You might think that the modern malls have outcompeted the traditional soups in Dubai, but the local marketplaces are still very much alive and kicking. One both sides of Dubai Creek are several souqs dealing with more traditional stuff than what you will find at the malls. Spices, nuts, perfumes, gold, local garments, hardware, tools, food items, Indian knickknacks, you name it. A maze of narrow lanes along with a few, some even covered, main streets connect the hundred of shops. Some lanes only deal in one item (like gold, bathroom tiles or baby clothes), which makes the selection rather overwhelming when people finally have found what they are looking for. There are even souvenirs shops in some of souqs for the few tourists who are brave enough to venture out into the real world and the suffocating heat, but else the souqs are a great place for some people watching - you might even bump into an old Bedouin woman with face mask shopping for a new abaya (the black cloak for women).