is not only accepted but even expected. For this reason, vendors will initially set a high price for their products, anticipating your attempts at lowering it. So don’t settle for the initial price and put your negotiation skills to practice.

Good advice to succeed at haggling and getting a good deal is to avoid looking too interested in the item, and even walk away when you’re not getting your desired price – chances are, the vendor will rapidly call you back and lower it even more!

▶️ If you’re buying gold, look up the current gold rate before going to the Gold Souk in Dubai. This way you’ll know what prices to expect, and it will also show you’re informed, helping you avoid scams. You can look up the daily gold rates here.

▶️ Visit the Gold souk with a tour guide. Having a guide with you will be a great advantage when exploring any of the souks, but it’s especially crucial in the Gold souk. Vendors can get very pushy and even aggressive, tainting your experience and preventing you from truly appreciating this unique market.

▶️ Visit early in the morning, especially if you’ll be going to the most popular souks, like the Arabian old souks in Dubai’s Deira or Souk Madinat Jumeirah. This will help you avoid the crowds and have a more enjoyable experience.

Souks in Dubai FAQ

Are there souks in Dubai?

There are tons of souks in Dubai! From the very popular gold and spice souks to markets selling perfumes, crafts, food, and traditional attires, you can find pretty much anything in the different souks located all over the city.

What type of souk is Dubai best known for?

Dubai’s most famous souk is the Gold Souk, the world’s largest of its kind!

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.