Abu Dhabi Central Market and Souk
The souk was so popular amongst both locals and visitors, it was decided to build an indoor souk in its place but give the consumer an authentic Arabic experience rather then the brightly lit, fast food smelling atmosphere we are all too used to seeing in every mall in the UAE. The architecture for Central Market has been carefully thought out to resemble a traditional souk with a modernised edge. The façade has a desert feel due to the sand ingrained into the concrete and glass which is also beneficial for sandstorms. Long corridors, balconies, courtyards, alleyways and small shops combined with deep musky Arabian scents will give the senses you are in old time Arabia. There is a mix of shops including jewellery, fashion, gift and ornamental stores plus many cafes. Most of the previous shops from the old souk will be back at the Central Souk, however many moved on and settled in other places such as Madinat Zayed shopping centre. During the cooler part of the year, it is planned that the courtyard area will retract their roofs and let the natural cool breeze seep in which is a dramatic change from the cold air conditioning we all know and sometimes hate! As well as the souk, the Central Market will consist of three towers; residential, office and hotel/serviced apartments again all keeping with the same look as the ground level souk, however a clever feature is the way the angle is cut at the top of the skyscraper to incorporate solar panelling which will in turn power the mall. Very thoughtful.
Points of Note:
- Even though the entire Central Souk hasn’t opened yet, go and pay it a visit just for a coffee. You’ll be amazed at the contrast from your standard food court mall.
- Unlike the majority of malls in the UAE, you’ll have to pay for car parking at the Central Souk
- It’s easier to make your way there by taxi.
When – Sunday to Thursday 10am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 10am – 11pm.
How long – It’s a mall.
Location – Central Market Souk on Hamdan Street (opposite the Golden Tulip Hotel).
Cost – Free – unlimited.
More info: http://www.centralmarket.ae