The Riyadh dates and fruit souk (market) is just off exit 14. It’s ‘the’ place to go for a Date connoisseur and get a natural sugar high!
First-time visitors are guaranteed they will revisit the place. The trip is definitely worth the unique experience.
Recommended: The Best Dates In Saudi Arabia 2023
Location Of Riyadh Dates Souk
A large fruit and vegetable marketplace is adjacent to the Riyadh dates market called Souq Ar Rabwa. The directions, GPS location, and google map location are at the end of this post.
Best Time to Visit the Riyadh Dates Market
The best time to visit the souk is during the late summer when dates ripen and the produce is plenty.
Early morning is the best time of the day to visit the souk. Shops open from 9 am until noon prayer and again after Asr’s prayer.
Dates, A Healthy Food
Dates are incredibly healthy in many ways. The health benefits deserve a post to explain all their excellent health benefits. Quran and Hadith mention the health benefits of dates. And the most sought-after (and expensive) Date is the Ajwa, from the Madinah.
Ajwa is considered the most “potent” of all the date fruits in preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The fiber-rich, soft Ajwa also aids in detoxing the body.
The Riyadh Dates Market Experience
Most dates at the Riyadh market are sold either by kilo or box. However, you can request a smaller quantity and the vendors gladly let you sample all the varieties available.
At first, it can all be confusing. There’s just so much variety. Some dates are pure delicacies. Some to make juices, paste, flour, and syrup. There are infinite uses for the Date fruit.
Dates are available throughout the year. However, fresh dates arrive during peak summer, July-August, as the dates ripen.
The four stages of a Dates Life
Dates ripen in four stages. Each stage has its unique Arabic name.
- kimri is the unripe, green Date
- khlal is full-sized, crunchy, and yellow
- rutab is ripe and soft
- tamr is ripe, sun-dried, and dark
The yellow Rutab is crunchy and a bit sour. These are the preferred sort for many people, but the sweeter and softer ones, Sukari are the most sought-after.
Various Features Of Dates
Dates come in various sizes and a rainbow of colors, moistness, texture, ripeness, and sweetness. Bright red dates look very pretty and inviting, but a warning, these are incredibly sour!
Visitors to Riyadh’s date souk are welcome to sample the different varieties, and some vendors will offer some Arabic coffee to go with it.
Negotiating the Purchase
It’s always a good idea to haggle at the souks. Vendors expect to negotiate a little over some Arabic coffee and dates.
The date season is best during the late summer when the fruits ripen and get their signature sweetness.
GPS coordinates: 24.695271, 46.779406