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Shopping in Sudan


The souks in Sudan have stalls selling food, local crafts, spices, jewellery and silver. Special purchases include basketwork, ebony, gold and silver and assorted handicrafts. Visitors must not buy cheetah skins: the killing of cheetahs is prohibited and they are a protected species under the World Wildlife Act.

In Khartoum, most shopping is still done in street markets or souks. The souks here are not as attractive those in other Middle Eastern countries but are still interesting enough for a glimpse of Sudanese economics. And you can certainly buy everything you need, including handicrafts if you are a tourist, from these markets. Prices are not amazingly low due to transport costs for imported (mainly Chinese) goods, but cheaper than in Afra Mall or proper shops. Upmarket, Khartoum has only one shopping mall with a supermarket, several shops and food outlets.

Shopping hours are generally Saturday to Thursday, 8 am-1:30 pm and 5:30 pm-8 pm.


Located smack in the city centre, Souk Arabi is your classical chaotic market teaming with people. The market is divided in to several sections, each focussing on a certain product. There is even one block devoted to gold, although it certainly looks less sophisticated and organised than its counterpart in Dubai. However, this souk is a bit lacking in term of handicrafts and fresh foodstuff. You are better off going to Souk Omdurman for handicrafts.

Afra Mall, located on Africa Road in the southern suburb of Arkawet, is Khartoum's and Sudan's only mall; it is more like a small neighbourhood mall rather than those you would find in Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai. It has a supermarket and retail outlets selling clothes and other things you would expect to find in a mall. You can find money changers and pre-paid mobile telephone kiosks too. Afra Mall is certainly not a must-see attraction, nor a place to head for a night out.

For visitors, Al Amarat Centre is probably your best bet for tracking down imported foodstuffs and household items.

Souk Omdurman is a very large Sudanese market. Most of the commodities are cheaper and vegetables and fruits are fresher than Souk Arabi. You can get handicrafts here. The handicraft street is towards the northern end of the market, near the gold section. The street is actually a covered lane between two buildings with gates at either end. Its not very busy (in comparison with the rest of the market) and they can lock up and go home in the evenings, and sometimes on Fridays also. There are many local buses between Souk Arabi and here.

In Khartoum North (Bahri), Saad Gishra is a covered market place and is Bahri's main shopping market. Prices here can be a little higher then those in Souk Omdurman. However it is much more easily navigable for tourists.





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