Southwest of the Gold Souk stretches the extensive covered souk formerly known as Al Souk al Kabeer (“The Big Souk”), once the largest and most important market in Deira. Now rechristened Grand Souk Deira, the whole area has recently been given a major makeover, with the former mishmash of shopfronts and signs now replaced with uniform facades in traditional-looking stone, similar to those in Bur Dubai’s Textile Souk, across the Creek. Renovation has come at a price, however, largely destroying the area’s former ramshackle charm and quiet, while many of the touts who used to roam the Gold Souk now hang out along the main drag here instead, attempting to lasso passing tourists with the usual offers of copy bags, nice pashminas and genuine fake watches. Most of the shops, meanwhile, remain as unexciting as before, selling a humdrum assortment of household goods and cheap toys.
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