Dubai | Deira Fish Market

Dubai has a busy and exciting fishy business.

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Location Map

A markerPalm Deira Metro Station 1 -
Palm Deira Metro Station 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
[get directions]

West side from here, the Fish Market will just be a few steps away.

A Place to Buy Fish The Cheapest

Every weekend, we take the effort in visiting the fish market because anyway it's the place where we can buy fish at its cheapest. We try stocking up fish for at least three days to a week because a frequent visit is quite impractical. It’s far from our place and the road traffic is tedious.

You will know if you are already in its vicinity once you start smelling fish in the breeze of the air.

The fish market is surrounded by some of Dubai's known landmarks such as the Deira Creek Corniche, the Gold Souq, and Hyatt Hotel. A bus terminal is even situated by the market making it more convenient for people who do not own cars to reach.

The newly constructed Palm Deira Metro Station makes the Fish Market even more reachable to the general public. West side from here, the Fish Market will just be a few steps away.

At the moment of arrival, the sound of the crowd haggling with the often uncompromising fish traders engulfs the area that can even be heard as far as the outside parking lot.

Different variations of skin colors do visit this place which mostly are Asians such as Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, Filipinos, and Chinese, and a minority of other Asians. It's not a place where you can wear nice clothes and new shoes because of the unpleasant fish spatters and wet floor.

The Seafood Treasures

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Fruits

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Vegetables

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The fishes are of great variety including milk fishes, tilapias, squids, mackerels, sardines, mullets, pomfrets, tunas, crabs, and many others.

These seafood treasures come from as far away as Taiwan, and Spain. Locally caught seafood usually comes from the neighbouring countries such as Umm Al Quwain and Oman. The sea where these fishes are caught is just a few steps away from the market.

Huge piles of heavy lively fresh fishes are being wheeled by wheelbarrows all over the place to finally put the fishes into their respective kiosk spots, and this starts as early as 5am.

The fish traders are amazingly skilled linguists. They are able to speak many foreign dialects. If you are a new customer, you'd surely be entertained enough that you would actually forget that you should be haggling. In amazement, you'll just end up giving in into their demanded price.

The entire market is a one-stop installment of markets having dried fish market, meat market, fruit and vegetable market, spices market, and small groceries which are all just adjacent to the fish market, and all are just under one roof.

So if you’ve got a seafood recipe to surprise your family or friends, no matter how complicated and demanding it is, you can conveniently get all your ingredients here.

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All pricings are per kilo

Fish
Grocery's Pricing (Dirhams)
Fish Market Pricing (Dirhams)
Haggled Price (Dirhams)
Sardines
12.00
5.00
5.00 / 2kg
Milkfish
25.00
15.00
12.00
Tuna
15.00
10.00
5.00
Tilapia
20.00
10.00
5.00
Hammour
48.00
25.00
15.00
Salmon
85.00
50.00
40.00
Crab
35.00
25.00
15.00
Squid
35.00
20.00
12.00
Shrimp
38.00
30.00
24.00

Do you bother haggling?

  • Yes. I could buy more with the saved money.
  • No. The traders deserved the pay they ask.
  • I want to, but the idea embarrasses me.
  • I'm too shy to even ask.
See results without voting

The Art of Haggling

My wife is the best haggler of all time. She can unbelievably depreciate the price of a fish per kilo up to almost half its original price. Though, not always successful but the success rate is unmatched. I cannot remember if we have actually bought any fish in our entire life in its original price. She’s very talented in this.

My baby daughter is cunningly equally charming. Just exposing my daughter to the fish traders is enough for them to give us fish in a cheaper price, or might even throw some extra bonuses.

So How Does My Wife Do It?

  1. Ask the Price. Ask the trader how much a kilo is for a fish. You can have your own style of approach. My wife tends to approach them in a nice gentle manner. Others use an aggressive approach. They try to intimidate the trader by asking how much a kilo for a fish in an authoritative tone.

  2. Act Shocked. Act really shocked when the price is given. My wife can definitely win an Oscar as merit for her distinctive achievement in this particular acting. I must admit, I couldn’t pull off this “shocked” acting myself.

  3. Persuade. Persuade him to give it to you half the price. Yes! Half the price. You must be able reach a bargain at your desired price from that benchmark.

  4. Walk Away. If it’s still expensive to you, walk away. Most of the time, the trader will beg you to go back and offer the fish in a cheaper price. If he does not call you back, just try engaging another. 

  5. Rinse and Repeat. Usually, the deal ends at step 3. Step 4 is only necessary if you feel the fish could have been cheaper in other traders. Anyway, you’ve got plenty of traders to choose from.

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Fish Cutting and Cleaning Section

Once you’re done buying, you can proceed to the fish cutting and cleaning section. This will cost you 3 dirhams per kilo of fish.

The fish cutters are really fun to watch. They’re amazing. They all just stand in idle letting only their hand to move in hyper-speed cutting those fishes. They’re like the chefs you often see on TV and you can actually hear the swooshing sound of their knives.

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Parking Inconveniency

In all of the emirates, public parking areas are all charged in an hourly basis of 2 Dirhams(Dhs) per hour with exception for Fridays and Public Holidays. Charging time is from 8am to 9pm. This was once the same in this particular place but that is no longer the case.

I believe this is the only place in the entire emirates to charge public parking spaces for 24 hours, 7 days a week, without any exception for Fridays, and even Public Holidays. This new rule, I believe, was implemented to avoid vehicles staying in very long hours in this busy market to allow every customer to have their chance to avail a parking spot.

Before this rule was implemented, customers usually just leave in frustration. The parking lot is really not spacious enough to handle the hustle and bustle of this busy market. The authorities should be doing something about this issue. The authorities must already be thinking about how to sort out this particular inconvenience.

Bonus Tip

The Best Time to Buy

We couldn’t have known the best time to buy if we haven’t accidentally tried doing it. We, at one time tried visiting the market as late as 9pm. The market closes at around 11pm. I actually disputed with my wife to just go home instead of forcing our already tired bodies to buy fish.

As usual, we ended up buying fish anyway. Persuading her is like asking a rock to move.

To our surprise, all the fishes are being sold half the price, and not only that, each fish trader even added more extra fishes to our plastic bags which almost is half the weight of what we bought from them. We were so happy we did visit the fish market that late. One fish trader told us to come at the same time for it is the best time to buy fishes at its cheapest.

The best time to buy is from 8:30pm until closing.



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Comments 16 comments

GinnyLee profile image

GinnyLee 4 years ago from Arlington, VA

Wow! What a great article! I have never been to UAE, but this looks like a fascinating place to visit. I love the fish market in Washington DC and visit it often, although we typically don't haggle on prices much. I might need to reconsider after reading this!


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

Thank you GinnLee! I'm glad you liked it.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

There's a similar fish market in Doha which I use often. When I used to live in Bur Dubai, I'd often walk to the Deira fish market, through the Shindaha pedestrian tunnel below the creek, or else cross by Abra, but then it's a fair walk down to the sea front. Thanks for the memories :)


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

I love markets and I must say I have never seen a fish/seafood market with such abundance!!!! It is absolutely incredible. You are VERY lucky to have this great fresh fish offer close to home.


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

I have never been to a fish market but did enjoy your tips for visiting one.


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

Hi Paraglider, it's good to see you here!

Wait! Wait! You were just walking from Bur Dubai to Deira Fish Market? That's a bit far, don't you think? Well, I'm sure you enjoyed the walk. :D

I'm not sure if I'd ever be in Qatar, but if I would, I would definitely see the fish market you often visit.


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

Thanks for stopping by Claudia. The emiratis had been known for centuries as skilled fishermen and pearl divers. I guess the culture had been passed down up to this generation.

You could really save a lot of money visiting this market and I believe that's the main reason why the public rushes their way going here. :D


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

Try visiting one mljdgulley354. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'm just not sure if other markets can equal the excitement one can experience here. :P


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Yes, a longish walk, but that's how I spend my days off. My longest was from Karama to Sharjah! It took five hours, but that's how I discovered Al Mamzar, still my favourite of the Dubai beaches. (I took a taxi home!)


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

Karama to Sharjah!? That was insanely awesome!

"I took a taxi home!" - That gave me a good laugh!

Al Mamzar might not be as nice as it was before. The beach's view got blocked by fences and cranes due to new pending constructions. The park may be the same, but the beach? - wrecked. It's previous beautiful view had been spoilt.


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire

Hi

I enjoy a good market, the food is fresher and looks more apetizing than on a supermarket shelf, wrapped in plastic.

I've been to Dubai or rather I've changed planes there when flying with Emerates, sadly I had no time to visit the market. The Blue crabs look interesting, but I would be nervous taking a dead one home for tea, I like to know how long my shellfish has been dead.

cheers good hub.


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

Hi tonymead60. Good to see you! =)

True. The fresh fish you could buy in the fish market is incomparable to the ones wrapped in plastic you see in a typical supermarket. The tenderness and taste of a fresh fish can really be euphoric.

Those blue crabs are my wife's all-time favorite. We never had a time buying there when we didn't have those. Though it may be tedious eating it, it's worth the hassle.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Sorry to hear that about Al Mamzar. It was my favourite weekend hangout when I lived there.


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 4 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

I really wished it to stay the way it was before. Well, all we could do is hope that they would finish whatever project they are building in there at the soonest.


lazy boy 3 years ago

Thanks..this helped me a lot for my filed visit report without visiting it


rLcasaLme profile image

rLcasaLme 3 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates Author

You're most welcome, lazy boy. The place would still be worth visiting, though.

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