1.Blue Market (United Arab Emirates, Sharjah)
The largest market in the most “sober” emirate is even memorable from the outside: it is an unusual building resembling a steam locomotive. Inside, the atmosphere of an oriental bazaar is successfully combined with European comfort (air conditioning, spacious galleries, and a walking area).
2. Kapali Charshi (Turkey, Istanbul)
If the center of Turkish shopping is in Istanbul, then the center of Istanbul can be considered Kapali Charshi (translated from Turkish as “covered market”), the scale of which will be envied by the largest mega-malls in the world. Almost 4,000 stores are located on its territory. Of our dozens, the Istanbul market is perhaps the most famous among Russians.
3. Hamidiye (Syria, Damascus)
The ancient market, located in the city center, near the Umayyad Mosque, is somewhat inferior in size to the Turkish “colleague” but immediately captivates with its oriental flavor. Artisans make their goods right before customers’ eyes – from earrings and bracelets to carpets. By the way, silver is very cheap in Syria.
4. Khan el-Khalili (Egypt, Cairo)
A labyrinth market occupies as much as 5,000 square meters on the site of a medieval caravanserai. The traditional oriental assortment is presented here: spices, ceramics, and gold jewelry. The local feature is ancient and allegedly ancient papyri.
5. Chorsu (Uzbekistan, Tashkent)
The famous bazaar on the medieval Chorsu Square (its second name is Eski Zhuva or the Old Tower), with its variety of fruits, vegetables, freshly caught fish, and fragrant spices, is closer to food markets than to shopping centers. A few years ago, it was ennobled by building new comfortable pavilions. The main local commodity is cakes.
6. Matrah (Oman, Muscat)
The bazaar in the capital of the Sultanate of Oman is precisely what a decent oriental bazaar is supposed to be: narrow passages, many kiosks, and pavilions. Among national souvenirs, it is essential to notice the fragrant local coffee and silver daggers – khanjars.
7. Gold Souk (UAE, Dubai)
In this famous market, located in Dubai’sDubai’s Deira district, you can not get either carpets or spices: they sell only products made of precious metals and jewelry. But in its area, it is the largest in the world.
8. Gran Sokko (Morocco, Tangier)
This Moroccan bazaar is on the street leading from Sokko Square toward the port. It is not only the goods that are interesting here but also the merchants themselves — among them are many Barbary peasants in colorful costumes, unlike traditional Muslim attire.
9. Souk Waqif (Qatar, Doha)
In Qatar, the Souk Waqif Bazaar is the oldest and most famous. Once upon a time, Bedouins traded at this place, but now the composition of sellers and buyers is more diverse, and the range of goods is much more enjoyable. By the way, here you can buy a traditional white Qatari shawl.
10. Oriental bazaar in Amman (Jordan)
The market near the El Hussein mosque has not received any catchy name. But although this bazaar is unnamed, it should not be discounted: it supplies tourists with many local products and souvenirs and helps out on Fridays when most Amman’sAmman’s shops are closed. In the neighborhood, several shops sell alcohol and beer – these drinks are difficult to find in supermarkets.