Textile Souk

The souk in Bur Dubai is one of the most interesting, lively and colourful markets in the city, although it is neither the oldest nor the largest. It is best reached by abra.

The souk in Bur Dubai, also known as the Textile Souk, or Old Souk, may not be as old as the one in Deira but it certainly has the same atmosphere.

It consists of a large number of small shops selling a wide range of products including textiles, clothes, shoes and even souvenirs. Be prepared to face pushy salespeople, but with a smile and a polite wave of the hand, they will leave you relaxed.

Friday evenings are some of the most lively and special, when the Bur Dubai souk turns into a carnival of sorts with migrant workers stocking up on socks, pashminas and t-shirts, as well as designer fakes from Gucci, Prada and Calvin Klein.

In this market, one can also buy silk, cotton or wool at more than reasonable prices. What is special about this Dubai market is that among the many shops there are also tailors, who will be happy to create a beautiful custom-made suit using the fabrics purchased in the souk.

This market is located in the heart of the Bur Dubai district, and occupies a not too large but perfectly restored area in traditional Arabian style. The roof is made of wood with numerous arches decorating it, providing relief from the summer heat even in the middle of the day. Traditional Moorish lamps are mounted on the sides of the shops, which light up as the sun goes down, giving the souk interior of Bur Dubai a truly magical appearance.

This market was once the most important in the city, the heart of business and trade. Today, due to the explosion of Dubai, its importance has diminished considerably: almost all the shops have been taken over by Indian traders who display goods such as saris and pashminas, as well as typical tourist items such as T-shirts, camels and scale reproductions of Dubai‘s most characteristic buildings.

But it is still a wonderful experience, for a few hours you will be transported back in time, amidst atmospheres from a thousand and one nights and an endless array of colours, smells and languages.

The Hindi Lane

At the end of the delightful textile souk, near the Creek and just behind the Great Mosque, is Hindi Lane, a narrow street dotted with small shops selling typical Indian products and handicrafts, ranging from scarves to small Krishna statues to pashminas and silk saris in all their magnificent colours.

Despite being short, Hindi Lane is one of the most interesting areas of Bur Dubai, a very curious and attractive place due to its strong ethnic component. It is possible to go into real Indian shops where one can buy bangles, coconuts, flowers, bells, books and numerous objects of religious art.

It is also possible to buy offerings to take to the temple such as fruit baskets, flower garlands, golden images and icons, sacred ashes and more.

The Hindi Lane Temple

Adjacent to Hindi Lane is a semi-improvised Hindu temple (but first remember to take off your shoes) dedicated to Shiva and Krishna Mandir: its almost obscure location gives it an almost clandestine atmosphere, some people only notice it from the rows of shoes at the base of two steps.

Access is possible for tourists, although no photos can be taken. The first floor is reserved for various Hindu saints, decorated with images of Shiva, Ganesh and Sai Baba.

The second floor, representing the second prayer room, on the other hand, is adorned with paintings depicting the ten Sikh gurus, with the Sikh mantra ‘Satnam Waheguru‘, which translated roughly sounds like ‘Oh God, your name is truth’, painted on the walls.

The temple, although it may seem small in comparison to the architectural wonders of the city, is the only place of prayer for the large Hindu community living in Dubai, and perhaps this is also why it was built right behind the Grand Mosque.

How to get to the Bur Dubai souk

The Bur Dubai souk is located in the heart of the district of the same name, practically overlooking the Creek, the arm of the sea that divides the old city of Dubai in two and along which trade flourished during the 1960s.

To reach it, the best means of transport are the abras, the traditional boats originally used to cross the Creek: getting off at the Dubai Old Souq stop, you need only walk a few steps to get immediately to the heart of the market.

The Bur Dubai souk can also be reached by metro, getting off at the Al Ghubaiba station of the green line, or by one of the numerous buses that reach the area.

Useful information

Address

2 34th St - Bur Dubai - Al Fahidi - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Timetables

    Open every day from 10:00 am  to  10:30 pm

Transports

Metro stops

  • Al Ghubaiba Metro Station (411 mt)
  • Al Ras Metro Station (424 mt)
  • Sharaf DG (836 mt)

Bus stops

  • Bur Dubai Abra Station (48 mt)
  • Bur Dubai Al Nahda Street 1 (293 mt)
  • Dubai Museum (311 mt)

Where is located Textile Souk

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