Hidden away in the magnificent Dubai Mall, as an homage to the merchant history of the Emirates, there is a luxury souq decorated in traditional style, with warm lighting, ornate details and earthy tones accommodating some of the country’s finest boutique stores and coffee shops.
With these kinds of pastiche projects, there is always the stated goal of trying to recreate the original as authentically as possible. In fact, the goal is never really to create reality but to create the fantasy.
A soft vaguely Arabic melody plays in the background, there is not the noise and chaos of the real souq. The numerous perfumeries emit sweet and subtle fragrances, compared to the assault of the senses experienced in a real souq, There is no haggling or aggressive hawkers, here it is a softly spoken customer experience and swiping credit cards.
The experience walking around the Souq is unquestionably wonderful and certainly achieves its goal; whether it is for the local Emiratis’ fond nostalgia for their heritage or the tourists’ romantic and exotic ideal of Arabia, the Souq meets their needs. The colours, the smells, the detailing combined with the soothing modern comfort transports the shoppers not to a historical place but to a dream like place that they have all seen somewhere before.