Dubai's perpetually glittering Gold Souk has been one of this Emirate's major attractions for many years – you'll find dozens and dozens of shops selling gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and more, and encounter plenty of touts hawking “geniune fake” Rolex watches, iPhones, textiles, laptops, and more.
The government exercises strict controls over the quality of gold and other precious metals, so you can rest assured that what you're buying is the real deal – though the same cannot be said for the wristful of watches you're likely to be talked into purchasing down a back alley.
The Gold Souk is a fantastic place to watch Dubai whiz by; pack your camera and plenty of memory cards for a wander through the back alleys, where you'll encounter friendly folk eager to pose with you for a photo or two.
Flash traveled to Dubai with Goway Travel, the global leader in tailor-made experiences to Dubai, and has been curating experience-driven expeditions to the world's most remarkable destinations since 1970. Goway can arrange custom trips to Dubai, the Arabian Desert, nearby Abu Dhabi, and beyond. www.goway.com
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Gold Souk in Dubai
Although I didn't actually buy anything at the gold souk in Dubai, just experiencing it was one of the highlights of my layover. My entire Dubai experience was one of the most surreal experiences of my life: touring with my Pakastani driver, listening to Britney Spears on the radio, and shopping in one of the wealthiest areas I've ever been to made for hands-down the best layover I've ever had.
photo credit: Theodore Scott
One of the oldest souks (traditional markets) in Dubai, the Gold Souk is worth exploring for a few hours, even if you don't want to buy gold or silver jewelry.
Browse through the extravagant window displays and you'll see everything from over the top but strikingly beautiful traditional Middle Eastern and Indian designs to intricate contemporary designs. The quality of workmanship is believed to be very high and the best part? You can bargain on the making charges.
Visitors from the Indian subcontinent have gold from the souk a must-buy item on their shopping list and it's easy to see why.