The souks of the UAE are a must-visit, so if you’re planning to head to the Untied Arab Emirates at some stage this year, whether for a stopover or as part of a trip by itself, here are some of the best markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Just remember to always take travel insurance when you’re visiting the UAE, to protect you and your family in the event that you get sick or hurt, lose your belongings, or miss your flight due to unforeseen circumstances.
Located in Al Ain, this souk is the last of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, and will give you a unique look at the local customers here. Al Ain is known to the locals as the garden city since it’s one of the greenest places in the area.
Within the souk, you’ll see camels being bought and sold at auction, and you’ll be able to watch as the bidding gets heated, while wandering around different pens and watching what is going on.
If you’ve always wanted a carpet from the Middle East, the Carpet Souk in Abu Dhabi is the place to go, and you’ll find more than 100 stores all selling carpets- from Afghani to Persian origin, and more local materials and patterns. If you have money to spend, the handmade Persian rugs are available (at premium prices), while you’ll also find gorgeous imitations that are machine-made and available at a slightly more affordable price. You’ll also find many different upholstery and textile shops, along with traditional, handmade Arabic Majilis cushions.
You’ll find the Central Souk in Sharjah, and it’s also known as the Blue Souk. Opened back in 1979, this is a popular place for locals to shop, with more than 600 shops to choose from, offering cameras, antiques, cosmetics, perfumes, collectables, rugs, and jewellery. This is also another great place to buy oriental carpets, and if you get sick of shopping you can take a break at one of the many great cafes in the souk.
This souk is known around the world, and you’ll cross the famous Dubai creek in a water taxi. You may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of gold on offer, and this is the place to find brooches, rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. If you’re looking for genuine, great-value gold, this is the place to go- don’t forget to haggle though, as you can get the prices halved if you haggle wisely.
Souk Madinat at Jameirah
This souk is has more than 75 boutique shops, along with almost 50 restaurants and bars, and two hotels. Travel along the waterways in the traditional boats, and you’ll enjoy it most at night when it’s a lot cooler and the whole site is spectacularly lit up so you can enjoy views from the local restaurants.
As you can see, there are a variety of souks to choose from, so you’re sure to have an amazing trip to the UAE.