The Spice Souk is one of the most popular souks in Dubai. The narrow passages of this old market are lined with small stores selling every herb and spice under the sun.
The air is filled with pungent aromas emanating from colourful sacks of cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and dried fruits. Fresh stocks arrive every day, transported by dhow from countries such as India, Pakistan, and Iran.
Store sell a variety of spices but some specialise in saffron, the most expensive spice in the world.
Most of the traders are from Iran. You’ll need to haggle with them to get good prices. Their first offer is always in excess of the market rate, especially when the customer is a tourist. Don’t be scared. Bargaining is expected.
The souk is open every day of the week. Opening hours are 10 am to 10 pm Saturday to Thursday (some close between 1 pm and 4 pm) and 4 pm to 10 pm on Friday.
The Spice Souk is located in the Deira area of Dubai, near the junction of Baniyas Road and Old Baladiya Road.
A more interesting way to get to the Spice Souk is to take an abra (small boat) across the Dubai Creek. The fare is very cheap. Deira Old Souk Abra Station is nearby. Abras go from here to Bur Dubai Abra Station.
Tourist attractions and things to do near Spice Souk include:
- Dubai Museum (0.3 miles) - Offers a fascinating insight into the city's heritage and culture
- Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (0.3 miles) - Offers numerous tours and activities
- Heritage and Diving Village (0.4 miles) - Living museums where visitors can look back in time and explore Dubai's past
- Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House (0.5 miles) - Once the home of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai between 1912 and 1958
Places to shop near Spice Souk include:
- Gold Souk (0.2 miles) - Large number of shops selling jewellery
- Perfume Souk (0.2 miles) - Offers perfumes and fragrances
- Old Souk (0.3 miles) - Traditional market in Bur Dubai
Restaurants and places to eat and drink near Spice Souk include:
- Bayt Al Wakeel (0.3 miles) - Seafood restaurant in the Textile Souk. Outside dining deck with great views of the Dubai Creek. Good place to watch the abras.
- XVA Cafe (0.3 miles) - Courtyard restaurant at the XVA Art Hotel. Peaceful atmosphere. Offers vegetarian Arabic dishes.
- Arabian Tea House (0.3 miles) - Outdoor cafe in Bur Dubai. Relaxed courtyard setting with tables shaded by canopies. Offers more than 100 varieties of tea from all corners of the globe. Food menu includes Arabic breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, and BBQ dishes.
- Sherlock Holmes English Pub (0.3 miles) - British-style pub at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel. Offers British pub food (fish and chips, shepherd’s pie etc.) plus curries and pasta. Opposite the Dubai Museum. Live music, happy hour, and ladies nights.
- Mumtaz Mahal Indian Speciality Restaurant (0.3 miles) - Indian restaurant at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel. Licensed to serve alcohol.
- Rangoli (0.5 miles) - Vegetarian Indian restaurant in Meena Bazaar. Cheap. Best known for its Gujarati Thali (platter).
- Karachi Darbar (0.5 miles) - Cheap restaurant offering a variety of Pakistani, Indian, and Chinese dishes.
Hotels near Spice Souk include:
- Buraq Hotel by Gemstones (0.1 miles)
- OYO 261 Remas Hotel Apartment (0.2 miles)
- St George Hotel (0.2 miles)
- OYO 314 24 Gold Hotel (0.2 miles)
- Royal Creek Hotel (0.3 miles)
- OYO 329 Down Town Hotel (0.3 miles)
- Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa (0.3 miles)
- Sun City International Hotel (0.3 miles)
- Grand Nova Hotel (0.4 miles)
- Mariana Hotel (0.4 miles)
- New Avon Hotel (0.4 miles)
- Al Khaleej Grand Hotel (0.4 miles)
- OYO 339 Vienna Hotel (0.4 miles)
- OYO 157 Al Khaima Hotel (0.4 miles)
- Best Western Plus Pearl Creek (0.5 miles)
Map showing location of Spice Souk.
Click here for a detailed map showing all points of interest.
United Arab Emirates