The Riyadh date and vegetable market, also known as the date souk or fruit souk, is located off exit 14. It’s THE place to go for some serious date-shopping and to get on a natural sugar high! Even if you’re not a fan of dates, which I guarantee you will become after visiting this place, it’s definitely worth the visit just for the amazing experience. There’s also a large fruit and vegetable marketplace adjacent to the dates souk called souq ar Rabwa. The directions to the souk, GPS location and google map location can be found at the end of this post.
The best time of the year to visit the souk is during the late summer months when the dates have just ripened and there’s plenty of fresh produce.
Best time of the day to visit would be early mornings, the souk opens around 9 am until noon prayer and the fruit market is open even earlier. The souk opens again after Asr prayer.
Dates are extremely healthy in so many ways, they would deserve a post on their own just to explain all their amazing health benefits. The health benefits of dates are mentioned in the Quran and Hadith, and the most sought-after (and expensive) kind are called Ajwa which come from the Madinah area. Ajwa dates, which the Prophet Mohammed mentions by name in a Hadith, are thought to be the most “potent” of all the date fruits in preventing many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. The fiber rich, soft Ajwa dates also aid in detoxing the body.
The most sought-after and expensive dates come from Medinah, called Ajwa dates. Prophet Mohammed mentions these dates in particular as being especially beneficial for ones health.
I must admit that before coming to Saudi Arabia, I had no clue how delicious dates could be. In my home country Finland we hardly ever get the chance to taste really good or fresh dates so I never imagined these tiny wrinkly things would turn out to be the most mouth-watering super fruits! Now my freezer is full of date fruits (the rutab kind) all year round.
Here’s some information how to freeze your date fruits:
Directions: Heading North on the Eastern ring road, take exit 14 to the your right. Then take a right from the lights and continue on the service road until you get to the main entrance of the marketplace area. There is a huge vegetable and fruit market next to the date souk. The entrance to the date souk is on the left hand side, you can enter from any of the many gates on the side or the main entrance where the guards are sitting. This is where you can stop for some complimentary Arabic gahwa and of course, dates!!
GPS co-ordinates: 24.695271, 46.779406 that is the North entrance to a long building which runs North/South.
سوق الخضار والفاكهة
Ar Rabwah, Riyadh 14215, Arabia Saudí
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Interested in finding more Riyadh souks? Check out this post: Bisht Souk