Shopping in El JadidaEdit This
El Jadida is a quiet little town just off the coast of Egypt some 100 km from Casablanca. This town bordered by 3 km of coastline and has a very moderate climate throughout the year. It draws in many tourists during the summer from the neighboring cities. As such, there is no specific El Jadida Shopping area but there are many markets spread throughout the city.
Main Market-Souk el Hamra
Just downtown from the city, this old market place comes to life around 4 p.m. with people bustling through the narrow market streets on foot, some on cycles and others with bikes. This El Jadida shopping place is always filled with street side vendors who set up shop on a wooden table or on the sidewalk itself. Vendors sell anything from clothing items to accessories such as scarves, bags, shawls, hats and jewelry. Other than these footpath hawkers, there are rows of continuous shops lining the streets that sell groceries, bags, CDs, electronics and more. You will find some shops here that deal in carpets and rugs. These Egyptian “Kalins” are embroidery rugs made specifically in Islamic countries only. Although they can be costly, even for a tourist, they are worth the money spent as you will not find these Kalins anywhere else in the world. The streets have many teashops that serve hot and sweet mint tea, which is exclusive to the place.
Traveling to the Market
The locals mostly visit the El Jadida shopping areas on foot as the market covers many streets and locales. If you are staying near a market place then it is advisable to go into the area on foot so that you can experience the market place as well as visit every shop there. If you are traveling to Souk el Hamra then book one of those tiny beige taxis. It should not cost more than 2$ to the downtown market regardless of where you stay. Alternatively, you can prefer to come by bus also.
Good Deals and What to Buy
Although a predominantly Islamic country, the people of El Jadida are well versed in French or Portuguese. Therefore, if you have a working knowledge of these languages then you should have no problem at all. However, the inhabitants of the city are not very fluent in English so you may have to hire a guide in the souk. These guides will charge around $5 to $10 for the entire day and will even bargain for you in the market place and keep hustlers away. Since, the town’s economy survives on the export of beans, chickpeas, almonds, maize, eggs, wax and hides, you can get these items for less in the souks.