Dubai souks for bargain hunters

Estimated read time 9 min read

[vc_row el_class=”container section”][vc_column el_class=”row”][vc_row_inner el_class=”row”][vc_column_inner][expatmedia-landing-article title=”landing article”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class=”col-md-8 “][vc_column_inner el_class=”col-md-8″][expatmedia-article-content body_text=”Tax-free commodities, a plethora of entertainment options and frequent sale seasons can be distracting to anyone who might want to save money in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.

However, it is possible to live a financially fit life in the emirate, and save extra cash for your security. Here are top 15 tips:

15. Plan your yearly holidays so you can buy your airline tickets in advance. Airline tickets are usually cheaper when bought at least six months ahead of your travel date. Also, try booking online at around midnight when some airlines offer “midnight sale” on seats. You can also subscribe to airlines’ email alerts so you’ll always be the first to know of any promotions.

14. When sending a considerable sum of money home, don’t go with the flow. Exchange rates are usually high at mid-month or end of the month because this is when people receive their salaries and are likely to remit money. If possible, wait when the exchange rate dips (which means you get more peso for your dirham) before you send money to the Philippines.

13. Prefer to buy quality, used items that you need. You don’t have to spend a fortune on new furniture, unless you want to. There’s plenty advertised on online classifieds, or in second-hand stores in Dubai. Another Filipino favourite is the bi-monthly flea market in Safa Park.

12. If you don’t have accommodation or transportation paid for by your company, rent a place that is closer to your workplace. You can save time and money if you are spared a long commute.

11. Plan your trips using public buses or the Dubai Metro. The fares are a fraction of what you would spend compared to riding a taxi. If you must have a car, it is more economical to buy one in good condition (to spare you from maintenance woes) than lease one. However, make sure you have free parking space, and factor in yearly costs like vehicle registration renewal, vehicle insurance and toll fees.

10. Look for free entertainment. Beaches or parks are great places to unwind and entertain yourself with friends or family. You can also check out free shows and events at the malls, particularly during the shopping festivals.

9. If you are living alone or renting a shared apartment, it might be a good idea to buy cooked food in small portions from supermarkets and hypermarkets like Carrefour, Spinneys or New WestZone. You can ask for servings within your budget. This way you are saving time and effort from preparing your food.

8. If you must cook, include more vegetables on the menu. They’re cheaper, quicker to prepare and healthier, too.

7. Regularly check supermarkets and hypermarkets for special offers or deeply discounted prices on stocks for clearance. Most Filipinos head to Baqer Mohebi for discounted prices on boxes of chocolates to ship home, while New WestZone or Al Maya Lals are the go-to places for cheaper Philippine food items. For other commodities, check out three of the biggest hypermarkets in the country: Carrefour, Lulu and Geant.

6. Shop, dine or get service from establishments that offer loyalty points or rewards. Also check out offers on deal websites. There is usually a buy one get one offer on leisure trips, restaurant meals and other deals.

5. Get a pre-paid internet subscription on your smartphone that will allow you to use software like WhatsApp, Skype or Viber so you can call or message folks back home for free anytime, or when you are feeling homesick.

4. Try not to eat out frequently, but when you do, don’t be embarrassed to have your leftover food packed so you can eat it at home later.

3. If you can’t wait to do your shopping during sale season, shop at outlet stores instead (ask the store staff for the location). A more popular destination is the Outlet Mall, which houses all the outlet stores in one mall.

2. Don’t use a credit card, unless you can pay what you owe in full before interest accrues at the end of the month. But remember: It is always better to spend only what you have.

1. Save a portion of your salary. Always. The money you save now is not just for your retirement, but it can also be a much-needed fund for emergencies.” byline=”Dussel Maris Mortejo” caption=”At the Dubai Flea Market at Barsha Pond, Dubai.” credits=”DUBAI FLEA MARKET”]

Dubai souks for bargain hunters

Dubai may be home to some of the largest and swankiest malls in the world, but it also has colourful and lively souks that offer shoppers a touch of tradition.

Bargaining is expected in these local markets and if you are lucky, sellers might just drop their prices by as much as 50 percent!

Unleash your inner shopping enthusiast with these six souks in the city, popular for their own unique selling points.

Gold Souk

Dubai wouldn’t be hailed as the “city of gold” for no reason. The Gold Souk located in Deira is one of the emirate’s oldest traditional markets, with over 350 retailers selling premium gold from 18 carats to 24 carats. You can also find platinum, diamonds, silver, pearls, and other precious metals and stones that will surely delight the jewellery lover in you.

Timings: 9:30am to 9:30pm; Friday 4pm to 9:30pm

Textile Souk

Also one of the oldest souks in the city, the Textile Souk is located along the Dubai Creek in the Bur Dubai side. This souk is known for its colourful fabrics with unique designs and colours that you probably have never seen before. Premium quality silk, cotton, exotic weaves, and sari fabrics are just a few of their collections. Along with fabrics, there’s an enormous selection of stones, laces, buttons, sequins. If you want to get customised clothing, tailor shops are also available in this market.

Timings: Saturday to Thursday, 10am to 10pm; Friday 4pm to 10pm

Perfume Souk

Located just next to the Gold Souk at Sikkat Al Khali Street, this souk has hundreds of stalls selling enchanting scents and aromas. Each shop exudes different fragrance from floral, to woody, to fresh, and musk. Aside from perfumes, you can also find incense sticks, crystals, powder, and exotic traditional oud in this market. You can also get a personalised perfume, according to your favourite type of scent or one which suits your skin.

Timings: Saturday to Thursday 9:30am to 10pm; closed on Friday

Spice Souk

Located beside the Gold Souk, this market is filled with flavorful exotic and homegrown sacks of spices, herbs, dried fruits, rice, candied nuts, and fragrant teas. It also offers high-quality saffron strands at local prices, organic dates, cinnamon, chilli, and pepper of various colours and varieties. The spices here are imported from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and other countries in the Middle East and Asia, and can be purchased by weight or in packets.

Timings: Saturday to Thursday 10am to 10pm; Friday 4pm to 10pm

Dubai Flea Market

This huge second-hand market allows you to buy and sell goods with over 300 stalls of books, clothes, ceramics, furniture, antiques, music instruments, electrical appliances, and so much more at very cheap rates. Breakfast, lunch and drinks are offered at a wide selection of pop-up stalls that are perfect for the whole family!

Timings: Saturday and Sunday in various locations, from 10am to 6pm. Check https://dubai-fleamarket.com/ for details

Souk Madinat Jumeirah

If you are looking for a more upscale souk, then Souk Madinat Jumeirah is the place to go. The modern, airconditioned souk is one of Dubai’s popular markets located on south of Burj Al Arab in Dubai’s Jumeirah district. It is interconnected with waterways and surrounded by lush gardens, lined with lovely cafes, bars, bistros, and offers a picturesque view of the Burj Al Arab. This place is a blend of both modern luxury brand shops and traditional Arabian shops selling crafts, perfume, jewelries, and so much more.

Timings: 10am to 11pm

DMM/Expat Media


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