‘Smell the sweet Iranian rose and cinnamon linger in the spice souks and let the old town breath it’s serenity over you’
A highlight of our Dubai trip was definitely the old part of town, the Al Bastayka region. After exploring the whimsical streets, we crossed the creek with a boat taxi for 25 cents to the spice & gold souk. We were in search for the perfect pair of Arabian slippers and wanted to bring home lots of Middle Eastern spices full of ethnic sweetness. This part of Dubai is like a step back in time, a beautiful more down-to-earth contrast from the otherwise grand moderness and is for sure, worth the visit.
The souk had an amazing selection of tealeaves, everything from different roses, lavender, sunflower, hibiscus, sana leaf etc. We bought lots of healing green teas and bags of lavender and rose pubs for garnishing deserts. From the spices we purchased saffron, Arabian curry, masala, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon sticks, dates and sweet paprika.
We both found some soft leather slippers, very Aladdin style that makes the most comfortable slippers for home. My hubby found rusty red ones and I got colourful ones with little pompoms and pointy toes.
In the souks, each stall owner will try to push a sale through, which can be quite frustrating. However don’t be alarmed by their forceful and sometimes pushy behaviour, it’s part of the souk culture. Easiest is to ignore and walk right through otherwise you will easily be convinced to stop at every stall and make sure to bargain with the prices.
The gold souk had stores lined up with jewellery and everything and anything made from gold. Admire the statement necklaces on the windows and get lost in all the shiny glory. We skimmed through the gold souk but didn’t purchase anything from there and returned back to Al bastikaya for a Middle Eastern lunch again at Arabian teahouse. I ended up buying an alliance ring from the airport instead of the gold souk. From the old town, we purchased an Arabian coffee pot and enjoyed its quietness much more than the buzzing and sometimes overwhelming souks. I personally feel the souk is a great place to find spices; it’s easiest to find one store where you purchase everything and bargain a set price for all.
The old town is visually esthetic and I love all the detailing and shapes in the architecture
An acquired taste is Arabic coffee made from rosewater and cardamom and naturally, a chocolate covered date for desert
A funny story about this dress is that it is my mother-in-laws old wedding dress and I found it perfect in style for the conservative Dubai