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  • Writer's pictureAndi Dela Torre Griffiths

A Charming Destination Where Old Meets New | Al Seef District

Al Seef Heritage Souq, commonly called Al Seef District, is a popular tourist spot in Dubai. It is known for its sandstone buildings, creek views, and beautiful architecture reminiscent of the fictional Agrabah.

Old Dubai portion of the Al Seef District | UAE travel blogs

Souq (also the same as souk) is a term used to describe places where people buy or sell goods in Arab cities, like bazaars and street markets.

What is there to see?

Before we get to that, it’s worth mentioning that in this promenade, old meets new. It has a modern area with hotels and restaurants you would find in any other city, and a heritage area where the charming old-world buildings are. It is the heritage part you should check out.

Al Seef District | Dubai, UAE
Al Seef Heritage Souq | Dubai, UAE | Memento Vivere Travel blog in Asia

For starters, you can do a walking tour. Soak in the vibe and see what the outdoor stalls offer, like the ones below.

Beautiful ceramics for sale
More antique goods and paintings at Al Seef
Beautiful statues and antique goods at Al Seef District

You can also treat yourself to fragrant Arab oil perfumes or tea leaves. We visited a perfume store that sells various fragrances, and they all smelled great. They had an assortment of bottles you could choose from as well.

Beautiful oil perfume bottles at Golden Oud Perfumes in Al Seef District
Tea leaves for sale | Golden Oud Perfumes | Al Seef District

Grab a Drink

Their version of Starbucks matches the whole theme of the district. It’s a small branch where many tourists grab coffee or iced tea to have something to drink while walking around. There are also a few seats if you want to chill. It gets packed in the afternoon, though, especially during the weekend.

Starbucks at Al Seef District | Dubai, UAE
Al Seef Heritage Souq | Memento Vivere | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi

Check out the Other Stores

There are dozens of boutiques you can enter. Take your pick from various stores that sell all sorts of things: dresses, accessories, carpets, unique home decor, shawls, and more.

Ibrahim Naseri stall | Al Seef Heritage Souq, Dubai | UAE travel

There's a lot of unique stuff inside the shops in the complex, most of which are Middle Eastern home decor like pillows, lights, cushions, and table fabrics. They have nice fashion accessories too.

Colorful pillow cases and carpets inside one of the boutiques in Al Seef

Below are more souvenirs, antique goods, hats, and bags. We got to try these outfits to see how they would look on us. One of the sellers was kind enough to let us put them on.

Visiting one of the boutiques inside Al Seef
Clothes, accessories, lamps, and accessories for sale
Crystals, dresses, hats, and lamps for sale

Stunning Arabic Architecture at Al Seef District

Going to Al Seef is a must if you are traveling to Dubai; it is one of the best ways to have a cultural experience through the Arabian souks, the music, and the stunning architecture.

Al Seef Heritage Hotel | Al Seef District in Dubai | Travel
Al Seef Heritage Hotel

It still looks beautiful in the evening (we went here during nighttime last year). But for me, it's best to come in the early afternoon with the sun out. You can appreciate the old-world structures better in broad daylight.

A store called "Belgium Waffles" in Al Seef
Beautiful structures at Al Seef District in Dubai, UAE

Outfit & Look of the Day

In most places like the mall or other tourist areas, you can wear almost whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t look tasteless.

For our visit, I wore a long sleeveless dress to match the rattan earrings I got on Shopee. Then, I paired it with my comfy flats.

Al Seef OOTD | Dubai travel blog | Visiting UAE

The scarf was from one of the shops that we visited. It’s a light Brown shawl with little studs in it. There’s a lot of walking to be done here, so wear comfortable clothes and footwear.

Dubai outfit | Orange rattan earrings from Shopee


  • Bring a water bottle or a tumbler to stay hydrated;

  • You can also bring a cap or a pair of shades if you like;

  • Restaurants and food stalls are available in both old and new areas of the district.

Paintings for sale | Al Seef heritage souq
Al Seef District in Dubai, UAE travel

I guess that would be all for today. Make sure to check out the blog page for more Dubai articles. They all come with practical information you can use later on.

Copyright © 2023 andltorre | a lifestyle blog by andi
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