A souk is an Arab marketplace of several stores of various products. If it were in the Philippines, it is our Divisoria, Baclaran or Greenhills, except it’s posh, clean, safe and products are probably of better quality, lol. You can still haggle in some though, I heard.
I’ve only been to two, the one in Madinat Jumeirah resort and another inside Dubai Mall. Both are rather upscale given their locations but you get better variety in Souk Madinat Jumeirah than in The Souk of Dubai Mall as it was mostly jewelry and gold.
Narrow “alleyways” connect stores of textile, furniture, ornaments, incense, cafes (even foreign ones like Starbucks & Ben & Jerry’s), and souvenirs in Souk Madinat Jumeirah. If you’ve seen Aladdin, it looks like that marketplace where Jasmine was wandering, except indoors. Outside the souk, restaurants line up along the lagoon where you can ride a gondola. They also give you the best view of the Burj Al Arab (Tower of Arabs) while having a nice meal or a cold cup of coffee. We had lunch at The Meat Co., an awesome steakhouse, and while the food was delectable, we probably had more fun looking at the gondolas and the Burj Al Arab hiding from us. It was quite foggy that day and the tip of the Burj keeps disappearing in the fog! There’s also Costa café nearby The Meat Co., but higher up, it gives a better view, and it’s where I took most of the photos below if you’re interested in seeing and taking similar ones.
I’ve always been in love with Greek architecture, their massive temples and columns but having visited Dubai, it opened my eyes to a new kind of history, a beautiful one. Something I’ve never even thought a great deal of. From the hotel to the souk to restaurants, I was amazed by how much they’ve preserved the culture and traditional architecture considering that Dubai is home to some of the most futuristic buildings in the world. Question though, as I’m not familiar with it and Google doesn’t like to help, for history buffs out there, is it correct to term as Persian architecture? Or Arabic architecture?
One thing Google did help me about is introducing me to what those bamboos sticking out of the higher parts of the buildings are. They are apparently wind catchers to help create natural ventilation in buildings called “badgir” or “malqaf”. They store cool water to help with the heat during summer. Interesting, huh? I bet there’s so much more to learn about their culture, history and traditional architecture!