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Fostering Local Creativity

The Saffron Souk is a haven for those who love shopping for local products



By Tabassum Vally and Ghazala Tikki Zaman

Published: Wed 23 Mar 2022, 12:00 AM

The Saffron Souk is an online marketplace for sharing the love of local products. It’s home to an array of special, one-of-a-kind products, from handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures. All these products are curated to provide a digital version of the souk experience using an innovative, technology-based platform that is centered around supporting local brands.

Just like The Saffron Souk, saffron has its origins in the Middle East, and it is such a precious and powerful spice that a small pinch of it makes a huge difference. This makes The Saffron Souk a perfect name for the platform that started as just an idea to bring independent businesses together. Now, it has grown into a curated marketplace that showcases the latest, most beautiful must-haves from local designers.

The local brands have filled the marketplace with a wide variety of unique collections of everything from handmade jewelry to fashion, arts, prints, customised gifts, and unique keepsakes. So, whether it’s a quirky handmade necklace or a handmade dish stand, the sellers behind these products are passionate about what they do and have put their souls into providing customers with beautiful products.

The marketplace currently has over 8,000 unique products, with 100 per cent of them being manufactured in small batches by independent businesses. This makes The Saffron Souk among the largest small business aggregators in the region. And they are currently empowering over 800 independent brands and micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) by allowing them to focus on their craft and passion while the platform handles all the transactional and digital marketing details. Over 95 per cent of these local brands registered in The Saffron Souk are led by women entrepreneurs. These women are given the opportunity to sell local products in global markets.

The Saffron Souk offers worldwide shipping to everyone who enjoys shopping from local independent brands. As of today, there are over 25,000 registered members on The Saffron Souk, who trust the platform to handpick the best of local products. Recently, the online platform decided to visit Dubai in February for The Saffron Souk Pop Up which took place over two consecutive weekends at The Majlis, Jumeirah Mosque in collaboration with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding. The Saffron Souk Pop Up was an event that celebrated independent brands and allowed them to share their amazing local products with customers in person.

The event witnessed hundreds of locals and tourists visiting to show their support for small businesses and independent local brands. And it wasn’t just shopping that the visitors enjoyed, but there was a handful of activities, including falcon entertainment and mouth-watering local luqaimat in an event that was all about the love of local.

That was The Saffron Souk’s first-ever event away from the screens, but it will not be their last. The marketplace is committed to providing shoppers with unique products, while also supporting local independent brands and small businesses in the process.

Founded by Fatima Qasim, a Pakistani origin, long-term resident of the UAE, and firm believer in the power of small businesses, The Saffron Souk’s responsibility has been designed to maintain a human connection in the e-commerce world by allowing real, local people to thrive in it.

Fatima built a place where creativity is fostered above everything else. They help ambitious entrepreneurs turn their passion into a successful business and connect them with buyers looking for the hard-to-find that breaks the monotony of commercial and conventional products.

If you enjoy shopping local just as much as we do, visit saffronsouk.com to see the beautiful designs of local products. You can also keep up to date with the latest news and updates on social media @thesaffronsouk.


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