Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dubai - Gold Market & Spice Bazaar

Dubai Gold Market is locally known as Dubai Gold Souk, a traditionally market located in the heart of Dubai's commercial business district in Deira, near the locality of Al Dhagaya. The souk consists of over 300 retailers that trade almost exclusively in jewellery.  

It is bordered to the north by the Dubai Fish and Vegetable Market and the Deira Corniche near Baniyas Square at Sikkat al-Khali Street which is walking distance from Deira Bus Stand. Dubai Gold Souk can also be reached by taking the Dubai Metro to Al Ghubaiba and a regular boat from nearby Bur Dubai across the creek. The Dubai Gold Souk is 5 minutes walk from the Old Souk marine station. The entrance to the market can be seen in below photo. There's an ample parking space just across the street and thereafter 1 can get lost in search for his/her destined piece of jewellery. I crave and crave over branded handbags but not the yellow gold. Hence, the market is not the place that I yearn for.

Retailers in the souk include both well established stores like Damas, ARY Jewellery, Shyam Jewellery and Joy Alukkas as well as smaller stores that operate mainly in the gold souk. Approximately, 10 tons of gold is present at any given time in the souk. 

Not bad design to my liking

Trade in the gold grew during the 1940's due to Dubai's free trade policies that encouraged entrepreneurs from India and Iran to set up stores in the souk. Despite a general slump in the global gold market, Dubai's share of value of trade in gold and diamonds to its total non-oil direct trade increased from 18% in 2003, to 24% in 2004. In 2003, the value of trade in gold in Dubai was approximately US$5.8 billion, while trade in diamonds was approximately US$7 billion in 2005. India (not surprising) is Dubai's largest buyer of gold whilst Switzerland was Dubai's largest supplier of gold ingots, wastes and scrap. Similarly, India accounted for approximately 68% of all diamond-related trade in Dubai; Belgium's share in Dubai's diamond trade was about 13%, a statistic in 2005.

The ladies inside must be feeling high with the gold ambiance, but not the lady outside :)

I had more fun while taking a stroll inside the old market, specially dealing with the spices or best known as Dubai Spice Souk. Colors of the spices and nuts are beautiful to my eyes than the golds and diamonds in Dubai Gold Souk. A pity that I do not cook much since 2007 till present, if not, I would have explore the spices ingredients and ventures into cooking a Central Asian food. Perhaps 1 day I should start doing it seriously and may start blogging about it. 

Dubai Spice Souk is a traditional market in eastern Dubai, in Deira and is adjacent to the Dubai Gold Souk. The Spice Souk, situated on Sikkat Al Khail Road, is in the locality of Al Ras. The market comprises several narrow lanes which are lined with open and closed-roof stores.

Stores in the Spice Souk 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 artefact's are also available in the Spice Souk. A majority of the trading occurs through haggling. The quantity of trade as well as the number of stores trading spices in the Spice Souk have been significantly reduced in recent years due to the growth larger stores and supermarkets. Nevertheless this area are a famous tourist attraction.

I entered a cool shaded shop just to take 5 minutes break from the hot weather. Inside, I met 2 wealthy looking locals who merely sat there discussing business. Both of them are friendly enough to chat with me by asking so many question. Likewise, I throw them few unimportant question and asked if they don't mind having photos with me.  

Tadaaa, a picture of me with the 2 of them whom I guessed must be filthy rich. Hahaha....

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