Local flavour: Traditional wear at Bin Shador Readymade Garments and a model of a traditional Emirati house at Al Khoos Gift and Novelties Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/xpress

Dubai: A traditional souq selling items reflecting Emirati culture is set to open in Naif, Deira.

While 20 outlets have already opened on a trial basis, the official opening of the souq will take place when all 92 shops, including a restaurant will throw their doors open for business, a senior Dubai Municipality official told XPRESS.

“The shops will sell traditional items, gifts, clothing reflecting the Emirati way of life. A few shops have already opened and the souq will be open to the public soon after other shops are ready,” Khalifa Adbullah Hareb, director, asset management department, Dubai Municipality, told XPRESS.

Down nostalgia lane

Ahmad Ali, whose gift and novelties shop is among those already open, said: “All things at our shop are those that were used years ago. We are not only selling, but also promoting our culture.”

He showed a variety of items ranging from kahwa kettles, small boxes, models of dhows and also a model of a traditional Emirati home. Fatima Basheer Ahmad, who works at Shumookh Novelties Trading, said: “The things available here are not what you would easily get in the market. These traditional daggers, clock, have all been designed and made here.”

Shopowners said though the souq is yet to be completed, visitors are already streaming in. “There is a lot of variety and the items are vey different. At my shop, we are selling oudh, jalabiyas and traditional jewellery. We expect a lot of customers in the coming days,” said Mohammad Saif of Bin Shador Readymade Garments.

The Heritage Souq will have 92 shops, of which 49 have been allocated to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders.

The souq is expected to preserve the local heritage and encourage Emiratis to trade, with the venture expected to create job opportunities and markets for community service. From oudh, jalabiyas, handicrafts, antiques, beads and gems to accessories, the Quran and also pottery, visitors can get a hands on feel of the Emirati way of life. The souq also features a restaurant and coffee shop.