A Dubai market that will never go out of fashion

 

A Dubai market that will never go out of fashion
TASTY TREAT ... After some serious shopping, visitors can also enjoy some tasy streetfoods at the souq.

Dubai - The place is cool even in the heat of the day and by night, the traditional Arabic lamps illuminate the shops.

By Angel Tesorero

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Published: Sat 13 Aug 2016, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 14 Aug 2016, 10:31 AM

Locals and long-time residents say if you want to experience the "real" Dubai, go visit its old markets or souks. One such institution is the Textile Souk, located in Bur Dubai, on the southern side of the historic Dubai Creek.
Away from the towering skyscrapers but not without the convenience of a modern city, the narrow streets of the souk, with its quaint architecture, are filled not just with fabrics of different hues, texture and designs or with various souvenir items and exotic treasures but also of nostalgia that will bring you back to the times when Dubai started as a minor trading hub.
"In a city that is synonymous with shopping and imposing malls, the Textile Souk is the one hub that people from all around the world should make a point to visit when they come to Dubai," Laxman Sachnandadani, manager at Aman Tex, told Khaleej Times.
"Despite Dubai's massive growth, this place has withstood the test of times and definitely this market and the things we sell here will never go out of fashion," he added.
The Textile Souk has been renovated but it has retained its old feel. The wooden gates give shopaholics a warm welcome as they bargain for their "I (heart) ? Dubai" T-shirts, cashmere, pashmina or Burj Khalifa +paperweight and camel stuff toys. The place is cool even in the heat of the day and by night, the traditional Arabic lamps illuminate the shops.
The variety of items might overwhelm any first-time visitor/shopper but items are reasonably priced and quite affordable. However, one has to master the art of bargaining to get the best value for their money.
Lalchand Narwani, manager at Rochas Trading, said they put a small mark up to prop up sales. "Little profit is enough as it brings more sales and better business," he said.
"More materials are also available now compared to when we opened our shop back in 1984," Narwani added. "Before we only sold fabrics made of cotton and silk but now we have a variety of satin, wool and fancy laces from Korea, Japan and China.
"The souk also serves as the transit point to other markets in the GCC so wholesale traders also come here to get their wares," Narwani added.
On another note, parking can be quite a challenge at the Textile Souk. But visitors can always take the Metro and alight at either the Al Fahidi Metro Station of Al Ghubaiba Metro Station. One can also reach the Souk from Deira via abra, the traditional water taxi, at a cost of just one dirham.
After shopping at the Textile Souk, if one wants to complete the cultural experience, then he/she can also drop by nearby Bastakiya Quarter and the Dubai Museum to soak more of Dubai's history and tradition.
angel@khaleejtimes.com

PALETTE OF COLOURS ... Swatches of fabrics welcome visitors at a shop at the Textile Souq.
PALETTE OF COLOURS ... Swatches of fabrics welcome visitors at a shop at the Textile Souq.
RED(OLENT) OF LUXURY ... An immense variety of styles and designs can be found at the souk but not anywhere else.
RED(OLENT) OF LUXURY ... An immense variety of styles and designs can be found at the souk but not anywhere else.
TEA TIME ... Located on the southern side of Dubai Creek, the  souk is a place where one take a break from the busy city life.
TEA TIME ... Located on the southern side of Dubai Creek, the souk is a place where one take a break from the busy city life.
STEP BACK IN TIME ... The quaint architecture and ‘old feel’ at the Textile Souk in Bur Dubai are reminiscent of the time when Dubai started off as a minor trading hub.
STEP BACK IN TIME ... The quaint architecture and ‘old feel’ at the Textile Souk in Bur Dubai are reminiscent of the time when Dubai started off as a minor trading hub.
TEA TIME ... Located on the southern side of Dubai Creek, the  souk is a place where one take a break from the busy city life.
TEA TIME ... Located on the southern side of Dubai Creek, the souk is a place where one take a break from the busy city life.
SHOPAHOLICS’ PARADISE ... The Textile Souk has withstood the test of times; things sold here will never go out of fashion.
SHOPAHOLICS’ PARADISE ... The Textile Souk has withstood the test of times; things sold here will never go out of fashion.
BARGAIN HUNTERS ... In a city known for enormous malls, the souk remains to attract loyal customers and visitors.
BARGAIN HUNTERS ... In a city known for enormous malls, the souk remains to attract loyal customers and visitors.
SPRUCING UP BUSINESS ... Traders say “little profit is enough as it brings more sales and better business.”
SPRUCING UP BUSINESS ... Traders say “little profit is enough as it brings more sales and better business.”
HAPPY TO SERVE YOU ... Mohammad Azam, 42, from Pakistan has been working at the souk for two decades with the same smile.
HAPPY TO SERVE YOU ... Mohammad Azam, 42, from Pakistan has been working at the souk for two decades with the same smile.
ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS ... Colourful fabrics are the biggest attraction at the Textile Souk.
ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS ... Colourful fabrics are the biggest attraction at the Textile Souk.


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