I usually take my visitors to see Old Dubai and the area around Dubai Creek during one of their first days down here, as my experience is that if they first discover the malls, I’ll lose them forever, and they’ll be spending the rest of their vacation chasing indoor ski slopes and designer sales.
Tina wasn’t too keen about it to start with (“it’s far away, it’s hot and I don’t want to cover up”), but I didn’t take no for an answer and Saturday morning, I dragged her all the way to Deira and the Spice souk.
Even though the visitors in the souk are mostly tourists, the vibe is completely different from other tourist-dense areas in the city, and I love the narrow streets and the tantalizing scents from the spice bags in front of the small shops.
I usually end up buying lots of things I do not need, nor know how to use, as the vendors’ persuasion skills are excellent and they can convince anyone that 100g of saffron/curry/rubber ducks will make their lives so much better. Though this time, we just walked through the souk without engaging in any bargaining, even though I was tempted to buy some of that gorgeous-smelling chai blend.
We skipped the gold souk, which is next to the Spice Souk and crossed the creek in one of the old abras (traditional wooden boats). The ride is only 1AED per person and includes magnificent views of the surrounding souk areas on both sides. On the Bur Dubai side of the creek, we first took a short walk through the textile souk. I’m usually not bothered by the vendors trying to persuade you to buy their goods. That’s part of the game when you’re in the souk, and most times, just shaking your head will make them understand that you’re not interested. However, I’ve often found the vendors inside the textile souk really insisting, and this time, they were so pushy, we decided to leave early, as we had pashminas thrown at us from all sides. Anyway, it was still a fun experience, and Tina told me later that she, after all, was happy that we went.
For lunch, we headed to the restaurant Local House, which is famous for its camel burger. We both came with the intention of trying the burger, but once there, none of us were in the mood for camel meat anyway, so we ordered two camel milkshakes instead. Tina had one with strawberry, which tasted like any other strawberry milkshake but I had one with mango, which was very thick and served lukewarm. I couldn’t finish it, but I’m sure it would have been tasty, had it been served ice cold.
Every time I visit this area I promise myself that I should go there more often as it is such a nice area and a good reminder that Dubai is so much more than signature restaurants and gold plated Bentleys. Unfortunately, it’s quite a long drive from the Marina, and I’m a lazy animal, so I usually only go there, when we have visitors. I’ll try to change that, I promise..
Visiting Dubai? Read my blog posts about top things to do in Dubai