5 Souqs Every Shopaholic In Saudi Must Visit At Least Once


Modern shopping malls can be found in all corners of the country, but there’s nothing like the thrill of a great find in a traditional souq. Megamalls and shopping centres pretty much carry the same selection of stores but Saudi souqs are where you’ll find one-of-a-kind steals, antiques, and handicrafts. Not to mention — you’ll get a thrill haggling for the best price like the locals.

The country is dotted with local souqs but we’ve found the major shopping havens you won’t want to miss.

Here are 5 of the best Saudi souqs where you can shop your heart out:

5. Historical Souqs of Old Jeddah

Head to Jeddah’s old “Al Balad” neighbourhood — particularly the shopping street next to Bab al Makkah (Makkah Gate) at the entrance of the historic area. Here you’ll find lots of mini souqs specializing in everything from carpets, fabrics and even food. Pro tip — it’s a great place to find a Jeddawi antique.


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4. Dammam’s “Love Market”

The Al-Hob souq (Arabic for “love”) is a must see if you’re looking to buy gold or other fine jewelry. You’ll find lots of gold crafted in traditional intricate Saudi design. The souq opens after 4 p.m. and is a lively place even if you’re not looking to shop. You’ll find fresh delicacies like luqaimat and perhaps even find local artists hawking their work.

3. Souq Al Zal in Riyadh

When you’ve had enough of the glossy megamalls in Riyadh, step into Souq Al Zal close to Masmak Fortress for a unique experience. Enjoy the quaint feel of the narrow streets as you peruse beautiful carpets, traditional daggers and take in the heady smell of oud galore.


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2. Taif Souq

This quaint souq is as pretty to wander around as it is to shop in. A lively area in a central part of the city, it’s a great place to buy locally made goods like honey and incense. Don’t miss out on Taif’s famous rosewater or perfumes. The best part of the souq is taking in the sights and doing a spot of people watching.


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1. Qaisariyah Souq

You’ll feel like you’ve truly gone back to olden times in this historic souq, believed to be at least 200 years old. The cosy narrow laneways coupled with its beautiful architectural facade will take you to a bygone era. Inside you can buy anything from traditional clothes and abayas, dates, handmade baskets and spices.

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