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Best Markets in Abu Dhabi

What are the best markets in Abu Dhabi? In this article we highlight the best markets in Abu Dhabi.
|-Best Markets in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a bustling metropolis that combines modernity with traditional charm. For expats and digital nomads who have made this city their temporary or permanent home, exploring the local markets can be a delightful way to immerse themselves in the culture, find unique items, and enjoy a variety of foods. From traditional souks to modern pop-up markets, Abu Dhabi offers a diverse range of shopping experiences. Here are some of the best markets in the city that you should not miss.

Souk Qaryat Al Beri

Location: Between the bridges near Shangri-La Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Type of Market: Traditional Souk
Open: Daily, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Souk Qaryat Al Beri offers a modern interpretation of a traditional market, with a mix of Emirati culture and contemporary design. Here, you can wander through the charming alleyways, admire the stunning waterfront views, and shop for a variety of goods, including spices, perfumes, jewelry, and handicrafts. The souk also features several restaurants and cafes where you can savor local and international cuisine.

We Recommend: Visit the souk in the evening to enjoy the beautiful ambiance created by the traditional lanterns and to sample some authentic Emirati sweets from the local vendors.

Yas Marina Market

Location: Yas Marina, Yas Island
Type of Market: Outdoor Market
Open: Saturdays, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM (October to May)

Set against the backdrop of the luxurious Yas Marina and its yachts, the Yas Marina Market is a weekend favorite among locals and expats alike. This outdoor market features organic produce, handmade crafts, and unique fashion items. It’s a great place to find fresh ingredients for your weekly cooking or to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift.

We Recommend: Don’t miss the opportunity to try the freshly baked bread and pastries from local artisan bakers, which are perfect for a weekend brunch.

The Souk at Central Market

Location: Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi
Type of Market: Traditional Souk
Open: Daily, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

The Souk at Central Market is a contemporary take on the traditional Arabian market. This three-level souk offers a mix of cultural and modern shopping experiences, with a variety of shops selling perfumes, spices, jewelry, and Arabic clothing. The architecture of the souk, with its intricate wooden lattices, creates an enchanting atmosphere that transports you to a bygone era.

We Recommend: Explore the perfume shops where you can create your own signature scent or purchase traditional oud fragrances.

Mina Zayed Port Fish Market

Location: Near Mina Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi
Type of Market: Fish Market
Open: Daily, 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

For a truly local experience, the Mina Zayed Port Fish Market is a must-visit. This bustling market is where the city’s freshest catch is brought in daily. You can select your own fish and have it cleaned and cooked to your liking at one of the nearby restaurants. It’s not just a market; it’s an adventure in local cuisine and culture.

We Recommend: Try the grilled hammour (grouper) or the local favorite, fried sultan Ibrahim, for a taste of the Gulf’s seafood delights.

Al Mina Fruit & Vegetable Souk

Location: Al Mina area, Abu Dhabi
Type of Market: Produce Market
Open: Daily, 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Adjacent to the fish market, the Al Mina Fruit & Vegetable Souk is a colorful and vibrant place where you can find a wide array of fresh produce. The market is frequented by locals and chefs from around the city, ensuring that the fruits and vegetables on offer are of the highest quality. It’s a great spot to practice your haggling skills and to stock up on healthy ingredients.

We Recommend: Look out for exotic fruits that are hard to find elsewhere, such as fresh dates and figs when in season.

World Trade Center Souk & Mall

Location: Khalifa Bin Zayed The First Street, Abu Dhabi
Type of Market: Modern Souk and Shopping Mall
Open: Daily, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

The World Trade Center Souk & Mall is a blend of traditional and modern shopping experiences. The souk area has a range of shops selling traditional garments, spices, and souvenirs, while the mall houses international brands and dining options. The architecture is a nod to the traditional souks with a modern twist, making it a comfortable and convenient place to shop and dine.

We Recommend: Visit the rooftop gardens for a break from shopping and enjoy a cup of Arabic coffee with a view of the city skyline.

Ripe Market

Location: Umm Al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi
Type of Market: Organic and Artisan Market
Open: Saturdays, 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM (October to April)

The Ripe Market is a community event that takes place in the cooler months of the year. It’s a place where you can find organic produce, artisanal foods, and handcrafted items. The market also features live music, workshops, and activities for children, making it a perfect weekend outing for families and friends.

We Recommend: Sample the organic honey from local beekeepers and pick up some homemade jams and chutneys as delicious souvenirs or gifts.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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