There are several souvenirs that you can get from Dubai
There are several souvenirs that you can get from Dubaifrantic00/Shutterstock.com

Wrap Up Your Dubai Trip With These Memorable Souvenirs

Whether it's traditional Emirati attire or camel milk chocolate, here are our top picks for the trinkets and treasures you should take home with you

Your Dubai tour has unfortunately come to an end and you can’t seem to decide what to get for yourself and your loved ones back home. There are plenty of gifts to take back with you from antique Bedouin khanjars to gorgeous lanterns and Arab spices like sumac and zaatar.

Whatever you choose will make a great gift if it comes from a place of respect and appreciation but if you’re still confused on what to buy, here’s our guide to some of the best Emirati souvenirs to get from Dubai.

Arabic Coffee

A traditional Emirati coffeepot and teacups make for a beautiful souvenir
A traditional Emirati coffeepot and teacups make for a beautiful souvenirhussein farar/Shutterstock

Drinking gahwa is a central component of Emirati and Arab hospitality. It is traditionally prepared in front of guests on a flask called the dallah and served in small handleless cups called finjaan. Cardamom, cumin, cloves and saffron are also added to enhance the taste of fresh coffee.

A coffee set is a memorable souvenir to take back with you. You can find beautifully crafted sets at the local souks but they can also be found in department stores like Bloomingdale’s. Local gifting brand Silsal also makes dallah and finjaan sets. Visitors can also check out the Coffee Museum at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood for a tasting experience and its gift shop.

All Things Camel-Made

Shampoo bars made from camel milk
Shampoo bars made from camel milkthecamelsoapfactory/Facebook

From camel milk to camel soap to camel milk chocolates, Dubai is in love with the ungulate. Camels are a key part of Emirati heritage and culture and weren’t simply a mode of transport; they also served as a status symbol and their meat, milk and wool allowed Bedouins to thrive in the desert.

Camel milk can be found in most major supermarkets. Al Nassma’s premium camel milk chocolates contain a variety of flavours including dates and Arabian spices. The Camel Soap Factory uses 25 per cent camel milk and fragrances such as lemongrass, sweet orange and lavender to make soothing soaps. The Nomadic Camel brand has a range of wool scarves, handbags and jackets for purchase.

Gold

The Gold Souk is the best place to find good deals for the precious metal
The Gold Souk is the best place to find good deals for the precious metalPatryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

There’s a reason Dubai is called “The City of Gold.” Its iconic Gold Souk is THE place to buy the precious metal along with diamonds, silver and gemstones. The little shops tucked away in the Deira alleyways will offer you competitive deals and you are likely to find traditional Arab jewellery as well as more contemporary designs. Rings, bracelets, bangles and necklaces are just some of the most popular products on display but visitors can also request custom pieces. The daily price of gold is displayed inside and outside the store but it is encouraged to bargain and get the best deals.

Perfumes

The fragrance of oud is quintessentially Emirati
The fragrance of oud is quintessentially EmiratiStanislav71/Shutterstock

The Perfume Souk is a three-minute walk from the Gold Souk and a visit here will have you walking away with bottles of enchanting fragrances. You will be spoilt for choice in picking among thousands of traditional Arabian scents which come in the form of sticks, powders and crystals. Oud is an expensive fragrant oil derived from resin and worn traditionally by both Emirati men and women, while bakhoor is agarwood chips soaked in jasmine and sandalwood. Visitors can request for a personalised aroma to be created based on their skin type and personality.

The Souk Al Bahar store in Dubai Mall is another place to find the fragrance of your dreams.

Traditional Sweets

Fresh dates on sale at the Deira marketplace
Fresh dates on sale at the Deira marketplaceClari Massimiliano/Shutterstock

No visit to Dubai is complete with sampling Emirati dates and Arab sweets. Visit your local neighbourhood grocery store for the best Emirati brands such as The Date Room, Bateel and Al Barakah Dates. The most popular date types are medjool, sokari, khalas and khidri which have texture profiles ranging from dry and sweet to chewy and syrupy.

Furthermore, baklava is a mainstay of Levantine and West Asian food so head into any Arab bakery to buy a fresh lot of them. Khabees, maamoul and batheeth are some of the other Arab and Emirati sweets to bring back home.

Emirati Attire

Women and girls wave UAE flags during National Day celebrations
Women and girls wave UAE flags during National Day celebrationsMelnikov Dmitriy/Shutterstock

The beauty of a jellabiya, abaya, kandoora and ghutra is unmatched and Emirati citizens look extremely elegant and classy in them. The jellabiya is an ankle-length and comfortable robe which has eye-catching embroidery; the abaya is a long black robe that goes over a jellabiya or other clothing; the kandoora is a full-sleeved ankle-length robe mostly worn by men (it’s also known as a dishdashah or thobe); and the ghutra is a headdress of white fabric with red design or plain white fabric to protect the head from sandstorms and the heat. It is secured with a black ring called the egal.

Clothes are a wonderful souvenir because you can wear them and feel connected to the memories you made. Traditional clothing can be found at the Textile Souk, Souk Al Bahar, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and Naif Souk.

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