THE MODERN MALLS
The premiere list includes the Dubai Mall, 440,000 square feet of shopping that includes Fashion Avenue, home to almost every major fashion brand available; Mall of the Emirates with its indoor skiing resort; and Wafi Mall one of the most opulent and elegant shopping centers in Dubai and home to the Khan Murjan Souq.
THE OLD SOUQS
The souqs are located along both sides of historic Dubai Creek in the neighborhoods of Deira and Bur Dubai. Here in the Textile, Spice and Gold Souqs you will find a virtual cacophony of men’s and women’s fashions, jewelry, textile, restaurants and just about anything you can imagine – and then some. And for the very adventurous, there is the Fish & Vegetable Souq. Did you read about my first adventure there?
Tuck your packages under your arm and move on to the Spice Souq by making your way back to the entrance of the Textile Souq and crossing the street to the abra boat stands. For only 1 dhs (about $.37) you can take an abra across Dubai Creek to Deira. The trip is a lovely cool respite with a panoramic view of the Creek, an intricate part of the city’s commerce as it has been since the early 1800s. Small boats loaded with goods come and go from neighboring Arab countries just as they have for centuries.
|JP Griffin and Yousuf|
After you have completed your purchases, take a few moments to wander around the souq. The fragrances in the dark cool alleyways are just luscious. The large bags of spices that line the walls just beckon you with their aromas. . . cinnamon . . . cardamom . . . turmeric . . . red pepper . . . curry . . . not only are they scrumptious to smell, the array of color is a delight for the eyes.
Whether your bank account is robust or not, you must check out the Gold Souq. Ask anyone for directions. It is just a short walk away.
You can just see regal Arabian Sheikhas dripping in some of these startling creations at weddings and formal events. For more casual wear, tasteful gold bangles, necklaces and simpler designs are sure to catch your eye.
FISH & VEGETABLE SOUQ
If you are still in the neighborhood around lunch and are feeling brave, visit the Fish & Vegetable Souq to pick out some nice fresh seafood to enjoy. Jump in a cab for a short ride to the souq. Next to the souq is the Grill & Shark Restaurant that will cook your purchase.
Be aware that “restaurant” isn’t always an exact translation. This establishment is happy to fry your seafood but it is strictly a take-a-way meal. No seating is available. But the freshness of the seafood makes it all worth the effort.