Part of Dubai’s luxe Madinat Jumeirah resort, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a modern re-creation of a traditional Arabian souk, with an upscale touch. In place of higgledy-piggledy stalls, a web of alleyways echoes a classic bazaar filled with boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafés.
The Souk Madinat Jumeirah replicates classic Arabian market architecture, with earth-toned wind towers, and carved timber ceilings and arches. Inside, about 75 outlets await, from gift emporiums to boutiques, jewelers, and international chains. Dozens of restaurants and bars serve an array of different cuisines, and their tables spill out beside the palm-lined waterways that lend the souk its “Little Venice” nickname. The final touch is the Madinat Theatre, which offers evening shows.
The souk appears on many Dubai city tours that include time to roam the shops and enjoy the Burj Al Arab views from the waterside terraces. Evening tours let you enjoy the complex at its prettiest, when its waterways and wind towers are illuminated and music adds to the ambience. The souk is also featured on many Dubai shopping tours as a contrast to glitzier malls.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a must for shoppers, foodies, and night owls.
- Take sunscreen if you’re planning to visit the courtyard cafés or terrace bars.
- Cabs are plentiful at the souk.
- If you’re driving, underground parking is available and is free for an initial period.
- The souk is wheelchair-friendly, with access via elevators at the entrance.
How to Get There
The Souk Madinat Jumeirah lies south of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai’s Jumeirah district, where Jumeirah Street meets Umm Suqeim Street. Ride the metro to the Mall of the Emirates station—the nearest metro stop—and catch a cab or one of the regular buses that run to the souk.
When to Get There
The Souk is open all week, year-round, with its shops open 10am-11pm and its restaurants 8am–2am. Tourists flock here during Dubai’s winter (Dec. to March), so expect crowds at peak times. Things quiet down come summer, although the air conditioning makes the souk an ideal refuge from the heat.
Sail the Souk Waterways
Be sure to ride a wooden abra boat along the souk waterways while you’re here. Follow the signs to the abra station and hire a boat to cruise the turquoise channels, admiring the palms, wind towers, and views of the Burj Al Arab en route.