Cover photo full
Dubai Gold Souk
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Gold Souk is one of Dubai’s traditional markets situated right in the heart of Deira , the center of Old Dubai. A visual spectacular, this bazaar is home to over 300 stalls that trade almost exclusively in jewelry, most of it made of iridescent 22-carat gold. Even if gold is not your thing, and you have no intention of taking home some jewels, don’t miss your chance to visit one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Atmospheric, chaotic, and enticing, this is one of Dubai’s most enticing places in which to spend a few hours.
Brief HistoryAlthough oil is all the rage nowadays, it was actually gold and gems which were, once upon a time, the most hotly contested trade items in Dubai. Traders have been coming here since the 1940s and have helped mark Dubai as one of the world’s best and cheapest places to purchase gold. It is estimated that over 10 tonnes of gold are on sale in the Gold Souk at any given moment, most of it fashioned as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings and embellished by diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. Dubai’s gold trade is estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars every year, and it’s something that is taken very seriously in this city.
Thanks to its free trade policies, traders from every corner of the world, including Belgium, Switzerland, Iran, and India, head here en masse to buy, sell, and trade gold.
What You Can Expect to Find at the Gold SoukApart from the obvious answer (gold!) you can also expect to find large crowds, vocal sellers, touts selling fake watches and not a single toilet in sight. Aside this, expect to be overwhelmed by the amazing jewels on display and do note that although the jewels on display may seem quite garish to the more subtle Western eye, individual items, admired singularly, are really quite spectacular. The craftsmanship on display here is second to none. You’ll also find a small selection of silver jewelry.
Gold is sold by weight and regulated by international prices, so what you’ll be bargaining on will be the maker’s skills. And bargain you shall! If you end up paying about 30-40% off the original asking price, then consider yourself a very good haggler. If you’re quite serious about purchasing something here, we recommend you check the current gold price before you visit. Moreover, if you plan on dropping some serious cash at the markets, do your homework beforehand so you have the names of a few reputable sellers. Some random, smaller shops have been known to swap genuine items for cheap fakes at the last minute during packing, so make sure you are buying from a reputable trader. Moreover, head here first thing in the morning, as local custom dictates that the sooner one makes a sale, the better the day’s takings will be. The best bargains are to be had within the first hour of daily trading.
The Gold Souk is open form 10a.m, until 10p.m. every day of the week.
How to get thereYou’ll find Dubai’s Deira Gold Souk on Khalid Bin Waleed Road, which may be a bit of a hassle to reach if you’re staying in über-popular Palm Jumeirah or Dubai Marina area. Having said this however, do note that Deira is a wonderful place to discover, where you’ll also find the Spice Souk, the city’s fish market and the only ‘old’ buildings in the whole city.
Deira is about 13kms northeast of Downtown and can be reached either by taxi, or a combination of metro/taxi. The closest Metro station is at Ras 2, which is a 20-minute walk away from the market, or just 5-minute taxi ride.
Do you see any omissions, errors or want to add information to this page? Sign up.
Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Mar 19, 2015