A Damascene Shopping Spree

Chef Concierge Ghaith Al Naber at Four Seasons Hotel Damascus shares his favourite places to shop in Syria's capital city.

Jan 4, 2010
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Damascene antique shop
Damascene antique shop
Work of renowned sculptor Mustafa Ali
Work of renowned sculptor Mustafa Ali
Villa Moda Syria
Villa Moda Syria
Photography Marcus Gortz
A craftsman's hands at work
A craftsman's hands at work
Photography Stockxpert/Jupiterimages
Syrian fabric designs
Syrian fabric designs
Photography Richard Waite

While visitors in Damascus often spend countless hours delving into the city’s enthralling souks, shopping here can amount to much more than that. Guests at Four Seasons Hotel Damascus—and particularly those with limited time and specific interests—can turn to Chef Concierge Ghaith Al Naber for tips on where to go. Here are a few of his favourite places:

Carpets and more: A marvellous collection of antiques, silk carpets and ceramic tiles may be found next to the magnificent Azem Palace at Dabdoub shop. Be sure to ask Salim or Ali to show you to the “attic,” where you will likely happen upon even more delightful finds!

Antiques and crafts: Some say you can’t beat the offerings at Tony Stephan’s in Souk Al-Hamidiyya, where the selection of Damascene treasures ranges from gorgeous silk brocades to handmade mosaics.

Handcrafted jewellery: Precious stones and Bedouin-style jewellery are carefully collected and showcased at Khaled Al-Hakim at Tekkiye Sulamanieh.

Handmade furniture: Close to Bab Sharqi (the Eastern Gate) in the Old City, old-style Damascene furniture is carefully crafted and inlaid with mother-of-pearl at Giovanni—the store of choice for many international home designers.

A plethora of Persian carpets: Serious carpet collectors will be impressed with the fine assortment of carpets dating from 1900 to 1980 at Bazar Nazeer in Souk Al-Hamidiyya.

A sculpting bonanza: Visit the Mustafa Ali Art Foundation, based in a 500-year-old courtyard house in the former Jewish Quarter, to check out the stunning work—in bronze and wood—of internationally renowned sculptor Mustafa Ali.

Modern art: Contemporary art enthusiasts will be impressed with the eye-catching work by both established and up-and-coming Syrian and other Middle Eastern artists at the Ayyam Gallery—some of which is showcased on a rotating basis in the lobby of Four Seasons.

For fashionistas: Within a 17th-century khan (inn) in Old Damascus, Villa Moda Syria claims to be the first to bring high fashion to Syria. Part of a Kuwaiti-owned chain, it offers cutting-edge European clothing lines for men, women and children that equals anything found in the boutiques of New York, London or Paris.

Click here to see more recommendations from this Concierge.


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