Dubai Spice Souk
Dubai Spice Souk
3.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Shopping at Traditional Souks, such as Dubai Spice Souks, exposes travelers to Arab style marketplaces where goods are bought and sold. Bargaining allows you to acquire different commodities, such as spice, gold, textiles and perfumes.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Tours & experiences
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The area
Neighbourhood: Deira
How to get there
  • Al Ras • 5 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • TravelingSoccerLoon
    Saint Paul, Minnesota5,385 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    It's a Flea Market with Pushy Vendors
    Visting the Old Souk area including the Spice Souk left me somewhat disappointed. It's fun to take an Abra across the Dubai Creek and this is a good place to pick up some inexpensive souvenirs, but the souk did not provide the exotic or energetic experience that I was expecting. It is essentially a flea market similar to that you can find in many large cities but here with pushy and annoying vendors who will constantly pester you as you try to enjoy the experience.
    Visited November 2022
    Written 24 July 2023
  • らわ
    Manchester, United Kingdom1,694 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Variety of spices, remember to haggle
    I don’t cook anything other than basic stuff like omelettes, so my knowledge of spice is zero. However my mum who likes to cook and use a variety of spices understood and enjoyed this. The Saffron is dirt cheap here. Especially if you bargain, as it’s like 10 times more expensive in the UK. The shop we bought, pure saffron 2 grams for 50 Durhams. You can probably get it cheaper elsewhere but the spices here are plentiful and affordable compared to the West.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 26 November 2023
  • Dfobs2011
    Chicago, Illinois1 contribution
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spice shopping at the market
    I agree with others it’s a highly pressured area regarding sales. You can be over charged. It’s almost like switch and bait. They talk rapidly with a smile and are playing a game at all times. I was overcharged, however I was able to get some cash back. It was a hassle, you must get receipts ( they don’t itemize) bills. Don’t go unless you’re up for haggling over prices and keeping them to their prices and do your own conversion. Don’t leave before you have receipts and reviewed them. The atmosphere is charged with excitement, but be careful when shopping.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 December 2023
  • zuv
    Bucharest, Romania35,573 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mixed impressions
    A mixture of impressions. Beauty mixed with trash. Mix all kinds of flavors and colors that catch your eye. Harassing and impatient merchants who persistently try to make you buy something. Dozens of stands, labyrinthine alleys. Beautiful? I don't know... But it's an experience worth trying.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 15 December 2023
  • M M
    Perth, Australia2 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Watch out!
    Nice place to experience the busy Arabic market but all the stores are very similar and some of the shop staff will grab child’s hand to stop you at their store. We were very interested to buy something but we got too annoyed, tried to ignore them and kept walking past the shops. Some shop will lure you in with a cheap price of something. We were going to buy a nice Arabic bowl but that was his trick to bring us in to the store and offered other staff which we were not interested. He didn’t give up trying to sell more stuff, so we just left the store without buying anything. Watch out!
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 March 2024
  • DutchMachine
    Calgary, Canada546 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place for souvenirs
    Great place for some souvenirs. Yes there's a lot of pressure sales people, but a simple "no thank you" was enough for most. Cool atmosphere. Make sure you do some research on prices of the spices you want to buy so that you can pay a fair price. Their first offer is most definitely outrageous and overpriced. Do some homework, and you'll enjoy the place.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles1,893 reviews
Excellent
360
Very good
633
Average
498
Poor
211
Terrible
191

Alice H
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Business
Do not ever go here. Not worth your time or money. Felt super ripped off after leaving. Part of it was my fault for feeling bad that I stayed inside the shop for so long and tried a lot of spices and the seller was so nice. But please do not be fooled by how nice they are to you cause they just want to take all your money from you. I bought 4 bags of TINY spices and paid 280AED. With that price at home I could buy 10 big bags of them that I’ll never finish. Don’t be fooled. I felt bad and wasn’t good at haggling but I’m warning you here to not even waste your time here.
Written 11 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MALGOSIA1968
Windsor, Canada101 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Spice Souk would be an amazing place if local merchants would STOP harrasing the visitors. At times it is vey scary as the merchants follow you and persist you buy their product. They will go as far as tracking you down which they did to me so you could buy as their proposed price of 1800 AED was lowered to 100 AED which was still too much. Merchants trying to sell you even Iphone 11 asking 400 USD. Selling knock off purses and watches. This would be great place to visit and visitors would buy if we would not be harrased. Hop On Hop Off bus drops you off at the Spice Souk.
Written 13 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lauren K
Santa Barbara, CA94 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
I really, really thought this would be authentic and was so excited. Please look around to see any locals buying product. You will only find locals aggressively trying to get you into their stalls or putting scarfs on you, as you walk. The exceptions are the locals that follow you trying to quietly sell you fake designer purses. I never support knock offs. They are made in illegal factories with horrid labor practices and environmental nightmares.
If you buy anything from the stalls, watch your charges before you pay. They tried to charge us $100 more total than quoted prices (per 100 grams). I spent about $40 on mediocre quality spices. Each stall was exactly the same. The tour guide takes you to their chosen one to get their commission. Just stay at the pool and avoid the cheap gold items and the old spices. So disappointed in this place. I would suggest talking to the chef at your hotel if you are interested in pure, high quality spices. I don’t plan to return to Dubai. It was a 27 hour layover. Next trip, I will spend the extra time in Perth and choose a different, shorter route home. Sorry, I’m usually not so negative. It’s just not easy to see through all the glitter and hype. I hope this helps.
Written 9 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephdickie
Gibraltar11 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Family
The area is very interesting architecturally etc but be very careful in the souks especially with what price gets put in to the machine when paying by card. Ask how much before you agree. Don’t take anything offered “free”. Keep hold of your children- ask male children to keep hands in their pockets and female teens keep between parents please. Have one very upset girl after this visit.
Written 20 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephan
14 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
Lots of shops offering all kinds of spices, tees, dried fruits, etc. However, prices are ridiculous, even if you negotiate heavily. We walked out of a shop after having negotiated for some 15 min when the price for some tea remained about 4x the price for the same quantity of top quality tee at Waitrose in the Dubai Mall.
Also, you have no chance looking at displays, or even just have a walk, without being constantly approached by sellers. It really is annoying.
If you are staying a few days in Dubai, you may want to have a look at the souk. But don't expect too much and in particular, don't expect it to be relaxing.
Written 10 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Netssy
Aldridge, UK7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Recently visited both the spice and gold souks with my husband as we wanted the local experience.

We bought a few spices that we later realised we could have bought from a local supermarket at a fraction of the price.

You also find that all the stall holders are aggressive at their selling, youd need to be firm and remain polite at the same time.
Written 19 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Apple D
Antipolo City, Philippines64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
I read a lot of negative reviews. I don’t blame them, the sellers are aggressive and it can be daunting if you don’t know how to haggle (which I was concerned prior to going). I think we got lucky to have a local friend bring us to the souk so we never got ripped off. I suggest you should somehow know how much the prices are (or how much you are willing to pay for) in order to appreciate the beauty of the souq. We got quoted 3x the price at times! If you are not with a local, I learned there is no harm in haggling because the sellers are already expecting this. Also, ask around, don’t buy at the first shop you see, there are loads inside selling the same stuff and come back. Some shops allow you to taste their products. That way you’ll know more or less the correct pricing or if you really like the product. If in doubt walkaway. They will follow you and offer lower. You will be surprised how cheap the merch are! In fact, I wish I did not hold back in shopping. The souq is clean and even with so much spices it never gets heady.
Written 10 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trek789729
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
Please be careful. I was charged AED 1,800 for just few spices and the cashier asked for my credit card as I did not have enough cash. I ended up paying AED 1,070 cash in 1 spice shop. Please ask how much is the item before even they pack. After packed they will demand you pay for it if not they won't let you out of the shop.
Written 22 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ellene_santos
92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
Spice heaven! The blending of different aroma is soooooo addicting.

Note - we came from Dubai Museum and then went straight here via 5 minute boat ride. Also - the spice vendors can be too persuasive , so stick to your bargaining skills.

Enjoy!
Written 14 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin M
Newtown, Pennsylvania, United States240 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The Spice and Gold Souqs are Dubai at its most raw. Two things stuck out at me the most when my tour group brought us here: the unique assortment of spices, dresses, and other bric-a-brac for sale, and the many strange things the vendors will say to try to get your attention. My favourite was when one of them called me "Jack Sparrow". Eventually, though, you start seeing the same mass-produced souvenirs every few stores, so even that novelty wears off. Unless you're into shopping, or otherwise consider yourself adventurous, I wouldn't recommend these souqs.

Note: If you're buying saffron, do your research into what the real thing is like, and expect to pay more for it.
Written 31 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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DUBAI SPICE SOUK (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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