A Travel Guide to Souk Al Bahar

A Travel Guide to Souk Al Bahar

Souks have always been a huge part of Middle Eastern culture since it’s where people shop, dine or just stroll around.

In fact, some of the oldest souks in the UAE can be found in Dubai. But there’s also one souk that gives you the ambiance of a traditional Arabian marketplace in a more modern setting.

In this guide, we’ll get to know Souk Al Bahar, where it’s located and what you can enjoy in this popular retail destination in Dubai. 

What is Souk Al Bahar?

Souk Al Bahar is a shopping and entertainment district in Downtown Dubai that’s inspired by a traditional Arabic street market.

With the name translating to “the sailor’s market,” Souk Al Bahar is located on the lakeside in Old Town Island just opposite Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall.

Opened in 2006, Souk Al Bahar is home to more than 100 shops, 22 restaurants and many other lounges and cafes that offer different products and experiences to guests.

Best Time to Go

Souk Al Bahar is open daily all-year round, although there may be changes to its schedule during special holidays, events and on the Holy Month of Ramadan.

But since it’s an indoor-outdoor venue, it’s best to visit Souk Al Bahar during winter when the sun is not as hot.

If you’re visiting during the summer, it’s best to go right after the souk opens or in the late afternoon when the temperature is not as humid.

Things to Know

Before you go shopping in Souk Al Bahar, here are some things that you need to know first:

  • Opening Hours

Souk Al Bahar is open daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Saturday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays.

  • Parking

Souk Al Bahar has an underground parking facility where you get free parking for the first two hours and AED 10 per hour for every succeeding hour.

Make sure to keep your ticket since lost tickets will be charged AED 250.

How to Get Around

Trains: If you’re taking the Metro, stop at the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Station. From here, you can ride the Feeder Bus going to Souk Al Bahar since it’s a 25-minute walk away. You can also stop at the Financial Center Station and ride the bus to Dubai Mall where you can walk to Souk Al Bahar through the bridge on Burj Lake.

Buses: Several bus stations stop near Souk Al Bahar. Wasl Etisalat-01 is the nearest station while other options include the Burj Khalifa Palace Hotel Station, Dubai Mall Station, Empire Heights Tower Station and Dubai Mall Landside Metro Bus Stop.

Taxis: The fastest way to get to Souk Al Bahar is through taxi, which you can book on Uber or Careem. You can also hail a taxi from anywhere in the city.

Car service: Several car companies offer self-drive and chauffeured car service to tourists in Dubai. You can also arrange for transfers in your hotel or travel agency.

Where to Stay Near Souk Al Bahar

Palace Downtown

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 428 7888
Pricing: $$$
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If you want to be a few steps away from Souk Al Bahar, stay at one of the best hotels in Downtown Dubai.

Palace Downtown is right on the edge of the Burj Lake on Old Town Island. Here, you get panoramic views of Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar.

Choose from one of the rooms and suites in the hotel, dine al fresco with views of the Dubai Fountain Show and treat yourself to a relaxing day at the award-winning spa.

Address Dubai Mall

Address: Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 438 8888
Pricing: $$$
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If your trip to Dubai is all about shopping, then you have to book a room at the Address Dubai Mall.

Located at the heart of Dubai’s largest shopping mall and just a few minutes away from Souk Al Bahar, this hotel has everything you need for a good retail therapy.

Address Dubai Mall also puts you in the best spot for exploring the city with some of its tourist spots just a few minutes away.

Taj Dubai

Address: Burj Khalifa Street – Business Bay – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 438 3100
Pricing: $$$
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Named after one of India’s most iconic landmarks, Taj Dubai brings you to India with its beautiful interior design combined with the hotel chain’s signature hospitality.

The hotel has 296 luxurious rooms and suites decorated with Indian design elements and furnished with modern fixtures.

Taj Dubai also has an impressive list of restaurants including Miss Tess for some Asian street food fusion, The Eloquent Elephant for some British favorites and Tesoro for international fare.

Swissotel Al Murooj Dubai

Address: Al Mustaqbal Street Opposite the Dubai Mall – Trade Center – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 321 111
Pricing: $$
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Combining grandeur and sophistication, the Swissotel Al Murooj Dubai features 251 contemporary guest rooms and suites fitted with the best technological features.

You can also enjoy a modern gym, temperature-controlled outdoor pool, steam and sauna, different treatment rooms and tennis and squash courts for the perfect holiday.

The hotel is also ideally located opposite the Dubai Mall and just a few minutes from the Burj Khalifa, Souk Al Bahar and other spots in Downtown Dubai.

Address Downtown

Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates 
Phone: +971 4 436 8888
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

With the slogan “Where Life Happens,” Address Downtown welcomes you to the heart of Downtown Dubai with unparalleled views of the world’s tallest building.

This hotel is your oasis in the middle of the city with suites overlooking the Burj Khalifa, a signature spa suite and other world-class amenities for the ultimate treat.

Where to Eat in Souk Al Bahar

The Meat Co. 

Address: Level 2 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 420 0737
Pricing: $$$

True to its name, The Meat Co. is the place to be if you want the best steak in Souk Al Bahar.

The meat lover’s dream is famous for its signature Stockyard Certified Angus Steak, Rangers Valley Black Onyx Steak and Premium 180-Day Grain Fed Steak.

You should also try the famous Wagyu Beef and Prime Tomahawk Steaks. If you’re not a fan of steak, The Meat Co. also has chicken, burger and vegan options for you to enjoy.

A meal for two at The Meat Co. would cost you about AED 505, but it will surely be worth it.


Address: Level 3 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 451 9151
Pricing: $$

There are many Indian restaurants around Dubai, but Patiala is the only fine dining Indian restaurant in the Downtown Dubai area.

Offering stunning views of the Burj Lake, this famous restaurant boasts of contemporary interiors that perfectly matches its surroundings.

But more than its ambiance, Patiala is known for its authentic Indian flavors in a menu created by Head Chef Sanjay Bahl. 

Some of the must try dishes at the restaurant include the signature Patiala Lamb Curry, Dal Makhni, Tandoori Paneer Tikka and Murg Biryani. 

A meal for two at Patiala will cost you around AED 490.

Abd El Wahab Restaurant Souk Al Bahar

Address: Level 3 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 423 0988
Pricing: $$

Are you craving authentic Lebanese food? Abd El Wahab brings the flavors of Beirut in a casual dining restaurant with stunning views of Downtown Dubai.

For an average of AED 210 for two guests, Abd El Wahab will treat you to authentic Lebanese dishes like its Grilled Hammour, Lamb Cutlets and Tabbouleh Salad.

Shakespeare and Co.

Address: Level 3 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: 971 4 425 7971
Pricing: $$

A fun, funky and unique cafe restaurant inspired by old Europe, Shakespeare and Co. combines brightly colored interiors with delicious food and beverage offerings.

Known for its fast casual concept, the restaurant serves different European and Middle Eastern specialties including dishes like the traditional Arabian or European breakfast.

You can also try the Vegan Braised Thai Skewers, Shakespeare’s Burger and a wide variety of pizzas.

BiCE Mare

Address: Level 3 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 423 0982
Pricing: $$$

One of the most popular Italian eateries in Dubai, BiCE Mare specializes in Italian and seafood-inspired cuisine highlighting the best products in the market with authentic flavors.

Known for its contemporary fine dining experience, this restaurant serves dishes like Zuppa di Pomodori, Fritto di Calamari, Fettuccia e Cacio e Pepe and Manzo Black Angus Alla Griglia.


Address: Level 3 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 441 9262
Pricing: $$$

Named after the famous Japanese term for “Cheers!,” Kanpai is a celebration of authentic Japanese cuisine and Asian hospitality.

The famous Japanese restaurant in Souk Al Bahar serves traditional Japanese dishes in a relaxing environment that guarantees satisfaction every time.

Here, you can try dishes like Miso Soup, Tuna Tataki, Smoked Octopus, Yuzu Hamachi, Prawn Tempura and Yakitori.

You can also enjoy unlimited sushi every day and celebrate night outs with the restaurant’s extensive drinks menu. 


Address: Level 0 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates 
Phone: +971 4 554 0700
Pricing: $$$

What started as a humble butcher shop in Istanbul in 1965, Gunaydin is now known over the world for its high quality meat dishes with 40 restaurants in different cities.

In Dubai, Gunaydin found its home in the waterfront promenade of Souk Al Bahar where you get to enjoy the Dubai Fountain Show and Burj Khalifa as you dine in the restaurant.

For AED 610, you get to enjoy dishes like Kebabs, Donors, Meatballs and Steaks. 

What to Do in Souk Al Bahar 

Check Out the Different Shops

Check Out the Different Shops
Image source: Dubai Explorer

Souk Al Bahar is a shopper’s haven, especially if you’re looking for traditional gifts that are made by local artisans in the UAE.

The souk is especially famous for shops that sell traditional Arabic carpets, oud fragrances, home decor and gold jewelry.

Dine at One of the Restaurants

Dine at One of the Restaurants
Image source: BBC Good Food Middle East

Souk Al Bahar is one of the best dining destinations in Dubai because it’s home to more than 22 of the best restaurants, cafes and lounges in the city.

So, even if you’re not into shopping, make sure to stop by Souk Al Bahar for lunch or dinner where you don’t only enjoy good food but also see stunning views of the Dubai Fountain Show and Burj Lake.

Where to Shop in Souk Al Bahar

Camel Company

Address: Level 2 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 388 4559

Camels are a symbol of Dubai and there’s only one place in Souk Al Bahar where you can buy the best camel-inspired souvenirs and artwork.

The Camel Company boasts of its heritage collection where you’ll see hand painted designs from local artists featuring the local scenery in Dubai.

Here, you can buy stuffed camel toys, postcards, t-shirts, mugs and stationery to take back home as souvenirs. 

Bait Al Kandora

Address: Level 3 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: 800 717171

The go-to store for the best men’s local clothing in the UAE, Bait Al Kandora creates traditional Emirati clothing, footwear and even perfumes that will surely remind you of Dubai.

So, if you have a loved one that you want to gift with traditional clothing, this is the place to shop. 


Address: Level 2 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 420 1888

Established in 2006, Selsal is known for selling the finest handicraft ceramic goods from the Gulf region.

Here, you’ll find a wide range of products that are perfect for the home, traditional clothing and other locally made merchandise that make for perfect gifts back home.

Mehreen Carpets

Address: Level 2 – Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 422 5352

If you’re looking for authentic Persian and Oriental carpets with the best designs, Mehreen Carpets is the best store in Souk Al Bahar to shop.

The shop only stocks the best quality carpets sourced from Afghanistan, the Kashmir Valley, Turkey, Russia and Iran, so you can guarantee that you’re buying a carpet that’s made by an artisan.

Mehreen Carpets also has an extensive selection of the finest Cashmere, Kanni, Jamavar and Pashminas shawls.

What to Expect from Weather in Souk Al Bahar

Winter: Although you can’t expect any snowfall or heavy rain in Dubai, winter time from December to March means that the city experiences the best weather with temperatures dropping to 16 degrees Celsius during the night.

Summer: Dubai is known for its very hot summers with temperatures reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius during the day from June to September. This is why people avoid going outdoors during this time of the year.

Transition period: Dubai goes through two transition periods in between seasons – April to May and October to November.

Apps to Download When Visiting Souk Al Bahar

Visit Dubai: A must-download app if you want to learn about Dubai’s top attractions including Souk Al Bahar
iOs | Android

S’hail: The app to use if you like to commute since it has all the information you need about Dubai’s public transport system
iOs | Android

Uber: Booking a car service to go to and from Souk Al Bahar
iOs | Android

Careem: Dubai’s version of Uber for booking private car service
iOs | Android

RTA Dubai Drive: The app to use if you want to drive your own car to go around Dubai since it has information about different locations and the best parking spots in the city
iOs | Android