Travel

Frankincense, myrrh & more: Shop up a storm at Dubai's souqs

There is something for everyone in Dubai's souqs

With the Dubai Shopping Festival in full swing until Feb 2, travellers can grab bargains in the city in the United Arab Emirates.

You can enjoy discounts of up to 75 per cent on over 700 brands at 3,200 stores across Dubai.

Or you could visit the city's markets, or souqs, which sell trinkets, collectibles, wearables and edibles.

From chocolate-covered dates and camel's milk chocolates, to aromatic spices and soaps, to quirky souvenirs and beautifully-tailored clothes, the historic alleyways of Dubai's souqs offers much for the traveller looking for an authentic Arabian shopping experience.

SPICE SOUQ

Close to the waterways of the Dubai Creek, the scents of frankincense, citrus and rose petals will lead you through the Spice Souq in Deira.

Each store stocks a selection of the world's best spices, dried fruits and goods.

You'll find premium quality dates, saffron, turmeric, indigo and many more herbs and spices, as well as common spices in Arabian cuisine including sumac, dukkah, za'atar and bezar.

GOLD SOUQ

Transport yourself into a world filled with dazzling window displays at the famous Gold Souq.

Comprising 380 retailers - most of whom are jewellery traders from all parts of Arabia - the Gold Souq is a must-see for serious precious metal traders, couples looking for a statement jewellery piece or visitors hunting for that special memento.

Also on display at the souq is the world's largest ring, the Najmat Taiba or Star of Taiba, which is estimated to cost more than US$3 million (S$4 million).

At the souq, you'll uncover ornate gifts, strings of pearls, platinum, silver and a tempting array of diamonds.

Worried about authenticity? Be assured that all merchandise sold here is strictly regulated by the Dubai Government to ensure all gold sold is 100 per cent genuine.

PERFUME SOUQ

Oud, bakhoor, myrrh - this souq has it all.

It's brimming with hundreds of stores selling traditional Arabian scents, and powerful aromas will tantalise your sense of smell the moment you set foot in Deira's Sikkat al Khali Street.

You can find beautifully-scented fragrance options at any turn, from woody, spicy, exotic, citrusy, zesty to floral.

TEXTILE SOUQ

A short abra (traditional wooden boat) ride across the Dubai Creek, this souq in the old trading centre of Bur Dubai features dozens of markets and stores selling textiles in all shades, prints, weaves and textures.

Pashmina scarves, a one-of-a-kind embroidered top or raw silks and cotton? Check. You'll also find a collection of buttons, sequins, stones, lace and other accessories to help you add a touch of Arabian flair to your personal wardrobe.

Bur Dubai is also home to many cosy cafes and restaurants nestled along the banks of the creek that offer a charming view of the river where pearl boats once docked.

Pop by Mazmi Cafe and More, Creekside Restaurant & Cafe or Bayt Al Wakeel for tantalising food and drinks.

TOURISM & TRAVEL