Traditional Markets and Souks to Visit in Abu Dhabi

The ever-popular fish market in central Abu Dhabi | © Bob Klannukarn/Flickr
The ever-popular fish market in central Abu Dhabi | © Bob Klannukarn/Flickr
Photo of Jessica Harn
5 January 2018

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has a lot to offer for those who want to explore the country beyond the glitter of Dubai. With a more local vibe, relaxed atmosphere and cultural highlights, Abu Dhabi is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to this region of the world. If you are going to Abu Dhabi, here are the best traditional markets and souks to visit to get to know this small corner of the world a little bit better:

Abu Dhabi Carpet Souk

Arguably one of the most beautiful markets in the city, this is the place to go to either buy or simply be mesmerized by the dazzling and vibrant displays of beautiful carpets. Here you can find handmade carpets from Iran and Afghanistan, Arabic designed cushions and mats and intricate Islamic prayer mats.

Madinat Zayed Gold Souk

The UAE loves its gold, and where better to get a taste of the local culture than at the biggest Gold Souk in the capital? Here you can find store after store filled with gold jewellery, diamonds and gemstones fit for a king!

Souk Al Zafarana

Loved because of its mix of both traditional and modern, this marketplace sells everything from traditional Emirati crafts to modern clothing at a discounted price. It’s the perfect place to do a little souvenir shopping, as this marketplace also has everything from Abu Dhabi-themed trinkets, Arabic coffee, henna and Emirati incense.