Look: Dubai residents enjoy fresh Omani halwa, food trucks at newly opened Ramadan market

Deira Old Souk, set up to usher in the holy month, is open from 10am to 9pm and will run until March 15

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Photos by Shihab
Photos by Shihab

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 8 Mar 2023, 11:29 AM

Last updated: Thu 9 Mar 2023, 9:45 AM

Ramadan vibes have arrived early at the Deira Old Souk, with a new market that popped up in the business hub of Dubai.

Upon entering, visitors easily spots vendor Basheer Ahmed banging his wok with a wooden stirrer and tickling guests' taste buds as he calls out "Fresh Omani halwa, right from the wok to your mouth! Traditionally cooked, 250g for Dh15 and 500g Dh30 — don’t miss this opportunity."

Making nearly 100 kilogrammes of halwa per day, Ahmed sells it all. “This market has given exposure to these traditional desserts. Tourists love [to] purchase at least one kilogramme,” said Ahmed, who starts work at 10 in the morning.

The stretch leading towards the Creek from the Gold Souk – the old Municipality Street – has a fresh, vibrant appeal. Dubai Municipality launched it to usher in the holy month of Ramadan, focusing on preserving the unique traditions, heritage, and customs of Ramadan preparations, and promoting traditional markets and products. Opened on March 5, the market starts at 10am and is open until 9pm and will run until March 15.

The Souq Ramadan bustles with residents and tourists in the evening, with many coming to purchase necessities for the festive season, as well as home goods and personal items.

Mohammed Abdullah, an Emirati working at Tasheel, accompanied two friends to the market so they can meet their festive needs. “Ramadan is arriving shortly, and most of the shopping for the month is done here,” said Abdullah.

Pictured: Mohammed Abdullah and friends
Pictured: Mohammed Abdullah and friends

“All of us [purchased[ Kandoora[s], gathra[s], innerwear, fragrance, and more for the festive season. This street [has been] completely transformed [with] perfect festive energy,” he added.

Another resident, businessman Ismail Sawwaf, was passing by the market when he says he couldn't stop himself. "I live nearby, but did not notice it earlier. This new extension of the market gives [the] feeling that Ramadan has already arrived,” said Sawwaf.

Pictured: Ismail Sawwaf
Pictured: Ismail Sawwaf

“The dry fruits, spices, and utensils are at bargain prices. It is a must-visit attraction, [but] sadly, it’s only for ten days,” added Sawwaf.

As many as 20 kiosks offering various Ramadan items are on offer to meet all requirements for the festive season. Several entertainment activities are also being held, from local traditional dance to local art.

To thrill your taste buds with local delicacies, a food truck and a few traditional food stalls have also been set up, with an abundance of seating for diners.

Abdul Basit, a vendor who has a shop in the Old Market, had a chance to sell his products here, and he said the response was overwhelming. “This is right on the road; thousands of people walk by this street. It’s great exposure for us to sell and familiarise visitors with our products,” said Basit.

“It’s [the] perfect festive mood for the visitors and us too. We have been conducting our business for years. We are amazed by the response from this market,” added Basith.


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