A tribute to Dubai’s Arabian heritage, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, captures the city’s traditional culture, architecture and the bustling atmosphere of the busy bazaars.
Find yourself wandering through the labyrinths of this sand hued luxury mall, against the backdrop of the iconic Burj Al Arab, as you take in the fragrance of Oudh (oil-based Arabic fragrances) from the perfume stores, taste the local delicacies and so much more.
- What is Souk Madinat?
- Top Things to do at Souk Madinat Jumeirah:
- Other Facilities at Souk Madinat Jumeirah:
- How to get to Souk Madinat Jumeirah
- Operating hours Souk Madinat Jumeirah
- Nearby Attractions to Souk Madinat Jumeirah
- Where to stay near Souk Madinat Jumeirah
- More frequently asked questions about Souk Madinat Jumeirah
What is Souk Madinat?
If there’s a mall that stands out best from all the other grand malls in Dubai, it is Souk Madinat Jumeirah offering an immersive cultural experience that’s so much more than just a market place.
Located in Jumeirah, Souk Madinat Jumeirah captures the traditional local Arabian townhouses with its earth-toned walls, wooden structured ceilings and ornate lanterns. And yet, this old goes on to meet the modern in the form of luxury fashion brands, internationally renowned restaurants and vibrant bars. It’s at this outdoor mall that you get glimpses of Dubai’s rich cultural heritage, present at every corner.
Add to it the palm-fringed waterways with Abra boats and mosaic tiled fountains, while looking at the iconic Burj Al Arab in the distance, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is one destination that looks just as magical in the day, as at night.
Top Things to do at Souk Madinat Jumeirah:
The name ‘souk’ translates to bazaar and this unique Arabian-inspired shopping destination is characteristic of traditional souks of the Arab world. It is easy for you to loose track of time in the labyrinth of shops selling Persian carpets, high-quality Arabic spices, Turkish pottery and Arabic Oudh. The place offers home grown boutique brands, souvenir gift shops and luxury fashion.
Most of the shops are located on either side of the narrow alleyways, however your need for retail therapy will also find yourself stopping at some of the outdoor stalls and pop-up shops for some interesting trinkets and finds.
If you haven’t experienced what shopping at the traditional bazaars feels like, Souk Madinat Jumeirah will surely be a worthwhile experience for you to remember, offering Arabic charm at every turn.
2. Dining – restaurants in Madinat Jumeirah
Souk Madinat Jumeirah houses some award-winning restaurants of International cuisines from different corners of the globe. Restaurants that not only serve authentic flavours, but seamlessly blend into the venue’s atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a romantic dining setting, or just a casual catchup with the friends over drinks, here’s a quick list of some of the well known restaurants at Souk Madinat Jumeirah:
- Al Makan, serving authentic flavoured local dishes situated in the heart of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, gives you the opportunity to dine with a front-row view of Burj Al Arab.
- Pierchic is another restaurant offering stunning views, an ‘over the water’ dining experience and is a must for sea-food lovers.
- Famous for pizzas, tiramisu and chalet-style outdoor seating, Trattoria Toscana stands out for its Mediterranean flavours and vibe.
- Dine at Trader’s Vic with a live music band in the background playing some of the grooviest Latin American music.
- The ever so popular The Meat Co. is well known for its excellent steaks, live entertainment and atmosphere.
You will also find restaurants at Souk Madinat Jumeirah serve shisha and alcohol.
Get your caffeine fix by making a quick pit stop at the many cafes, while the children get to treat themselves to gelato from the ice cream parlours.
3. Take a boat ride – Souk Madinat Abra
One of the most recommended things, and one to not be missed when visiting Souk Madinat Jumeirah is to take an Abra ride. These traditional looking Emirati boats go on to sail across the calm waterways, while you get to enjoy some exquisite views.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take Instagram worthy pictures against the backdrop of Burj Al Arab, learn interesting facts about the souk and the landmarks around.
Each Abra boat comfortably seats 10 people, but you can also book yourself an intimate Abra tour if seeking a picture-perfect view and an authentic Arabian experience.
The Souk Abra Station is located near the Trattoria Toscana restaurant.
The Abra tour timings are:
- Winter: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm daily and Summer: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm daily
Each tour departs every 20 minutes and lasts for 20 minutes.
The Abra Tour ticket prices are:
- Full Abra Tour- AED 100 per adult and AED 50 per child
- Burj View Abra Tour- AED 50 per adult and AED 50 per child
- Private Abra Tour- AED 850
No pre-bookings are required but during peak hours and in case of group bookings you need to reserve the tour in advance. PSST go really early on a weekday and you can book a group ride but almost certainly get it to yourself!!
4. Visit the Madinat Theatre
Located in the heart of Souk Madinat Jumeriah, the Madinat Theatre is a state-of-the-art venue bringing crowd-pleasing entertainment to life. Over the years, Madinat Theatres has been showcasing various performances from stand-up comedies, smash-hit Broadway musicals, Russian ballets, Christmas special skits and so much more, performed by some internationally known performers and production houses.
The beautifully draped theatre with its tiered seating, has a 440 persons seating capacity. To book yourself a seat, you can either visit the Box Office or book it online at the theatre’s official website.
For more information on shows and ticket prices, please visit their website: www.madinattheatre.com , or call on 04-366-6546
5. Experience the night life
As much as Souk Madinat Jumeirah looks breathtakingly stunning during the day, it magically transforms after dawn. Beautiful garden lights decorate the exterior part of the mall, while traditional ornate lanterns on the wooden ceilings light up the narrow shopping alleys. Burj Al Arab with its glimmering lights looks magical, and during Christmas time the gardens transform into a festive winter wonderland.
If you enjoy partying late into the night, there are many night clubs and lounges offering a vibrant and energetic night scene you will not find elsewhere.
Every Wednesday, between 6pm and 11pm, the ladies’ can avail free drinks across a variety of restaurants and bars participating in ‘Ladies’ Night’. Participating venues on the ‘Souk It Up’ map such as Belgian Beer Cafe, Trattoria, The Noodle House, McGettigan’s or Perry & Blackwelder’s, allow the ladies three drinks tokens, some which are part of amazing dining deals.
6. Turtle Conservation
One of the last thing’s you’d expect to see in this urban jungle is marine turtles, and yet at The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) based at Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah is where rescue, rehabilitate and release back of native sea turtles into the wild takes place.
The Hawksbill turtle, native to Middleeast is listed as a critically endangered species and vulnerable to extinction. Since the beginning of 2004, these turtles have been brought in for conservation. The Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary at Jumeirah Al Naseem, close to Souk Madinat Jumeirah, allows the public to learn more about sea turtle biology, the rehabilitation and also allow turtle feeding.
Jumeirah Al Naseem’s Turtle Rehabilitation Lagoon is open to the public every day allowing you to get up close and personal with the cute turtles. You also have the opportunity to join the feeding sessions scheduled at 11 am, every Wednesday for about 20 minutes. [On hold at present due to COVID]
Other Facilities at Souk Madinat Jumeirah:
Souk Madinat Jumeirah has facilities such as restrooms, baby changing rooms, free Wifi, prayer rooms and valet parking. The mall is also wheelchair accessible.
How to get to Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Located in the neighbourhood of Al Sufouh, and very close to Burj Al Arab, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is an easily accessible mall, and very popular during the weekends.
If travelling by car, you need to head towards Jumeirah. Take the King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, in the Al Sufouh 1 district and follow signs to Souk Madinat Jumeirah. (Paid) Underground parking is available for visitors as well as valet parking.
If taking the public RTA bus, hop on bus 8, 81, F55A or X28 which stop a 10-minute walk away form Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
Taking the Dubai Metro is also an option, however the nearest Metro station would be Mall of Emirates. From here, you would have to take a 10 minute taxi ride to Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
Operating hours Souk Madinat Jumeirah
The shops at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah operate from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The restaurants stay open from 8:00 AM and 02:00 AM.
Nearby Attractions to Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Burj Al Arab
Built on a man-made island, this iconic luxury hotel, Burj Al Arab provides a 7-star luxury hotel experience, with opulent interiors, and fine dining at restaurants with breathtaking views and Michelin starred chefs. You can only get inside Burj Al Arab with a reservation – we share the cheapest way to get yourself inside!
Experience an unforgettable day with family and friends at Wild Wadi, Dubai’s wildest and wettest theme park. With multiple water slides and a temperature-controlled wave pool, you’ll be sure to have some wild aquatic adventure.
Where to stay near Souk Madinat Jumeirah
There are multiple Jumeirah hotels that are part of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah complex. These are some of Dubai’s most luxurious and exclusive hotels and villas in Dubai with an incredible setting, accessing the souk, the beach, and Wild Wadi water park.
If these hotels are out of budget, you could also consider hotels that are around and attached to Mall of the Emirates, just a short journey away from Souk Madinat Jumeirah (some even offer shuttle buses).
See all the nearby accommodation choices here.
More frequently asked questions about Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Yes, although it is part of the Jumeirah hotel complex, it is very much open to the public too for day visits.
Yes to simply wonder aorund the souk and enjoy the atmosphere is totally free. Do note though, you’ll pay for parking and add on activities such as catching an abra, shopping and dining will all cost more.
You can take the Metro to Mall of the Emirates then catch a short taxi, or in the winter you may feel energetic to walk the 2.8km. Alternatively, you can take the Metro to Dubai Internet City then change to a local bus service.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
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