Shopping day! First we headed to Al-Karamah, a popular shopping district with rows of small shops selling clothes, accessories and souvenirs. Most of the items are cheap made-in-China stuffs, not much different than those we usually see at Petaling Street or Sungei Wang Plaza. The only reason it’s worth visiting is because the souvenirs here are generally cheaper than other places.
Had brunch at a Punjabi restaurant. The restaurant was the only one nearby that opened before noon so we didn’t have much choice. Fortunately the food was really good!
From Al-Karamah we went to Heritage Village to see how Dubai people lived during the old days. It was around noon when we got there so it was unimaginably hot! If it wasn’t because of the heat, we would have spent more time looking at the outdoor exhibits.
Welcome to Heritage Village! This is the roadside entrance.
Replica of a Bedouin camp.
This is the entrance by the creek.
Next we visited Dubai Museum. We actually went there by accident, we wanted to go to shops where we could buy cheap and nice textiles, but the taxi driver dropped us near the museum. So we went inside. For AED 3 (RM 2.70) per person, it was a worthwhile visit.
The historic Wall of Old Dubai, where the museum is located.
Let’s get inside!
The museum is divided into two areas - outdoor and underground. Since it was too hot to see much of the outdoor exhibits, we spent most of our visit underground, in fully air-conditioned galleries.
One of the very few outdoor exhibits that we chose to see, only because it was on the way to the underground galleries!
Dubai traditional costumes.
From Bur Dubai (Old Dubai), we then took a cab and crossed the Dubai Creek via Al-Shindagha underground tunnel and headed to Spice Souk in Deira. Pjot bought saffron for her mum. Apart from spices, other dry food like nuts (cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds etc.), tea and coffee were really cheap there too. I bought half kilogram of cashew nuts for AED 50 (RM 45).
So many spices, most of which I didn’t even recognize.
That’s Ali the store operator. We had a good time confusing him with our bargaining skills :-D
Me and Fara at the Spice Souk entrance.
We then crossed the creek back to Bur Dubai the traditional way - using the abra.
The abra ride was just AED 1 per trip. We made quite an impression because we were the only ladies on the abra, the rest were all men coming back from work. And we had our big shopping bags in tow!
The scenery was really beautiful. I enjoyed the abra ride much more than the dhow cruise the night before. Notice even that other abra only had men on it.
Safely arrived at Bur Dubai abra station.
The area around the station is full of textile shops, especially those selling ready made materials like beddings, shirts and scarves. However if you are looking to buy cut fabrics (i.e. to make baju kurung), this is not the place. Shops here only sell wholesale fabrics in rolls. That is unless you are looking for high grade beaded fabrics, which you can buy at a minimum length of 4 yards.
Fara trying on a scarf.
Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the prettiest fabric of them all?
She made her choice. Gorgeous!
Nice once like those above only costs AED 150 per yard, so for a minimum of 4 yards (about 3.6 metres) it’s hardly RM 500. If you buy it at stores like Gulatis in Malaysia, it can easily cost you RM 1,000 and above. By the way, the fabric is wide so 4 yards so it should be enough for a pair of baju kurung or kebaya.
Since we were also looking for normal fabrics for personal purchase, we were told by the wholesalers to go to an area called Meena Bazaar we could get those in retail. They said that the place was just nearby, so we decided to walk with our shopping bags and all. Walking around the area only posed one danger - we stopped to shop for more stuff even before reaching the intended destination!
This place sells nice abayas for about AED 110 (RM 100) a pair. We just had to buy one for each of us!
Finally we reached Meena Bazaar. We were too tired so we just entered the first store that we saw and went crazy buying cut fabrics and sarees.
Back at our apartment with a day’s worth of shopping!