Downtown Dubai for shopping explorers

Chill with a coffee, dine at your convenience and keep on shopping in Dubai. There is a bit of magic in shopping something new and in Dubai from colossal Malls, downtown markets to traditional souks, options are galore.


Spirit of a city is the downtown areas, however for Dubai it seems that glittery Malls may have somehow subdued the craze of downtown markets. Whenever I asked for direction to downtown, everyone in Dubai kept on guiding to Mall of Emirates, Dubai Mall and Marina Mall, which actually were already on my list. So, one fine evening I took the Dubai Metro map and boarded the Metro from Sobha Realty to Sabkha Souk to explore the Soul of the City, downtown Dubai. Whole night was in front of me to explore and wander around the downtown streets.


I got down at Union Metro Station, boarded a bus from Naif intersection to Sabkha Souk to tread along the markets and get down as per my liking. Souk is an Arabic word meaning Street Market. Sabkha Souk along with Gold Souk is an infinite network of narrow lanes selling everything from Herbs, Spices, Dry Fruits, Dried Fruits (Pineapple, Mango, Kiwis, Apricots), Textiles, Perfumes and Gold jewellery. Shops selling dry Fruits and dried fruits were the first to come across my walk. 
After checking a couple of shops, found a shop selling everything from dry fruits to spices and unlimited variety of chocolates. Quickly got my hands full with 2 bags of items to carry along with. Tasting the item and buying, in fact did not bother to remember the name. But I had to shop more in addition to below items:

Meandering in the narrow alleys, lined with open and closed-roof stores on both sides, I was in for the real Dubai experience. 

I might have entered as a foreigner, but a couple of steps had turned me into a local person as my queries in English got answered in Hindi. Slightly taken aback, but soon realized the presence of lot of Indians. One of fellow Indians confirmed that the shop selected by me for buying the stuff is among the best ones in the market. Reinforced my trait – explorers travel like a local. Perfumes and Saffron are other items; you will get here in ample supplies. Select as per your preference. 

Bought Iranian Saffron (Kesar) and to my surprised the Iranian shopkeeper also conversed in broken Hindi, however working enough to communicate. 
Haggle on for prices, as shopkeepers start with a higher price. At times shopkeepers readily agreed for the middle price.


Authentic Arabian experience at Al-Sabkha Souk continued and while walking around I entered the Gold Souk premises. One of its kind Gold Market in the world without any security outside the shops. Gold prices are displayed outside the shops and keep on getting updated frequently. Even if you do not intend to buy gold jewellery, a visit to this market is definitely a must. Check out some of the largest jewelleries or better gold garments at display in Gold Souk, I ever saw in my life or even dreamt of. 
Quality and purity of Gold is strictly regulated by government, however not the prices. Negotiate for a better deal.


Though I have bought Spices already. By the time I came out of Gold Souk, the smell of spices took me straight to the Dubai Spice Souk along Dubai Creek. Following your nose is a good idea but be careful you may soon run out of money here, as Shopping options are amazing here. Finished with Dirhams/ Dollars, I had to use my credit card for buying Loban and mint crystals. Essence of mint was noticed at many places in Dubai, and people informed about inhaling mint fumes for treating Sinus. I got the mint crystals and have been using at my home as well now for inhaling fumes or purifying the environment.


In addition, you will come across antique artefacts in the Souk. Likewise, these locks, however price was exorbitant and being very late-night shopkeeper was also not in the spirits to sell, when I tried to lower the price. No issues, next time. 

Finally, when shutters of the shops had gone down and streets were deserted, I had to retreat in order to catch the last metro, so started walking to the Gold Souk Metro station. In the lights of the night, Infinity Bridge was glittering and was able to see the Abras (water taxis) in the creek. If you come from Deira side Abras can be used to cross the creek to Al-Sabkha Souk. This also for next time.

Joy knew no bounds to see the Infinity Bridge glittering with the tricolors of our flag. May be the bridge glitters in these colors daily, but the moment got special. 

Other side of Gold Souk is Sharaf DG Metro Station on Green Metro Line and can be boarded as per your coordinates in the shopping extravaganza here. Finally, inside Gold Souk Metro Station, it was the time to give much needed rest to my hands and a punch to myself on “What an Evening it was”? 

However not before clicking some shots inside the decorated Metro Station and skipping a couple of trains to catch the last one.

Evening had simply refused to end that day. Keeping a water bottle will be advisable as the outside environment is quite hot and dry. Keep exploring Folks.

Gaurav Verma

A passionate Traveler who wants to see the whole world before hanging his boots. Always ready to explore offbeat and hidden spots. MBA + Engineer from Ivy league colleges, Gaurav is much sought after for his choice of lifestyle activities and Brand promotional campaigns.

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