The gold market in Dubai, better known as the Gold Souk, is not only Dubai’s but the world’s most famous market for buying gold. It is absolutely stunning and has an ancient feel to it. Moreover, it’s an excellent place for tourists who aren’t even there for gold, to begin with. Like the cave Aladdin explored, it gives an otherworldly feeling, and it offers everything you can think of.
Imagine a labyrinth filled with retailers from every corner offering you jewelry, diamonds, silver, and many more metals and stones of every kind. It’s a place every tourist group must visit and experience for themselves. Another interesting fact is there is no security in or outside the shops.
How to Get There
The Dubai Gold Souk isn’t far away from the International Airport. You will need around 20 minutes by transportation to get there since the distance is approximately 9 km. People usually take a cab from the Dubai International airport, which drops them off by the water taxis, called Abras.
You will reach the other side of the river quickly, and then it will be a small adventure walking towards Deira Corniche, which is the old part of Dubai and Dubai Fish Market. They’re both adjacent to the Gold Market also known as the Gold Souk.
When Do People Usually Visit
Most tourists decide to visit Dubai from November to March because the weather is nicest then. That’s when the Gold Souk is the most crowded. The prices don’t rise or drop depending on the number of customers, but it’s always a fun custom to try and barter for a discount if you visit off-season.
How to Shop
Make sure to barter on every price since sellers usually always set a higher price. They will measure the weight of gold so that the cost will be non-negotiable at that point. The workmanship fee is, though. Browse through a couple of stores before deciding on buying one particular item since you can find something similar if you have the time to look around.
There are higher chances for discounts if you are paying in cash. To be safer, buy from stores, and avoid street vendors even though they’ll try to bring you to their on-the-street shop. Stores are a far better option because they are strictly regulated by Dubai law.
They ensure every price is accurate and genuine, and there are regular Dubai Municipality inspections. They check to ensure scales are correct and often send samples of gold to laboratories for testing.
As a tourist, you don’t want to miss seeing the Star of Taiba (Najmat Taiba). According to the Guinness World Record, it’s a gold ring that weighs over 63 kg, and it’s the heaviest ring in the world. You can see it while window shopping at Kanz Jewels. The largest gold necklace can also be found in the Gold Souk.
Even though the shops work from 10 am to 10 pm, many stores close around 1 pm or 4 pm. They work seven days a week, from Saturday to Thursday. There are 18 carats mixed gold, and they can go up to 22. You also have the option of pure gold that is 24-carat.
As we mentioned, once you decide what you want to buy, the seller will weigh the item and declare the price. You will also find emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, and pearls. You don’t have to worry about authenticity if you are buying from shops, for the reasons we mentioned above.
Around the Gold Souk
Many places around the Gold Souk are also valuable and worth visiting:
- Dubai Spice Souk is a feast to your senses, and you can find quality spices and rare herbs sold by weight.
- Al Fahidi Historical District: There are many museums, exhibits, art galleries, and cafes you should visit if you want to understand better the Emirati culture. You can still feel the 19th-century influence, and this district is also known as Bastakiya quarters.
- Women’s museum Bait Al Banat is focused on what role women had in culture, arts, rituals, and generally the whole history of Emirati.
- The Heritage House is exciting since it was a wealthy pearl merchant home, which is turned into a museum.
- Al Ahmadiya School is also a museum; it was the first school ever established in the UAE.
- Deira Perfume Souk: luscious and exotic. You can find Arabic fragrances and even get a personalized perfume made to match your personality and skin type.
A Reminder of What You Need to Try Out in Gold Souk
Shopping is a logical choice, and we discussed it extensively above. There are over 300 retailers, and once again, we want you to stick to shops because of the guaranteed safety.
Remember to bargain because it’s part of the culture, and you can indeed get the lower price for the jewelry you want. You can always lower the charges for the skilled labor, unlike the cost of the gold itself.
Window Shopping is one of a kind experience while you’re at the Gold Souk. It’s fun to see everything from unique pieces of work to fake Gucci items that could easily fool you into believing it’s an original.
Gold To Go is maybe the most fun activity at the Gold Souk since Gold ATM can give you gold bars or custom-made coins (made of gold, of course). The maximum is ten grams of gold bars, and you can use both cash or a card to pay for it. It’s a fun and unique experience, for sure!