Players assume the roles of the famous Arabian characters like Sinbad and Scheherezade and try to move merchants, assassins, magi etc through the bazaar. By accumulating resource cards and selling them, players get more merchants, move them around, driving out lower ranking people and buying gems. The aim is to reach the palace with a diamond in your pocket, and pass it to the Vizier.
But the rules allow several winning conditions and players can even steal from your bag of gems, making you buy fake gems to protect your diamond. The different roles make the resources have different values, so Scheherazade prefers silks to weapons, but Sinbad values weapons more.