While the iconic spectacles like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame, and Dubai Fountain are fascinating, the traditional side of Dubai is as interesting as any of this modern architecture. Besides stunning architectural marvels and adventurous desert safari, Dubai is known for traditional markets which are known in the world for selling a variety of authentic spices, perfumes, textiles, and gold.
Dubai Spice souk is popular among tourists and locals for its exceptional assortment of fresh and aromatic spices. The smell of aromatic spices simply attracts visitors wanting them to explore the sleek lanes of the market. From rich and exotic flavors to light and sweet-smelling herbs and seasonings, the Dubai Spice souk offers an assortment of different spices to give you a visual delight.
Apart from the colorful and aromatic spices, the Dubai Spice souk is known for maintaining the legacy of the rich trading history of the Middle East. The vibrant colors of the spices never fail to catch the attention of visitors and photographers.
What can you buy from the souk?
From regular cooking spices like turmeric, chili powder, clove, cumin, and cinnamon powder to unusual food items like orange peel, mace, dried lemons, and cucumbers, the shops in the market display a variety of cooking essentials. The spices are dried completely and then crushed to give them a powder form. The result is an aromatic and colorful spice that will add a rich taste to your Shahi Biryani or other mouth-watering dishes.
Saffron, which is one of the exotic spices, can also be found in the spice market in Dubai. But, ensure that you buy top-quality saffron as there are different grades of saffron available, and choosing the right one can be tricky. You will also find traditional Arabian spices like Sumac and sesame seeds.
The traditional spice market is more than 50 years old and adds glory to the Emirate’s rich heritage. Besides an extensive range of spices, herbal oils, henna, premium quality tea, nuts, and dry fruits are also being sold in the shops. Tea lovers will get excited to see unusual tea flavors that include lavender and rose bud tea.
The market has many unseen products that you can not even imagine. You will also get herbs that are best known for the medicinal benefits they offer. Arabian rugs, pashmina, lanterns, utensils, and cutlery are also being sold in this market. It is the best place to buy souvenirs for your family and friends back home.
In addition to seasoning, the market sells refreshing scents, attars, incense, oil diffusers, and other fragrances. The vendors are kind and friendly and have extensive knowledge of different spices and their use in the kitchen. They want you to haggle for the price but they will not disappoint you. While the tourists roam into the narrow alleys to discover the authentic taste of Arabian spices, locals go on shopping sprees weekly to stock up on groceries in bulk.
You can also visit the popular Dubai Gold Souk, which is close to the spice souk and offers premium quality gold jewelry.
The spice souk is open every day from Monday to Sunday.
Saturdays to Thursdays
The market opens at 10:00 am and closes at 10:00 pm. The shops remain closed between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the afternoon.
Fridays: From 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
How To reach there
The Dubai Spice Souk is located close to the very popular Gold Souk in Deira. You can take a ride in the traditional boats called Abra (available for AED 1 per person) or a water taxi from Dubai Creek and walk up to the souk.
Tips before you visit the Dubai Spice Souk
- Compare the prices of spices at different shops before you buy them. You are likely to get them at lower price in the second shop.
- Use your bartering skills efficiently to get the maximum discount on the spices.
- Use the metro or a cab ride, as parking your car can be more expensive than you think.
- Do not carry heavy belongings to the market, as your hands may be full of large packets of spices when you make your way home.
- For a much-extended experience, try to visit in late afternoons and evenings when the spice trading is at its peak.
- The best way to bargain is to offer fifty percent of the price initially and then gradually increase it to settle at a decent amount. You can also act to walk away from the shop, without being arrogant. This skill of bargaining works wonders in the spice market most of the time.
- Always carry some cash with you, as most vendors deal with cash payments.
Filled with exotic flavors and the aromatic smell of spices, the Dubai Spice souks sell turmeric, cinnamon, chilly, saffron, nuts, dry fruits, saffron, herbs, tea, and incense all at an affordable price range. Fresh spices arrive daily by boats from countries like Iran, Pakistan, and India, and are loaded at the vendor’s shop in sacks. An exciting place to satisfy your taste buds, the Dubai spice shops have everything a modern kitchen needs.The spices from the market bring fresh aroma, color, and flavors to your home-cooked food.
Discover new flavors from the market, try new recipes at home, and surprise your loved ones with your culinary skills. If you are planning to visit Dubai, then add this place to your itinerary and enjoy authentic flavors from all around the world.