The Spice Souk

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From a Trading point to a Tourist Destination: Take a tour into  Dubai’s oldest trading market ? the Spice Souk!

Talk about Deira to any resident in Dubai, and he or she will  immediately recollect the following landmarks ? Deira Revolving Tower,  Deira City Centre, Deira Fish Roundabout, Deira Gold Souk (Market), Deira Nasser Square, and of course the Deira Hyatt Regency Hotel.  But very few people would talk about the creek side and the lanes and by lanes adjoining  Deira, that was once bustling with activity and was a trading hub of  Dubai, almost two decades ago.

Yes, I am talking about the old trading market (called souk in Arabic) of  Deira, Dubai. This souk was once a meeting place of  traders for wholesale and retail  business,  re-export point, and a place known for having a cup of  “gahwaa”  (Arabic coffee served in small cups).

Amongst all these souks the most famous souk known for its aroma and variety of spices, is the Spice Souk  which is inside Murshid Market.   Here you will find  spices stocked up in gunny bags. The moment you enter the place the  aroma of the spices welcomes you and  makes you feel good and gives a different feeling altogether, then you know for sure, that you have reached the right place. This very place which was once upon a time a trading centre has now become  a tourist destination with People from all over the world visiting  this place today.

Abdul Ghafoor of “ABDUL RAHIM ABUL HASSAN TRADING  a prominent dealer in this spice souk. He has been living here for more than three decades. He says that there is a total change in their way of functioning when compared to what it was 15 years ago. Earlier there were  very few supermarkets,  hypermarkets and  hardly any shopping malls, he says. Therefore people used to flock to this joint  to  buy most of the items from them.  But  now the trend has changed and people prefer buying most of the items  from bigger outlets. This has slowed down their business and the entire concept has changed. Now the only buyers are the tourists who come to this place to buy spices which they cannot find in their own country. This place has  become a  tourist spot for its unique items that are made available by the traders.

People visit this place to buy a variety of spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, tea, dry flowers, herbs, cammomile, frankincense, and saffron which is a popular flavouring agent in Arabic food and desserts. You will find a  few special  items like the bezaar powder (Arabic curry powder),the dry hibiscus flowers and rose petals which  are known for their  medicinal   value. They are known to cure stomach ailment. The  Blue Rose  is known to cure throat pain, cammomile increases appetite and improves blood circulation and dry lemons  are  used in soups and in making other Arabic dishes.

Apart from this – Perfumes, mementos, and gift items are also available in plenty just next to the souk. If the people living in the UAE  have not gone there earlier, then it is  never too late to go. Make shopping in this paradise an unforgetable
experience. Who knows!  you may be a regular customer  for the spices, which  are definetely  of a good quality. I for one, was pleasantly  mesmerised by the aroma and the taste. That is why i wish that you too taste the same flavour!

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Author: Claude Fernandes- UAE

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