Dubai’s Fish Market

Slimy fish. Sharks with eyes popping out of their heads. A stench that caused my kids to plug their noses and lingered on our clothes after even a short visit. Why on earth did I like the fish souk so much? I guess it’s because it was authentic. And a bit rough around the edges. And full of interesting things and people to look at.  I hear they are going to build a new one, and that makes me really sad.  This one has been in use since 1988, which may not sound like much, but when a country is only 43 years old, that makes this fish souk a historic landmark! I posted some pictures a long time ago, but here are a few more from more recent visits. I miss this place even though the thought of stinking dead fish isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when I think of nostalgia. 🙂

A few tips: As you can see from the pics, even though it’s known as the fish souq or market, the area also includes a fruit and veggie market with beautiful produce, nuts and dried fruits, dates and a butcher. It closes mid-day, so schedule your visit for morning time or in the evening. For a great deal, try to time your visit right before it closes, but be prepared to be bombarded by fish sellers trying to offload the last of their catch. (This happened to me once when I had four kids in tow – the children were actually a bit frightened because we became surrounded by shouting vendors!) Taking photos and bringing children tend to attract a lot of attention from the vendors. They generally are very friendly and enjoy showing off their biggest or bloodiest catch, but at times it can be overwhelming for small and/or shy children. Lastly, sharpen up your bargaining skills – you’ll need them when negotiating the price. Click here for a map of the location.

dubai fish market vegetable stalls

fish market Dubai



dubai fish market fish 1

dubai fish market fish 6


dubai fish market workers 5

dubai fish market workers 4


dubai fish market crabs


dubai fish market fish 7


dubai fish market workers 1


dubai fish market workers 2

dubai fish market fish 5dubai fish market workers 3I had been to the fish souk many times, but our last visit was the first time I saw these sharks. I have to say it was a really, really ugly scene!

dubai fish market sharks 4

dubai fish market sharks 2


dubai fish market sharks 1


dubai fish market sharks 3

I prefer to hang out by the nuts and dates. 🙂

fish market Dubai nuts


dubai fish market dates

About Lynda

Longhorns and Camels is a blog about exploring Dubai from the perspective of an expat from Texas. It features stories about living in Dubai including descriptions of local culture and popular activities in the region. It also includes photography of the UAE and other countries abroad. It has been recommended by several well-known guides for expatriates: InterNations, ExpatWoman and Expat Focus.
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14 Responses to Dubai’s Fish Market

  1. Looks fantastic…another outing planned!!

  2. How fascinating! I’ve only been to the Seattle fish market, so this one seems even bigger. Love your pictures of the fish with their eyes staring out!!

    • Lynda says:

      I went to the Seattle fish market many years ago – really enjoyed it! There’s no throwing of fish here (do they still do that in Seattle?) but plenty of other interesting things going on! 🙂

  3. Diana says:

    This post reminded me of “The Sopranos” ha, ha, ha…..especially pic number 3!

    • Lynda says:

      so funny! Yep – seems like you could package some of these guys up and send them to someone to “send a message” – hahaha – very mafioso-esque

  4. Mitzie Mee says:

    Looks like such a cool place! I’ve been to the metro station nearby many times, and I’m always laughing at the signs saying not to bring fish in the metro:)

  5. Fab post and love your experience! My family and I been going to the fish market for as long as I can remember. My dad has become a master haggler dealing with the fishermen. I’ve been raised with the seafood purchased almost weekly from the Deira fish market and even now, years later. I can relate with your children, I still feel the same when I visit as it’s a reeking stench filled with old memories nonetheless! 🙂 I most often get my fix of fresh coconut water when I visit as well. 😉 #longliveolddubai

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks so much! I wish I could have gone with your dad to help me sort out how much to pay. 🙂 I always get so overwhelmed – trying to figure out how much to buy, how much to pay, etc. Does he pay extra to have them cleaned? Yes – this is definitely one of the most memorable Dubai experiences for my kids – I have the funniest pictures of them here – and really cute to see them getting bigger and more brave in the photos as the years passed. Ask them about what fancy hotels we went to and they’d have no idea – but I guarantee they remember the fish market! #longliveolddubai – I like that 🙂

  6. A delightful photo essay about the fish market in Dubai. Looks like a great place to visit.

  7. Great series – sad seeing all those Sharks though, a very misunderstood fish (pussy cats really) the film ‘Jaws’ has a lot to answer for.

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks so much David. I know – I was quite shocked to see all those sharks. I found it sobering but obviously it was just another day for the guys unloading them.

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