Image via @waytosaudi On Twitter
The holy month of Ramadan is often synonymous with shopping as people often have to shop for suhur and iftar. But, it is also an opportunity to buy new clothes, carpets, gifts for family, and other items as part of the festive month. For some residents in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, however, Dirah Souk (also known as Souk Al Thumairi) is their number one spot for all their needs.
Locals visit Ad Dirah for its souks and shopping malls, with shops selling anything from clothes and accessories to jewelry, antiques, and scents. In fact, this old town is home to a handful of souks, each either consisting of several shops or specializing in a particular service. For instance, Souq Al Zel is a great spot for shoppers to buy scents, carpets, and antiques, whereas Thumairi Gold Market features stores specializing in gold and jewelry.
Ad Dirah also has several other shops specializing in clothing, electronics, edibles, toys, and others. In fact, you can buy traditional Saudi clothing for men, or even abayas for women. As these souks and stores are just walking distances from each other, you can also take in the sight of the old town as you do your shopping.
In hindsight, Ad Dirah is a perfect reflection of Saudi tradition and shopping habits. In addition to buying jewelry and traditional clothing, shops specializing in scents welcome shoppers with distinctive aromas of Saudi oud and incense.
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Sightseeings; Dirah Traditional Souk The oldest and the most visited souk in town, glimpses of traditional Saudi culture and history goes back 1901 when it was a premier location for crafts, jewelry, carpet, dates, footwear, and other traditional selling. pic.twitter.com/VKK3FDUHDO— WAYTOSAUDI - Trusted DMC Since 2005 (@waytosaudi) February 12, 2021
Ad Dirah was founded in the 1800s with some of its modern souks situated near historical landmarks such as Masmak Fort. However, it wasn't until the early 20th century when souks began gaining traction in the area. Today, this much-loved destination receives patronage from locals, and has also become popular with tourists.