Souq Al Alawi

Top choice in Jeddah

Jeddah, SAUDI ARABIA:  Saudi women shop at a grocery in the Souq al-Alawi market in the old town of Jeddah 29 December 2005. The market is the biggest market in Saudi Arabia where hundreds of thousands of Muslims from different countries have so far arrived for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which begins on January 7. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI  (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

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This souq runs off Al Dahab St and is the most extensive in the Kingdom. The market stalls cut into the heart of the old city and buzz with the activity of traders and pilgrims. Search long enough and you'll find genuine Arabian jewellery, Islamic art and traditional dress. Be here at sunset when the call to prayer fills the lanes – this is Arabia at its best.

The atmosphere is especially cosmopolitan during the hajj season. Bargaining with merchants is encouraged, so never settle for the price listed on the tag.