Dubai has a reputation for being a city of all that glitters. And indeed, it is a rich place.
It’s a major global trading hub and a magnet for illicit gold flows. Lax regulation, a favorable geographic location between Asia and Africa, and free trade zones facilitate smuggling and money laundering.
Deira Gold Souk
The Deira Gold Souk is a must-see shopping destination when visiting Dubai. This old souk is full of gold shops that offer everything from decorations to customised jewellery. Some of the jewellery is studded with precious stones such as rubies and emeralds. The prices at the Gold Souk are cheaper than in mall jewellery stores. The Gold Souk also offers tax free shopping for tourists. You can ask the shopkeeper to scan your passport and label your purchases with a tax-free tag.
The shop owners at the Deira Gold Souk are very knowledgeable, so don’t be afraid to bargain. However, remember that you are dealing with a business and the shop owner wants to sell. You may be able to negotiate a lower price by buying in large quantities. In addition, try to visit the Deira Gold Souk on a weekday because demand is higher during weekends.
Whether you are looking for a small piece of gold or an extravagant golden ring, the Deira Gold Souk has something for everyone. Some shops sell gold by the gram, while others have a more traditional structure and charge by the karat. The prices are generally cheaper at smaller stores in the souk because they have less overhead.
Another tip for scoring a better deal is to pay in cash rather than by card. The gold sellers at the Deira Gold Souk are very honest and will let you know if they are overcharging.
Al Fahidi Fort
In contrast to the skyscrapers, luxury and modernity that make up most of Dubai, this fort offers a glimpse into its ancient past. The earliest tower of this fort dates back to 1787 and it served multiple purposes over the years including as the local ruler’s residence, military headquarters and even a jail before it was turned into a museum in 1971.
The galleries inside the fort showcase how life was in the emirate before oil was discovered. Colorful dioramas and models of historic Arab houses, mosques, date groves, desert and sea life work in concert with audio and light effects to bring the fort’s history to life. Among the highlights is a life-size model of a dhow and a gallery dedicated to the dhow’s ancestors that depicts scenes of life on board along with old scales and sieves used by pearl divers.
While the fort is open all year, the best time to visit is from September to March as temperatures are low and comfortable. It is a good idea to wear light cotton clothes and bring sunglasses, water and hats when visiting the fort as it involves a lot of walking around. The fort is well-connected by public transport and is also easily accessible by car. It is also a short walk from several hotels in Dubai such as the XVA Art Hotel and the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Curio Collection by Hilton.
Dubai Museum, located in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the history of the United Arab Emirates. The museum offers an enlightening tour of the region’s past by curating coins from various eras and geographical regions. It also has a special section dedicated to gold and pearls, showcasing the region’s rich culture.
The structure is made from stainless steel and glass, and features a unique curved design. Its slanted surfaces are covered with Arabic calligraphy, and the oblong shape of the building has no internal pillars. The structure’s 1,024 panels are a reference to digital technology, as they correspond to the number of bytes in a kilobyte. The architect, Killa Design, wanted to create a space that would blend art and poetry with advanced technological innovation.
In addition to allowing visitors to experience what life will be like in 2071, the museum will showcase a range of other interactive experiences, including outer space exploration and a digital simulation of the Amazon rainforest. The museum will also feature exhibits about the impact of climate change on Earth and health and wellness.
In a recent survey, 88% of visitors said that they were satisfied with their experience at the museum and recommended it to friends and family. Moreover, 90% of respondents said that they were willing to visit the museum again.
Dubai Creek is a famous neighbourhood in Old Dubai that stands out for its conventional atmosphere and traditional appeal. It is also a popular place to go shopping. The area is dotted with shops and souks where people can shop for gold items and other jewellery items. It is a great place to visit for tourists and locals alike.
The best way to get to the gold souk is by taking an abra, a traditional boat that crosses Dubai Creek. It is a great option for tourists because it is the fastest means of transport between Bur Dubai and Deira. However, the boats can be quite crowded especially during peak times. Alternatively, you can take the abra from a different station, such as the Al Fahidi Marine Transport Station, to avoid the crowds and have a more comfortable ride.
Despite the economic crisis, jewellery demand has been increasing in recent months. This is partly due to the fact that gold is a safe investment and it has a long history as a form of currency in many cultures. The gold souks of Dubai are a testament to the city’s role as a global hub for precious metals.
According to Jeffrey Rhodes, founder of Rhodes Precious Metals Consultancy, Dubai is a gold trading hub because of its healthy environment for trade and its advantageous location. But he believes that the success of Dubai’s gold market is mostly due to its people, their leadership, and their commitment to fair business practices.Dubai City of Gold