Central Market Project - Al Danah - E2 - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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What is Central Market?
The Central Market, also known as the World Trade Center Souk, is an intriguing blend of tradition and modernity nestled in the heart of Abu Dhabi. Imagine a space where the charm of an old-fashioned souk meets the sleek architectural vision of the 21st century; that's what Central Market offers. Here, one can wander through alleys lined with an array of shops and stalls that emulate the historical trading ambience that once thrived in Abu Dhabi. Interestingly, the Central Market is not just a marketplace; it's a vibrant cultural hub where the local community and tourists alike come to shop, dine, and soak up a unique atmosphere.
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History of Central Market
The original Central Market, which stood on the same site, was a cornerstone of commerce in Abu Dhabi for decades. It traces its roots back to the 1970s when it was erected as a traditional market or 'souk', buzzing with vendors selling spices, fabrics, and a assortment of goods. As Abu Dhabi prospered and developed, the decision was made to revitalize the area, leading to the launch of an ambitious project to transform the traditional souk into a modern facility while preserving its cultural essence.
Designed by the famed architect Sir Norman Foster, the new Central Market project managed to encapsulate the spirit of the old souk within a more contemporary framework, merging modern design with traditional elements. This reinvention has allowed the marketplace to retain its status as a social and economic nucleus for the local community while adapting to the city's evolving urban landscape.
Why is Central Market Important?
Central Market holds significant importance because it acts as a living link to Abu Dhabi's mercantile heritage. While modern malls and high-rises have reshaped the city's skyline, the Central Market serves as a tangible reminder of the emirate's traditions and social history. It is a place where the past is respected and integrated into the current city life, striking a balance between retaining cultural identity and embracing progress.
Moreover, it stands as an economic catalyst that fosters small businesses and supports local artisans. The Central Market also plays a role as a community hub where locals gather, reflecting the social practices that are an integral part of Emirati culture. For visitors, it's an essential stop to experience the warmth of Arabian hospitality and to acquire authentic goods and souvenirs that tell the story of the region.
Things to Do & See at Central Market
The Central Market is an authentic sensory journey where each nook offers something new. You can spend hours perusing the myriad of shops that feature traditional Emirati crafts, stunning jewellery, fragrant spices, and beautifully woven textiles. Don't miss the opportunity to haggle like a local and snag some unique finds at bargain prices—it's part of the fun and expected by the vendors.
Be sure to explore the food stalls and eateries scattered throughout the Central Market. They offer a taste of genuine regional cuisine along with international dishes. If you're captivated by architecture, the blending of old and new design elements in the Central Market buildings is a sight to behold. Lastly, the observation deck at the Central Market provides panoramic views of the cityscape—a breathtaking perspective of Abu Dhabi you shouldn't miss.
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