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Iraq Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Iraq

The long-established town markets sell copperware, silver, spices, carpets and brightly coloured rugs. In Baghdad the copper market is a centre of noisy activity with coppersmiths beating their pots into shape.

Shopping hours

Sat - Thurs 09:00 to 18:00, or to 17:00 during summer.

Nightlife in Iraq

Baghdad was once famous for its nightlife, with first-class restaurants and all-night clubs where music and sometimes alcohol flowed. Now Iraqi liquor sellers and drinkers are forced underground. Much of the alcohol sold is counterfeit and the price is often more than doubled due to the difficulty in obtaining it. Members-only clubs in Baghdad are currently the only relatively safe havens for socialising, protected by high walls, guards and members lists. Most people stay home at night after 1800 because it is too dangerous to be out. Iraqi cinema and music is on the up, however.

In late 2009 a series of raids on night clubs in Baghdad closed down many of these premises, even those which had licenses. These raids, allegedly with the backing of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appear to be part of an increasingly conservative crackdown. Other targets include controls on internet cafés, where the government has blocked certain websites and new restrictions on the media and book publishers.