Forts & Castles
The traditional Arabic market place is
called the souq and these are found in many of the towns throughout the Sultanate. One of
the oldest preserved souqs in Oman is in Muttrah, on the Corniche. Gold and silver
jewellery is found in abundance as well as numerous wooden carvings, ornaments and spices.
Muttrah souq is a maze of pathways leading in and out of each other. 'Household' goods
make up the bulk of the souq, but browsing through some of the smaller shops may result in
a lucky find. Bargaining is a must, however. Gold and silver are well priced and mainly
sold by weight. Good buys are
khanjars (the traditional Omani dagger, worn by men) and incense burners.
Nizwa souq hosts a lively cattle market early each Friday
morning where cows, goats and sheep are auctioned. The obstinate behaviour
of the animals often provides great amusement for the spectators. There
is an abundance of local handicrafts and produce in the covered souq.
Silversmiths can be seen hammering patterns into the hilts of khanjars
and women sell the birka, a glittering, embroidered facemask worn by local
Sinaw souq is best visited early in the
morning on weekends. It has similar ware to Nizwa souq, including a cattle market. Some of
the silver shops sell the old silver Bedouin jewellery, but you have to look hard. This is
actually the new souq, the old one being situated to the rear. The old one is now
Ibra souq is open to all, as long as you
are female! It is a fairly recent innovation, opened in 1990 and is held on Wednesday
mornings. It is the only souq in Oman which lends itself totally to the needs of women.
Lotions, cosmetics, powders, textiles, perfumes and henna are amongst some of the items on
In Muscat or most of the big cities all around the
world we find the old markets still exist despite
the spread of giant shopping malls.
Al Dhalam (darkness)
Market in Muttrah is one of the most
popular bazaars in Muscat. It has been named after
darkness because of the crowded stalls and lanes
where the sunrays do not infiltrate during the day
and the shoppers need lamps to know their
The name of the market has been drawn specifically
from the part that extends from Al Lawatiya Mosque
to Khour Bimba where the place is really full of
stores and stalls and the narrow area of lanes does
not allow the sunlight to enter.
In the past the market was built from mud and palm
leaves, which suit the high temperatures and the
hard climate conditions at that lime.
The market was a source of supply for Omanis where
they can buy their needs in the sixties when life
requirements were simple than today. Most of the
goods were imported, in addition to local products
like textiles, fruit, vegetables and dates.
The market becomes more crowded and active during
Eid seasons when Oman is come from all over the
country to buy garments and jewelry.
Al Dhalam Market in Muttrah is considered popular,
social and economic record that reflects Omani
features in the different walks of life.
Muscat Municipality has renovated and decorated the
market to maintain the popular style and it also
paved the ways and lanes to afford the shoppers and
tourists all comfort.
Forts & Castles
Welcome To Oman