26 34th St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
For the Spice of LifeThe Dubai Spice Souk is a traditional market located in Deira, near the famed Gold Souk. It's easy to overlook the Spice Souk if you're not looking carefully; tucked into alleyways off of Baniyas Street, the souk is small, but manages to pack a pungent punch. If you plan on purchasing spices – from cardamon to cumin to turmeric to nutmeg, and everything in between – be prepared to haggle. A good rule of thumb is to cut the vendor's opening salvo in half, and then barter upwards from there until you reach a number you're both comfortable with.
AFAR Local Expert
almost 6 years ago
I was lucky enough to visit the gold and spice souks in Dubai with an Arabic-speaking friend who helped me talk the shop owners down on everything from fabric and pillowcases to dried roses and cinnamon sticks. We were impressed by the massive quantities of gold (and the price per gram) and enjoyed the smells, colours, textures, and variety in spices. One of my favourite traveling memories was closing down the souks and witnessing the exodus from merchant centre and to the door of the mosque for prayers at sunset.
almost 6 years ago
Delicious nuts and spices at old Souks of Dubai
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.