Believe it or not, Dubai started as a small fishing village, and a visit to the spice souk (take the abra across the creek for the full experience) illustrates those humble roots. The spice souk is a photographer's dream—the colors of the spices piled high are astonishing—and an olfactory assault: cardamom, saffron, coffee, peppercorns, all jumbled together in a delicious sensory array. Buy little packets of saffron from Iran to bring home to friends, or fresh dates from one of the farms just outside of town. Be ready to haggle—it's part of the old-world experience.
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Old Dubai Today
Walking through the gold souk in old Dubai transported me back in time, as long as I didn't listen to the traffic in the background. The souk was quiet and clean, which wasn't what I expected but a pleasant surprise.