Once we arrived into Old Dubai via the Abra, it was like we stepped into a different time, and a different world altogether. And this is easily my most memorable part of Dubai.
From the huge metropolis housing the tallest skyscrapers in the world, we step into a different realm once we crossed Dubai Creek:
I learned that these bigger boats (bigger than the Abra anyway), like that light blue on the left , travel as far to north Africa to trade. Isn’t that amazing? Wonder how long it takes them to reach Africa. And I don’t even want to start wondering about the safety features. But it’s a gobsmacking thought that modern and high-tech Dubai still uses this kind of old style trading.
And most of the trade goods are appliance as can be seen here
Now just past this trading port, is another must-visit when in Dubai. The Gold and Spice Souk (market)
I have to admit, it wasn’t as chaotic or crowded and bustling as I imagined (and hoped) it to be. It was very clean and organised. There were some narrow alleyways that were the spice section, but majority of it was orderly.
All spices you can think of, by the gram, pound, or kilo! They also sold lots of teas but I didn’t really get to have a good look (or whiff) at them.
It’s not polite or should I say, not allowed, to take photos of women wearing burkas. To be on the safe side, I skipped taking photos of all people wearing traditional clothing. So this was the closest I got.
If you are into gold, this will be Diagon Alley for you. I am not a fan of gold, most especially when they are dripping screaming, Jay-Z style. But they are definitely everywhere in the souk!
Dubai may be where the biggest shopping malls are, with the largest and biggest high street and designer luxury brands are. But the spice and gold souk is where the character and history of this place is.
Candice - Desert to Jungle says
I’ve with you on gold, I’m not a fan of it either but the gold souq is still worth a visit. The big wooden boats you saw are called dhows and are the traditional cargo boats – although you can also go on ‘dinner cruises’ on Dubai Creek on dhows. I love how that whole area is not far from the world’s tallest building and all the amazing sights of modern Dubai but the trading is still going on the way it has for generations.
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Hi Candice, yes agree, even if you don’t plan to buy gold, the souk is still a must-visit! And yes the loved that they kept abit of tradition despite all the new high rises too 🙂
Escape Hunter says
I got lost in the souk of Marrakech. I suppose you can also bargain in Dubai?
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Yes it’s a very bargain-friendly souk! Though I didn’t buy any 😉