Dubai’s obsession with glitz and dazzle is nothing new, as a visit to the city’s famous Gold Souk will prove. At the heart of the old district of Deira, this is easily Dubai’s most famous traditional bazaar, with a hundred-odd shops lined up shoulder to shoulder, their windows stuffed with a vast array of gold jewellery.
There’s a wide range of jewellery on offer, from chic European designs to fabulously ornate Arabian pieces, plus a fair few diamonds and other precious stones for good measure – the traditional Emirati bangles which fill many of the window displays are particularly attractive.
None of it’s cheap, of course, but low taxes and overheads mean that Dubai is still one of the most inexpensive places in the world to shop for gold (and diamonds as well, for that matter). If you do buy, note that gold is sold by weight, and that bargaining is the order of the day in all shops.
The streets around the souk are also a good place to pick up designer fakes, as the constant offers of “cheap copy watch” from roving touts suggests.