DUBAI’S ICONIC GOLD SOUK REOPENS ITS DOORS TO CUSTOMERS
Government of Dubai Media Office – 13 May 2020: With Dubai gradually rolling out measured steps to resume economic activities across sectors following the success of its robust response to the COVID-19 crisis, the emirate’s iconic Gold Souk has started welcoming visitors to its jewellery stores.
The reopening of the popular tourist destination on 26 April follows the easing of restrictions on movement in Naif and Al Ras and the announcement by the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group (DGJG), the trade body for the gold and diamond jewellery sector, that market operations with resume with observance of the highest safety measures.
Dubai authorities have left no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of customers and staff in retail outlets. Stores in the Gold Souq will follow reduced hours from 11.00 am to 9.00 pm and wholesale offices from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. An occupancy ceiling of 30 percent of capacity will be maintained for customers and employees as per safety guidelines. Precautionary measures observed by outlets include physical distancing within stores, provision of sanitisers, face masks and gloves to staff and customers and sanitisation of jewellery.
Tawhid Abdulla, Chairman, Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group said: “We express our sincere gratitude to the leaders of this country, all government entities, Dubai Police, CID and first responders who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point. By reopening the Deira Gold souk with a strong focus on safe practices, the UAE leadership has once again shown that we can maintain our resilience amidst crises of any magnitude.”
He added: “It is a commendable step towards safely reopening the economy and as an industry we are all geared to meet the Government’s expectations and consumer confidence. It is our collective effort that has resulted in successfully implementing the retail protocol mandated by Dubai Economy in a manner that is both safe and effective, as we prepare to work towards 100% capacity in the coming months.”
To ensure the safety and wellbeing of customers, prior to opening, the Deira Gold Souk and its stores underwent a complete and extensive sterilisation programme under the strict guidelines of the Department of Economic Development (DED).
During the 24-hour restrictions on movement in Al Ras and Naif, strict security measures by Dubai Police ensured the Gold Souk remained safe and protected. According to Dubai Police, there were zero reports of robbery attempts in the area despite owners leaving their jewellery and valuable goods inside the stores.
Shop owners have repeatedly praised the role of Dubai Police in keeping the area safe and secure and facilitating their requests to obtain documents and files during the closure.
Colonel Adel Al Joker, Assistant Director General of Criminal investigation Section at Dubai Police said since the beginning of the crisis, Dubai Police has provided the highest standards of safety and security to protect members of the community. Dubai Police has been working diligently to ensure lives and property are protected in these exceptional circumstances and precautionary measures are strictly followed.
Colonel Al Joker further said: “We are working in accordance with the directives of the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Dubai Police under the leadership of His Excellency Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and support efforts to restore normal life and economic activity in the emirate as per the decisions of relevant authorities.
Unique Traditional Markets
Located on both sides of the Dubai Creek, the Gold Souq in Deira has for several decades been integral to the unique shopping experience the city offers. It is one of the many traditional markets located in the bustling heart of Old Dubai that continue to be a crucial part of the city’s daily life and trade despite its rapid growth as a modern metropolis.
From its origins in 1850, the traditional markets in Deira grew to become the largest and most important in the area due to its direct connectivity with the harbour on the creek. This connectivity enabled it to receive merchandise from African and Indian cargo ships. To this day, the Gold Souk, Perfume Souk, Textile Souk and Spice Souk continue to serve as commercial centres and shopping hotspots for residents and tourists.
Largest Gold Bazaars
The Gold Souk in Deira is one of the largest gold bazaars in the world and a must-see attraction for tourists. Offering bespoke pieces of fine jewellery, watches, gemstones and silver and even dresses made of gold, the Souk is best known for its highly competitive gold prices. Amid its wide passageways, the historic market is abuzz with merchants and highly skilled jewellery artists offering a dazzling array of items that cater to all tastes and cultures. People from all over the world visit the Gold Souk knowing they can haggle for the best prices all within a friendly and welcoming environment.
Public transport options are plenty for visitors interested in visiting the Gold Souq. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) provides integrated public transport and car-parking services for the area.
Visitors seeking to explore the Dubai Souks located on both sides of the Creek can take a ride on the city’s most traditional mode of transport, the abra, which costs as little as AED1. Stations serving the area from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm include: Sabkha Abra Station, Dubai Old Souk Abra Station, Bur Dubai Abra Station and Gold Souk Abra Station. Another way to reach the souk is through the Dubai Metro green line. The Deira Palm Station, Al Ras and Baniyas Stations directly serve the Gold Souq area.
Alternatively, shoppers can use RTA’s bus services to reach the area. There are currently 22 routes that link the Gold Souq with districts across Dubai such as Jumeirah, Al Khawaneej and Jebel Ali. The station receives 236 buses every day.
Ample car-parking is available in the area. A total of 630 parking slots are available at Al Ras (Gold Souq), 480 parking slots at Al Dhagaya (between Al Ras and Naif) and 447 parking slots at Al Buteen. A taxi stand with eight vehicles is also located at the Gold Souq to provide express service to clients.