Mention to someone that you’re travelling to Dubai and they often respond with intrigue. Tell them that you’re planning a visit to the fish markets, and watch them raise a brow and turn up their nose.
Explain your affliction with discovering global food markets, remind them that you publish a travel and food website, and watch their features relax into acceptance behind thoughts such as “we know she’s mad”.
But Dubai’s fish souk is nothing that turns up your nose.
Arriving shortly after noon from a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque, the benches are almost empty and the workers are busy putting the day’s catch away.
I hear one of the men call out to me, pointing to grouper fish lying over ice. Hamour is the specialty fish of Dubai, a tasty fish we ate at the Moroccan restaurant Shoo Fee Ma Fee in Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
Another gestures me to take his photo. He holds up a fish and looks as proud as if he had just caught it. I have a second to capture his photo before I move out of the way of containers being put away.
His co-workers look on in amusement.
There is fresh fish around, with varieties I don’t recognise. I note the large sized prawns and ponder where they come from.
To one side, there is a display of dried fish that captures my interest but none of it labelled.
I would have liked to see the buzz of the markets with the workers weighing and preparing the fish and seafood but that has to be for another time.
Dubai’s Fish Souk is located in the Deira district, conveniently adjacent to the Food Markets and Date Souk, and a five minute walk from the Gold Souk. If you’re planning to visit, best to arrive early in the morning as there is little to see after midday.
Mosque outside the Fish Markets
Fish Market Mural
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