While Dubai is most famous for its skyscrapers, luxury resorts, and incredible malls there is another side to Dubai which is equally impressive and enjoyable. While most of what you picture as Dubai has been built in the last 20 years the city actually has a long and rich history. One of the most enjoyable ways to dive into that history is to head down to the local Souks which are outdoor markets. Despite the brutal heat and humidity we decided to check out the local spice market. A winding warren of small partially covered streets the spice market, clothing market, house supplies market, gold and silver markets all blend together in a wonderful mixture of goods, people, smells and experiences. Each spice stand is overflowing with tubs and 50kg sacks of dried goods, spices, and minerals. Each a vibrant but distinctly different color ranging from rich blues to rust-colored oranges. The vendors were mostly fairly polite, though some still fall back into the attempts at high-pressure sales that you might expect.
Dubai’s old souks are a must-see part of any visit to Dubai. Not only are they enjoyable in their own right, but they serve as a wonderful way to frame the contrasts between Old Dubai and New.
Dubai is also a convenient stop over location if you are visiting the Indian Ocean. I recently swapped stories with Charles Duncombe, director of Holidays Please as he went to Dubai and the Maldives on his honeymoon. He said, “Because Dubai is relatively modest in size we crammed loads in within just a few days. There is so much variety, as one day I was sand dune surfing and the next I was indoor skiing with 90 degree outside temperatures! It’s also pretty affordable at the moment with the number of hotels that have been built recently. At the risk of a shameless plug our site has found Dubai Holidays starting under $100 a night on an accommodation only basis.”