Gold and Spice, and Everything Nice

A one-dirham abra ride away from Bur Dubai side of the creek is Deira–the home of Dubai’s famed Spice and Gold Souq. But before you get further there, let the corniche welcome you first! On the creek side, the parked dhows are very much visible. Some of them carry goods that they sell in gray market. At times, it looks chaotic, but who cares, they’re too colorful and lively to ignore.

Also, along the corniche is a footpath wide enough for you to jog at anytime you want, and benches for you to hangout to admire the view of the colorful abras crossing the creek.

Coming from the creek side, cross the street and walk straight to the alley with wooden roofs and you’ll get to the Spice Souq. The aroma of these spices is an obvious hint that you’re already there. Different spices are on display along the souq which can be bought on a very affordable price. Haggling is very much acceptable.

After the souq is a street selling a variety of goods–from abayas, household utensils to souvenirs. There are also sikkas along the Gold Souq that offer a nice selection of local products like Aladdin shoes and beaded bags, and a collection of cheap designer brands (well of course they are imitations).

These camels cost around 25-50 dirhams, depending on the size and material.

Abaya is that long black gown that local women wear. This display of abayas is in a sikka along the spice souq. They also sell hijabs there.

I noticed that you can get more of these Aladdin shoes here in Deira. This is just one shop among the many that I’ve seen in the whole district, well not particularly on this side of Deira. Bur Dubai also have these shoes on sale.

Walk further and on your right is a wooden overhead structure. At daytime, shops are usually closed especially on Fridays. But come here at night during its best and your eyes will be delighted by the sparkle of the gold bling-blings hanging on the windows of a long stretch of jewelry stores – each offering you a good price for a substantial gram of gold plus a complimentary soda or water. Just like any souq in Dubai, well, of UAE for that matter, haggling is very much welcome.

At the end of the covered strip, you’ll get to the Gold Souq Bus Station. On the wooden panel of the Old Gold Souq is an electronic board that shows the daily rate of gold per gram.

The gold shops don’t stop where the wooden structure ends because all these stalls along this street are selling the same items! You have a lot of choices!

Yes this is a building dedicated to gold!

Also, nearby the souq, along the creek, in the stretch of the Al Ahmadiya Street, is the first public school in the country. The Al-Ahmadiya School boasts a two-storey sand-colored traditional Arabian architecture. It was opened in 1912 and shut down on the early 60s. Today, it’s preserved as a museum of education with no entrance fee.

Arabic calligraphy, mathematics and Islam disciplines were taught here. The classrooms look like an architecture school drafting room to me!

After a long walk, you can get out of the place via bus on the nearby Gold Souq Bus Station located at the street across the The Gold Centre building or via abra/water taxi on the creek side. There also exist a pedestrian tunnel that’ll get you to the Bur Dubai side but I don’t recommend it to claustrophobics.

 

Spice Souq
Between Baniyas Road, Al Sabkha Road and Al Abra Street, Creekside Deira

Gold Souq
On and around Sikkat al-Khail Street, Between Souq Deira and Old Baladiya Streets, Creekside Deira

Al Ahmadiya School & Heritage House
Near Gold House Building, Al Khor and Al Ahmadiya Street, Deira, Dubai
+971 4 226 0286

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