Exploring the Markets of the Middle East
Souks (also spelled as ‘souq’) are traditional open air markets that are found throughout the Arab world. These markets are an integral part of Arab culture and many people in the Middle East shop at these areas for fresh produce and household items. Originally souks were temporary trading spots outside the city where wandering merchants would stop their caravans. In addition to trade, festivals, celebrations and other events were also held here. As their importance grew, souks were given more prominent spots within the city. Usually bustling with activity these markets can provide foreigners with interesting insights into the lives of locals. While most souks are ordinary markets some of them have become famous throughout the world.
Gold Souks are also quite common in the United Arab Emirates. The most well-known among them is definitely the Deira Gold Souk in Dubai. Featuring in excess of three hundred merchants one can purchase gold at amazingly low prices due to relatively small charges for design and craftsmanship. Other traditional markets in Dubai include the spice, the satwa (for all kinds of fabrics) and the textile, souks.