Trading at the Old Markets of Dubai, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is known for its glamour and exotic attractions. A seven star hotel? Fantastic water parks? World class shopping? Yes – it has all that. It also has one of the more original markets that existed in the Middle East that is often overlooked by it’s millions of visitors. We set out today to look at the old markets and souq’s of Dubai in Deira; Dubai’s original city center and home of it’s traditional roots.
This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: The Khors of Oman, Cherry Blossoms in Japan, & Pirogies in Poland. Round the World #2 via Star Alliance Business Class on ANA, Thai, Etihad, Turkish & Lufthansa.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Trans-border
- Air Canada Express: Vancouver – Seattle
- United Club Lounge Sea-Tac, Seattle, Washington, USA
- The Club at SEA Lounge, “S” Concourse, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Washington, USA
- ANA Staggered Business Class: Seattle – Tokyo Narita
- ANA Arrivals Lounge – Tokyo Narita
- The Westin Tokyo
- Meiji Jingu Shine & Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan
- The Imperial Palace and Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan
- Tsukiji Fish Market and Ginza Shopping, Tokyo, Japan
- Cherry Blossoms and a Night out in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
- ANA Lounge, Narita Terminal One, Tokyo, Japan
- Asiana Airlines Business Class, Tokyo Narita – Seoul Incheon
- Hyatt Regency Incheon
- Asiana Business Lounge, Terminal One Concourse, Seoul Incheon
- Thai Airways Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Bangkok Survharnabhumi
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa, Bangkok Survharnabhumi
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge, Bangkok Survharnabhumi
- Thai Airways Business Class: Bangkok Survharnabhumi – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House Apartments, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- At the Top, Visiting the Worlds’ Tallest Observation Deck, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Trading at Old Markets of Dubai, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Pearl Business Lounge, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Pearl Business, Abu Dhabi – Muscat
- Shangri-La Barr al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat, Oman
- Shopping at Mutrah Souq & The Corniche at Muscat, Oman
- Spotting Underwater Turtles in Bandar Jissah, Yiti, Oman
- Plaza Premium Lounge, Muscat, Oman
- Etihad Airways Pearl Business Class, Muscat – Abu Dhabi
- The Four Points by Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Lufthansa Senator Lounge, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Dubai International Business Lounge, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Turkish Airlines Business Class, Dubai – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
- Swiss Airlines Business Class, Istanbul – Zurich
- Swiss Airlines Senator Lounge “A”, Zurich, Switzerland
- Swiss Airlines Business Class, Zurich – Warsaw
- The Hotel Bristol, Warsaw, Poland
- Strolling Old Town Warsaw, Poland
- Visiting the Remains of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Parks of Warsaw, Poland
- LOT Business Lounge, Warsaw, Poland
- Lufthansa Business Class, Warsaw – Munich
- Lufthansa Business Class, Munich – Vancouver
Activity: Trading at The Old Markets of Dubai, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The region of Deira is the traditional historic center of Dubai. It represents an area of Dubai that still functions without the commercial gilts and glamour that is represented in new Dubai. While it is similar to markets like the Souq Wahif in Doha, Qatar, it’s still an interesting perspective on life in Dubai. For a taste of old Dubai, we made it a point to visiting Deira, Dubai for a taste of yesterday.
Getting to Deira, Dubai:
We took the Dubai Metro from The Grosvenor House over to the Deira area of Dubai. From the metro, it was a short walk to the old market.
Visiting the Deira market:
The market contains almost four hundred stores. Many of the stores are related to the gold trade in the area and the appropriately named Gold Souq. The market is mostly of an open air variety, with many streets, lanes and alleyways where trading occurs.
There are some areas of the market that offer covered streets. This is great for beating the warm sun of the Middle East. There is also an opportunity to see the configuration of the older buildings with the built in air conditioning through roof top vents.
In addition to Gold, there are a variety of fresh spices that are available. These are traditionally displayed in appealing containers outside of the individual stores. While the displays can get elaborate with cylindrical towers, at most places they were in the traditional bulk bins.
Riding an Abra Water Taxi – Deira Ferry Ride:
A visit to Deira also offers one of the best local ferry rides in Dubai. Similar to riding the Star Ferry in Hong Kong, any visitor to Deira can ride the local Abra local ferry ride. The fare is typically 1 AED (0.28 USD), making it the best value transportation in Dubai.
The ride starts with hopping on the Abra from the market side, and taking it across the river. It’s a first come first served type of transportation, so you can be expected to squeeze on with your neighbours.
Once you get underway, there are better views on the water. It’s always a little cooler from the city heat out on the water and this river was no exception.
The rewards for getting to the other side, are fantastic falafel and hummus restaurant at Al Medina. We previously visited on our last trip through the area and enjoyed ourselves greatly.
My Thoughts on a Visit to Deira, Dubai:
The streets and alleys of Deira represent a time long ago in Dubai. It’s a more authentic experience that can bring the traveler back to what Dubai may have been like prior to all of the glamour and luxury that the United Arab Emirates brand represents today. While it may not be the first item on anyone’s sightseeing list, if you’re looking for a more traditional experience, this would be among the better places to start.
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