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A trip to the UAE inevitably involves traversing a traditional market called “souk.” Expectedly noisy and crowded, souks display a wide range of unique items. The rows of stalls selling all sorts of things in the old souks of Deira and Bur Dubai are analogous to the modern souks that are scattered in the emirates. These modern souks, some housed in malls, also offer items of endless varieties but in elegant surroundings.
The swanky The Dubai Mall has a gold souk embellished with impressive chandeliers and striking paintings. The popular Souk Al Bahar nearby, swarmed with locals and tourists, is lined with shops glinting with colorful apparel, accessories, perfumes, antiques and souvenirs. Depicting a traditional Arabic community setting, this lively indoor marketplace is a great place to find any gift you want to bring home to family and friends. It also contains dining outlets and stores selling popular brands.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, probably the oldest and most popular among the modern souks in Dubai, teems with shops mostly selling souvenir items such as shirts, woodwork, perfumes, antique pieces, incense and home decor. Visitors and tourists alike can choose from a wide variety of international cafes and restaurants in the area.
Souk Khan Murjan inside Wafi City is a trendy place frequently thronged with shoppers. Like all the other modern souks, this, too, features a host of shops offering perfumes, readymade garments, textiles, accessories, jewelry and so much more.
Abu Dhabi’s Souk Qaryat Al Beri is smaller in scale compared to the souks in Dubai, but it is a great spot to look for unique products you can take home. Here, you can find shops selling antiques, perfumes and jewelry amidst scores of dining establishments.
The Bawadi Mall in Al Ain has Souk Al Qaws which houses banks and other service outlets, and Souk Al Bawadi featuring shops selling local and traditional items, and souvenirs.
Many people find souks a great place for gift shopping. An interesting note is that you can haggle to get the best prices.
• Like its old souks, UAE’s modern souks also sell a variety of items
• Souk Madinat Jumeirah and Souk Al Bahar are famous Dubai spots
• Souk Qaryat Al Beri and Souk Al Bawadi both found in Abu Dhabi
Source: Afred Ocianas, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer