Dubai Gold Souk
Dubai has been long known as the City of Gold for good reason, despite the fact that majority of its gold is imported from Asia and neighbouring countries. Gold in Dubai is the cheapest in the world. Add to this Dubai's special tax-free shopping status, and you have what has become the Middle East's hotspot for buying gold jewelry.
The Dubai Gold Souk is a traditional market located at the core of commercial business district in Deira, eastern Dubai. The souk accommodates more than 300 retailers exclusively trading in jewelry. Among the retailers are both the well-established stores like Damas, Joy Alukkas Jewlry and ARY Jewelry, and also smaller stores that operate exclusively. Approximately 25 tonnes of gold are displayed in the windows of more than 600 shops at any given time.
There are two gold markets in Dubai, the Old Gold Souk and the new one. Both are in the same locality and located close to each other and have similar offerings. The New Dubai Gold Souk is a two-storey building, while the old one is an area scattered with jewelry shops. To get a flavour of the old city, first-time visitors are encouraged to visit the Old Gold Souk before visiting the New Gold Souk.
Gold sold in both souk markets are based on weight. This makes it possible to purchase gold from famous designers at incredibly low prices. The final price of purchase depends on the customers bargaining skills, since items are not tagged. The variety and range of designs of jewelry range from the old and conservative to sleek and modern. Different gold hues are also on offer: yellow, white, purple and even pink. Many of these traditional gold merchants can also create custom-made items.
A popular time to visit the Dubai Gold Souk is during Dubai Shopping Festival, when this largely tourist area is alive with activity. The evenings are when the shops are well lit, allowing for the gold to really shine, and the glittering array usually stays open until 10pm. However, note that transportation can prove to be a nightmare, especially during peak hours. It's best to go down to Creek in Bur Dubai and take an Abra, or water taxi, and then walking the 5 minutes from the Spice Souk station.
Nowhere in the world will you see a city of gold like Dubai at night. It is truly an amazing sight.