Dubai is one of the most favorite places among tourists as it is the city of beautiful skyscrapers, deluxe hotels, extraordinary World Islands and several other entertaining locations. However, one of the reasons to attract the tourists is its title of “City of Gold”. Since the world’s most popular gold market, known as Gold Souk, is in Dubai, the city has been given the title of City of Gold.
When I wrote my post Shopping in Deira, I deliberately avoid the discussion on Gold Souk as it required a separate post on itself.
Gold Souk is located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial business district Deira, near Baniyas Square. It consists of over 600 gold jewelry shops in the narrow streets. The shops in the souk include both entrenched gold shops such as Damas, ARY Jewelry, Prima Gold, and Joy Allukas Jewelry as well as smaller gold shops. The windows of all the shops of Gold Souk sparkle with the variety of gold ornaments. Windows of each shop are packed out with gold necklaces, rings, bangles, pendants, and earrings. It has been estimated that about 25 tons of gold is present at any particular time in the souk. Besides gold, the souk also has several precious stones that are sold in the market. The Dubai Fish and Vegetable Market and the Deira Corniche are situated in the north of Gold Souk.
During 1940s, trade in the gold souk largely grew because of Dubai’s free trade policies. These policies greatly encouraged entrepreneurs from India and Iran to set up shops in the souk. Regardless of a general slouch in the global gold market, Dubai’s share of value of trade in gold and diamonds to its total non-oil direct trade is continuously increasing.
Gold Souk has two gold markets named as old souk and the new souk. Both of them display same variety of gold ornaments in different shades and colors. Some of the shades include yellow, pink, purple, and white. In the souk, most of the gold jewelry is 24 carat and none is less than 18 carat. The prices of the gold are found to be the lowest in the world. Since the gold prices change everyday, the prices are displayed only on the main shops, which are obtained from The National Bank of Dubai. The UAE government sets the daily gold prices. In addition, the prices of gold are based on weights and not per piece.
Gold Souk is a worth seeing place and you should visit the place even if you do not have any intention to buy anything. The best time to visit the place is evening as this the perfect time to go from one shop to another. In each shop, you will see a wide range of long gold chains and other ornaments that you had never seen before. These gold ornaments are so beautiful that it becomes quite irresistible to touch them with your hands.
However, if you want to shop from the Gold Souk then morning is the best time. This will allow you to carefully check the selected item whether there are any flaws and rough edges on it. After checking, bargain with the shopkeepers as they usually tell high prices. Checking the prices of the selected item from other shops can also allow you to get reasonable priced item. Lastly, purchase the selected item by carefully watching the scale.
The Gold Souk opens at 10 am to 1 pm and then reopens at 4 pm to 10 pm. However, on Fridays, the market remains closed in the morning and opens in the afternoon.