Dubai My Travelz Travel UAE

Visiting the Gold and Spice Souks

The sandstorm that decided to linger around the UAE caused us to alter our plans again. Instead of the desert safari we decided to head over to the infamous Gold and Spice Souks. A souk is a traditional market. There are tons of deals to be made and things to see at a souk.
Visiting The Gold & Spice Souks  ©2015 HollyDayz
The Gold and Spice Souks are located in Deira, Dubai’s commercial business area. A quick taxi ride from Downtown Dubai left us in a very crowded area. People everywhere! The taxi driver instructed us to go through the revolving door to get into the souk area. Upon going through the doors we were inside a small jewelry area. We walked a bit and found ourselves outside.

The area right next to the souks ©2015 HollyDayz
The area right next to the souks ©2015 HollyDayz

This area of Dubai is very different then the rest. It looks older and rundown. Dubai is a very safe place, but that isn’t a place I would want to be late at night, based off the way it looks. There is an open walkway with tons of jewelry stores and benches to sit down. As you walk down the main corridor there are narrow alleyways. Down these narrow paths are tons of stores, some are open air and some are inclosed.
The main area of the gold & spice souk  ©2015 HollyDayz
The main area of the gold & spice souk ©2015 HollyDayz

The moment we stepped foot into the area we were approached left and right by several people. They were trying to get us to come to their store. It was constant and non stop. The people were very friendly, especially since they want you to purchase goods from them. So if people pressuring you to visit their store isn’t up your alley, I wouldn’t recommend these souks.
Gold and Spices are not the only things you can buy in the souks. They also sell clothing, souvenirs, shoes, watches, bags, and more. The designer watches and bags were not real, but people were trying them on nonetheless. Looking at them you can’t tell off a glance they are fake. If you touch it or you know your fakes from the real you will certainly notice.
Getting ready to haggle for a few items  ©2015 HollyDayz
Getting ready to haggle for a few items ©2015 HollyDayz

A local informed us that the best deals can be found towards the interior of the souks. So you need to go towards the middle and not stay on the outskirts. A skill set that you certainly need when going there is the art of haggling. Don’t ever go with the price they give you! If they don’t want to work with you then don’t be afraid to walk away. They will stop you and try to work with you because you can always go to the next place and get the same exact thing.
Also have a converter on your phone. I used the Globe Convert App. Everytime they would give me a price, I would convert it to see if I was comfortable with the price. It really helped a lot. You can get caught up when you are seeing prices in AED.
Another important tip is what you wear. There are a lot of people from many different traditional backgrounds. Not to mention you are surrounded by a lot of men. I had on a tank top, but I also used a button up shirt as a jacket. It became pretty humid and I briefly took it off. One of the stores I went into a gentleman kept trying to get me to purchase a shirt by holding them up to me.
Taking a breather from the haggling  ©2015 HollyDayz
Taking a breather from the haggling ©2015 HollyDayz

The first time he tried his hand seemed to go on my skin right above my breast and I thought maybe that was a mistake, until he did it again. I left very quickly and put my button down back on immediately. Needless to stay I lost my interest in being in the souks after that. I also later found out that it isn’t typically in their culture to even touch your hand. You do get some random creeps who will and they can be arrested and deported if you report them.
We did manage to get some souvenirs and other nice items from the souks. We did not buy any gold, but did get the opportunity to look at some things. The price of gold changes and there are signs that tell you how much it costs so you can’t be duped. Some places also take credit/debit cards, but you get charged an extra 5%.
Certificate for the world's heaviest gold ring  ©2015 HollyDayz
Certificate for the world’s heaviest gold ring ©2015 HollyDayz

We took a seat on one of the benches and watched some tours go by. I saw a lot of people standing by a window. When I went to see what they were looking at I realized it was a huge ring! In fact it was the world’s heaviest gold ring. Not too surprised as we were in Dubai. Walking a little more we ended up in the spice souk which is laid out in the same fashion as the gold souk.
Heaviest Gold Ring In The World  ©2015 HollyDayz
Heaviest Gold Ring In The World ©2015 HollyDayz

We went into one store where the gentleman had us smell frankincense and myrrh. He also pulled out saffron, vanilla, and more. He had some colorful chocolate rock candy that he let us try. It was really good and I ended up haggling with him and buying some.
Some spices  ©2015 HollyDayz
Some spices ©2015 HollyDayz

More Spices  ©2015 HollyDayz
Beautiful Color looking at the Spices ©2015 HollyDayz

We then noticed right across the street were boats (abras), so we headed over there. We took the abra across the creek for 1AED. We didn’t explore too much because we had reservations at Ewaan, so we stopped at store, bought a ton of candy and other goodies and paid 1AED to head back on the abra to catch a taxi from there.
Getting ready to hop on the abra  ©2015 HollyDayz
Getting ready to hop on the abra ©2015 HollyDayz

Abra going across the creek  ©2015 HollyDayz
Abra going across the creek ©2015 HollyDayz

Overall it was a lot of fun, but a bit stressful with the haggling and everyone talking to you every second. The ride across the creek was a fun experience.

Have you ever been to a souk? What was your experience like?

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  • lawswrites

    Looks like such a wonderful place, I love the open markets, it was one of my favorite part of visiting the Ivory Coast. It’s such a different experience…

    • Holly Dayz

      It is a different experience. Especially when every second someone is trying to persuade you to do business with them and then you stand there haggling with them

  • Hannah

    Wowww it’s insane how in some places men think it’s ok to touch you like that…touch you at all actually. Creepos aside, I would like to visit souks one day, and that ring is INSANE.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, pretty crazy. Made me extremely uncomfortable the rest of my time there. Another day we went into another place where people haggle with you and I wasn’t over this so I hurried back outside. The ring is crazy, Dubai loves their records.

  • mags

    Yikes, there are creeps all over the world! Still looks like a beautiful place thought, hopefully I’ll make it there soon.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea they are. It is a very nice place. I hope you make it there soon as well.

  • thesophislife

    Sounds like a Jamaican craft market lol. The haggling and people pressuring U to come into their stores and purchase is tough. I like using the App to see if you are getting a good deal!

    • Holly Dayz

      lol oh yea? Yes, it is tough. I needed to sit down and take a break. I am sure it is like a sport for some people. Yes, that app is amazing! I used it several times a day.

  • Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    It looks like a wonderful place to wonder and explore and do a little shopping. However, it is sad that your experience was affected by a creep.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yes, I didn’t realize how much that truly bothered me till another day came and I went some where else with a lot of men trying to get you to buy stuff and I quickly got out the store. Still a great place and experience besides that.

  • StreetTrotter

    I am a sucker for offbeat, haggling kind of markets like these! You never know what gems you find here, at a really really cheap cost! This one will sure be on my list, specially if I get a chance to visit with my girls. 😉

    • Holly Dayz

      There are a lot of very nice things there! It is really great because you get to haggle your price, although it gets a bit tiring. Yes! You must pay these souks a visit.

  • Jessica

    Those spices! So incredibly colorful! Love going to markets!

    • Holly Dayz

      They are! I love all the colors.

  • Tony Jones

    Them birds was trying to get touchy feely too!!! Lmao but this is cool…. gotta pick up some gold when I visit for sure

    • Holly Dayz

      I thought those birds were going to fly into my face! Yea many people to do, it is one of the best places to pick some up.

  • MJ

    This is such an interesting journey. I am a spice fanatic so I know I would have left broke regardless of haggling. Dubai is looking more and more intriguing to me.

    • Holly Dayz

      lol you would have truly enjoyed yourself then! Dubai is such a great place

  • A Safari in Dubai's Desert - HollyDayz Travel

    […] kind and bought everyone water and juice. We too went inside the store and it reminded me of the Gold & Spice Souk. The haggling commenced as everyone was purchasing items. Everyone bought scarves in which the […]

  • Jimmy

    I would do such a horrible job at haggling, if anything, they might get me to pay more. But if I walked away with at least one gold chain, it’ll be a success. Hope I can visit Dubai one day.

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