D ubai is full of fantastic, fancy fish counters and delis, pop-up fruit and vegetable markets and sustainable, organic produce – but sometimes you just can’t beat the atmosphere at what is one of the city’s oldest and busiest markets.
Set between Al Shindagha Tunnel (which carries traffic beneath the mighty Dubai Creek) and the old Gold Souk in Deira, Shindadgha Market is a merry meeting of freshly caught fish, ripe fruit and vegetables and all manner of pots, pans and baskets for cooking and transporting them in.
Amid the almighty racket of traders hollering at customers about their best prices, haggling over weights and hacking off tails and heads, restaurant staff and houseboys stagger around with heaving carrier bags, while tourists snap pictures of the action and load up on plump, sweet dates.
Of course, remember to shop smart. Not all seafood is as fresh as it seems, so make sure you examine the gills and check the eyes (dull, cloudy eyes are a good sign it’s old – the brighter the eyes, the fresher) – and bring your bargaining skills with you.
Go early and you’ll get the pick of the catch – plus, if you’re planning and buying for a barbecue later in the day, you’ll then get to regale your guests with your experiences, while they feast on the fruits of your (probably terrible) haggling skills.
Opposite Gold Souk, Deira (no number).