An authentic experience to include in your itinerary
Whenever we have visitors coming to Abu Dhabi, we usually have our long list of must-visit spots in the Capital. We bet almost all travelers to Abu Dhabi go back to their home country with a few hundred grams of dates.
If the date market is not yet on your top 10 spots to go to, then add it now as we just re-discovered the quiet date market hidden in the vegetable and fruit market at Port Zayed.
So, next time you pass around the fish market or the carpet souk or take pictures of the wooden traditional dhows at Port Zayed, make a detour and pass by the vegetable and fruit market where you will get a real feel of the old Abu Dhabi.
For today, we will focus on the first alley that is dedicated to dried fruits and the different varieties of dates from across the Middle East.
There are 10 stores or so with trays full of dates outside and inside the shops and shopkeepers encourage you to sample them as you walk along.
We stopped at Al Reef Dates that opened in 1999 and carries more than a dozen varieties of fresh dates displayed in wooden barrels.
We found some locally produced dates such as Lulu and Khlas sold at 20 AED per kg. There is also a wide choice from Saudi Arabia that are very affordable (between 25 and 40 AED per kg) such as the Sag’ai, Mabroom, Khudry, Rushodiah, except the Ajwa dates which were the most expensive in store priced at 100 AED per kg.
We couldn’t leave the shop without trying the soft Majhool variety from Palestine that is sold at 80 AED per kilo.
The shop is open 7 days a week from 8am to 10pm except on Fridays when the store is open from 3pm until 10pm.
Date Market in Abu Dhabi
AL REEF DATES
Tel: +971 2 673 11 37