Originally Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010

I was thinking how every time there is a review, it is either of a shop or restaurant or a salon….but never of an actual SOUK! Now for the newbie to Saudi, a Souk is an Arabic word for ‘Bazaar’ or Shopping area.One of my recent favorites for shopping is Souk Shatee….a hidden treasure!
Now to find Souk Shatee, all you need to do is to take the King’s Road, going west, towards Tahlia, and before you reach Stars Avenue, you should see the backside of the souk. They actually have a huge sign on its back.
The best way to avail this treasure is to actually explore it slowly and preferably in the evening, because the weather tends to shoot up in the morning. The souk is open after Asar prayers till around midnight.
Now coming to the fun part…the actual shopping…Some of my favorites are:
I love the store called ‘Ya Balash’, a one stop shop for almost anything! Seriously! I have found such nice crockery, awesome candles, stunning baskets, funky clips, good stationary….and the list goes on!!! I recently threw a Princess Themed party for my 4 years old daughter, and found everything I wanted here! Oh! And I cannot forget to mention the 2 riyals a packet of printed napkins, which I am addicted to, because I don’t much care for white paper napkins while even sitting for lunch at home! These low cost yet really beautiful napkins add elegance to all my meals 🙂
Ok, next on my favorites is the ‘Al Fanoos Stationary’. It is a wonderful shop with very reasonable prices and awesome stuff! It is completely at par with the stuff found at Jarir! I actually found the German brand of Silk Paints that I use here, which were no longer available in Jarir. Also, this stationary has a section for gift wrapping, where they can wrap to your pleasure! They have a display of Cylophene pre-cut designs which you can use for decorations…or as I did for my daughter’s party, I gave them a design of castle, a pumpkin carriage and swans, which they cut and painted to my liking! What is the best thing is that you can ask for a membership card, which will allow you to collect points, and after reaching a certain number; you can spend that amount in riyals in the stationary any time! But the most spectacular thing is there no nonsense return policy! I tend to overestimate, and buy extra stuff…when I go back to Al Fanoos with the left over stuff in proper packaging and of course the receipt; they refund you with credit with no time limit, to be used in the stationary. I am a loyal customer there now!
What’s more…hmm…oh and being a mom with some item or another landing on my abaya, I have come to love the Abaya shops here as well! I can splurge on a formal abaya in one of the shops, while I tend to but the common use abaya from the open stalls, which are really good buy for the price, and I can dispose off with no regrets.
The souk also has nice collection of home decor shops, which will definitely land you with unique and amazing items for your home, at unbeatable price! Literally you can say they are same as something you would find at Center Point.
I have never really bought clothes from there, but my Saudi friends tell me of some shops which carry really trendy clothes, which you can buy at a good price, and are very good value.
All in all, a treasure to visit! And of course for all us ladies out there…another great place for retail therapy ;)!
When you are done shopping…come out and chill at the Papaya Cafe! Another great place I have to write about!:)

 Image Courtesy of: http://www.sauditour.info/en/upload/places/4696481367871621.jpg