Allow us to recommend where to buy traditional Emirati items like pashminas, dhallahs coffee pots, herbs and spices, antique khanjar daggers and traditional jewellery. Our list of favorite souqs (see list below) and insider addresses will lead you back in time to sights, sounds and scents just as when the Bedouins would bring their camel trains to trade dates for rice, spices and silks from faraway lands. Then there is the Souq Al Markazi; though the name means Blue Souq, everything here shimmers in precious metals and stones.
Be prepared to bargain in traditional shops and markets, and note that the shopping hours 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm still apply in older shopping areas. Newer shopping centres and malls often remain open all day, from 10:00 am until 10:00 or 11:00 pm. On Fridays, the majority of malls open only around 2:00 pm after the completion of the Friday mass prayer session for the Muslims.
Most internationally recognised credit cards are accepted throughout Sharjah, however, we recommend carrying some cash for shopping and eating at smaller establishments as well as for taxi fares. ATMs are easily found in the shopping and dining areas of Sharjah.
Recommended souqs and shopping centres: