The Princess Souq has been moved and with its relocation has come a major upgrade. Gone are the low ceiling and piece meal materials of wood, plastic corrugated roofing, canvas throw overs and rotting carpet that used to hold the old, dark, dank and dirty princess souq together. The new location of the souq, part of what is officially called the ibn Qasim Market, is held up with high metal frames covered with large white sunshades and underfoot is a lovely patio type tiled floor. We thought the move might hike the prices, but no, you can still buy garish gowns for next to nothing at the New Princess Souq.
The other thing that seems to have been cleaned up at the new location is the D&D’s (aka Dirty and Disgusting men). You can read all about them in my previous Princess Souq post. We spent a hassle free morning at the new improved souq when I went with a couple of friends.
That isn’t to say there aren’t still men, but they seem reasonably sane and relatively capable of normal interaction with women. And they were happy to go on my little Weehee (was meant to be woohoo, but really, it didn’t come out that way) video.
The clothes are still hung in racks packed closely together so you feel like you’re moving through an ocean channel of frills, tulle, silk and satin. And that old second hand smell can still be caught when you are deep into the rows of hangers, reminding you that your purchase will likely need a good wash or dry clean when you get it home. And when you pull a gown off the rack to assess it more closely, chances are high that baubles, ruffles and and diamantes will be present in excess.
The ladies found themselves a few goodies. I just took photos. Some gowns actually look quite reasonable in an overstated way and for less than 40 Riyals you could find yourself a gown or two.
|Mrs B happy browsing.|
It can be a fun rushing over to assess the costume discovered with calls of ‘Come and look at this’ and ‘OMG – this can’t be for real’ to ‘Wow, what a bargain.’ Some women head down to the souq on a very regular basis. I am not one of them. Hailing from the shorts or jeans with t-shirt brigade I don’t have a lot of call for gowns so will go on the odd occasion if I’m feeling particularly bored, want to buy some princess dresses for the granddaughters or there is a nice lunch somewhere afterwards.
The new princess souq is south of the south western ring road. One lady, in giving instructions, said it was just down the road from the old souq. It’s actually down the road, under the bridge, Turn left then, with the concrete works on the horizon, turn right and then…..oh never mind, here’s a map. Google co-ordinates are 24.568012, 46.745333.
Location of the New Princess Souq, Riyadh