As the winter approaches, Dubai’s numerous open-air markets - or souks - prepare for what they consider to be their "peak season".
The souks in the emirate hold a legacy that goes back a couple of centuries when merchants from around the world gathered in Dubai to display the best of their goods.
Today, younger generations have continued their forefathers work, making the city home to traditional as well as contemporary souks.
Here are just a couple of the open-air markets you should visit in Dubai in the next few months:
1. The Old Souk
The Old Souk is by far the oldest part of the emirate. A couple of centuries ago, it was the pulse of the city. As Dubai diversified its economy, the souk remained in the background, continuing to play a critical role in local commerce as well as culture.
Located in the Al Ras area, this is where you will find the legendary Gold, Spice, and Textiles souks.
2. Hamriyah Friday Market
The Hamriyah Friday Market is probably one of the few places in Dubai that caters to both locals and expatriates.
You will find plenty of things offered on a row of stalls lined up on both sides of the street. The items on offer range from carpets and pottery to fruits and vegetables.
You will also find stalls that prepare local food right in front of you where you can pick up sizzling balls of Luqaimat.
3. Al Aweer Central Fruit & Vegetable Market
This is another market that is just around the corner, yet feels like a million miles away.
Opened in Ras Al Khor off the Emirates Road in 2004, the numerous signs on the road will lead you in the right direction. Most of the stalls sell fresh produce in bulk. However, once you inquire about smaller quantities, they will soon make the products available for you.
The prices are usually much lower than in any local supermarkets.
4. Ripe Market
Unlike the Old Souk and the Hamriyah Friday Market, Ripe belongs to a newly-established generation of markets that were launched in the past decade.
The organic pop-up market keeps on changing locations, but the stationary shops are located in Jumeriah's Town Centre Mall, Mirdif's Park Center Mall, and the Palm Jumeriah's Shoreline Building 8.
Some of the things you can purchase here include local organic fruits and vegetables. The market also features independent designers, jewelers, entertainers, and musicians.
5. ARTE, The Makers Market
Home to almost 150 contemporary makers and designers, ARTE is one of the UAE’s largest markets for handmade items. Only products designed and made by the vendors can be sold there.
Having started back in 2005, the name is derived from artisans in the emirates. At this market, you can buy a variety of products including intricate jewelry, hand-carved woodwork, aromatherapy candles, hand-stitched stuffed-toys, jam, and chutneys in addition to a unique selection of souvenirs.
6. Dubai Flea Market
The Dubai Flea Market features a variety of second-hand goods offered by amateur vendors who want to recycle some of their old items.
During the winter season, this market runs every first Saturday of the month at Safa Park, every first Friday of the month at Uptown Mirdif, and every second Saturday of the month at Ibn Battuta.