One of the days we were in Dubai, we decide to do our own city discovery so early in the morning. We caught a cab and asked to be dropped in one of the souks. Souk means market in Arabic. The cab dropped us in a gold souk.
Gold, Spice and Utensils souk
One of the reason I wanted to go to the gold souk is because it was recommended by everyone on the internet. Even though I am not into gold, I was thought, if the place was reasonably cheap, we could buy a piece for my mom and mother in law but once I was there I was just overwhelmed.
The souk is located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Dhagaya. The souk consists of over 300 retailers that trade almost exclusively in jewellery.
As soon as I got out of the cab, even at 9am in the morning it was humid and hot. Lucky we had some water with us. Once we paid the cab, an Indian looking man came over and asked if we want some bags, watches or t-shirt. From what I read from reviews, I knew he was trying to sell us fake stuffs so we declined and entered the Gold Souk.
OMG I was going crazy seeing so much gold on display in the windows. Seriously, the amount of money that costs to buy those jewelleries must be in the millions. Every shop display was filled in gold with big and chucky gold items. There were a few which had silver and diamonds but most of them were of just gold. I have seen gold shops in Nepal and India but they were nothing close to the ones in the souk. Also I realised that most of the bangles, jewel laden necklaces, rings were in Indian style.
After doing some window shopping for a while and being hassled by many more men to buy their fake product, we finally decided to go inside one of the shops. We had a rough idea on how much the gold was in the international market so I asked to see a 5gm gold coin. I realised that it was not as cheap as we expected. The price of the gold pieces is based on the price of gold by gram, plus the price of the workmanship. So AS and I decided that it was not worth buying anything from there for our mothers and left. In Nepal, they prefer ornaments made of 22carat gold but most of the ready-made items there were 18 carat gold.
For me, even if I didn’t buy anything, we were happy with my visit to the place and a few photos. After that we decided to find the spice markets. It was not very far from the gold market and surprisingly we also found a Utensils markets.
The Spice Souk, situated on Sikkat Al Khail Road, is in the locality of Al Ras. The souk comprises several narrow lanes which are lined with open and closed-roof stores that sell a variety of fragrances and spices from frankincense and shisha to the many herbs used in Arabic and South Asian food. In addition, several textiles, incense, rugs and artefacts are also sold in the Spice Souk. The air around the souk was very aromatic.
As we were walking away from the Spice Souk, without buying anything as Australia has strict quarantine rules and we didn’t want to get into the hassle of explaining every product, we stumbled onto a Utensil Souk.
I think we spent well over 2 hours in these souks and both of us were getting very tired and hot. For the first time, I could feel the heat of Dubai. Our initial plan was to go to Deira creek but we changed our mind and went to Deira City Centre. Yap more shopping. Just took a cab and went to the cool and air-conditioned shopping mall.
Deira City Centre
Deira City Centre is one of many malls in Dubai which has retail outlets, restaurants, entertainment facilities and a hotel. We went to a coffee shop and had a cake and coffee, rested for some time and then went shopping. In the end, we had our lunch there as well. It was an Arabic restaurant and the food was really good. In that restaurant for the first time, AS had a non- alcoholic beer. He was telling me that it tasted exactly like a normal beer but just didn’t have any alcohol in it.
When we did a tour of Dubai, one of the places they took us to was Dubai Land. They are planning to make this big and amazing theme park and as it is going to be in Dubai, it is going to be the world’s biggest theme park when it is finished in 2020. It is estimated to cost 64.3 billion.
The project will feature cultural facilities with structures based on famous sites and the architectural marvels of the world, such as the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Spread over an area of 4 million square metres, it is shaped to represent the falcon, emblematic of the UAE’s heritage. In addition to that the project will consist of a full function Pharaohs Theme Park with multiple white-knuckle rides and roller coasters, Islamic Culture & Science World.
So basically after 2020, if you are thinking of going on a holiday and can’t afford to go to Paris to see Eiffel tower, China to see great wall of China, Peru to see Machu Picchu and India to see Taj Mahal or any other wonder of the world, just go to Dubai land and you will be able to see the exact replica of everything in their original size. I really think Dubai is planning to take over the world’s tourism after 2020.
When I went to the room where there was the display of the model of Dubai Land, I was really impressed. –
We went to the Dubai Marina as a part of our tour as well. It is an artificial canal city, carved along a two-mile (3 km) stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. It is the largest man-made marina in the world. It has a number of five-star hotels, commercial properties and residential area. There are so many outdoor cafes and restaurants and has a lively vibe that it’s remarkably pleasant to stroll down the pedestrian strip. The area has a stunning water feature that opens out in the widest part of the marina where you can eat al fresco capturing the excellent views and soak up the ambience.
I also noticed that in the marina there were lots of yachts docked. Definitely a place for the rich and famous.
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