The summer is there ! For many, that means the holidays. The trend, as every summer, is to choose exotic destinations where we find the sun and the good weather to spend pleasant holidays. Countries of the Arab world have a lot of fabulous places to discover, very interesting places to spend the holidays in family, in couple or even for solitary adventures.
Set apart the historic places or the monuments which characterize Arab countries, there are souks. These big markets where we find more or less all that we wish on the condition of having time to glean. And what would be the holidays without bringing back little local souvenir ?
Today, we are going to talk about the most extraordinary souks in the Arab world.
Egypt : The souk of Khân el-Khalili, Cairo
Built between Al-Azhar and Al-Hussein mosques in the south and Al-Hakim mosque in the north, this souk is composed of beautiful shops and displays to find all which we need. It is one of the oldest souks in the world, it dates of at least 1382.
For tourists, this is ideal place to wander and to buy some holidays’souvenirs . It is also the place and the moment to take advantage to look at the life and natives’ habits without disturbing them.
Maroc : The souk of Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakesh
Located near the Koutoubia mosque and the royal palace, Jemaa el-Fna souk is a cultural place and rich in history. Not only is it renowed for offering plenty of choice, but he is also the most romantic souk for others.
The activities are numerous and people who go never have the risk of to be bored. Between street restaurants and Morrocan crafts stalls, various street performances and daily habits of natives. All in a good festive and family atmosphere.
Bahrain : The souk of Manama, Manama
Located in the north of the capital of Manama, in the middle of the old districts and the centers of business, this souk is the old bazar. It is the market of the city center that mixes the charm of the old and the modernity with its numerous modern shops.
It is a huge place where traders, the local population, the expatriates and of course the tourists of the whole world rub shoulders. The souk Manama is a real landmark Bahrain, a big marketplace where we find many things for everybody !
Kuwaitt : The souk of Al-Mubarakiya, Kowait City
A souk located in the city of Kuwait-City, at the foot of the liberation tower. It is one of the oldest souks of Kuwait and was the center of the trade before the discovery of the oil. It took place for more than 200 years and reconstructed after the invasion of Iraq in 1990, it at present a very popular market in the pure tradition of the country.
It is considered as one of the souks the most charming in the world. A place wich is necessary to visit for people of passage in this beautiful country.We can walk there, admire and take advantage of good smells of spices ithout being bothered with the traders. A mixture of elegance, charm and shine.
United Arab Emirates : Dubai Gold Souk, Dubai
Special mention for this big open-air market which concerns only the trade of gold and jewels. A place which makes the reputation of the city of Dubai, and which made its fame and its naming of « City of the gold ». According to certain estimations, 10 tons of golds are in circulation in this famous souk.
We find a touch of craft tradition and a good atmosphere in spite of the fact that the souk was modernized to be conformed to the international standars. It is the ideal place to appreciate not only the charm of the old Arab world through the charasteristic of the region but also the jewels and the sold objects themselves.
I just love the Marrakech souk!