SHOPPING

SOUQS AND SPARKLING MALLS

As a thoroughly forward-looking nation firmly anchored in the rich traditions of its past, it’s not surprising that Oman has proudly retained its traditional marketplaces whilst also embracing contemporary shopping spaces with gusto.

 

TRADITIONAL SOUQS

In towns like Mutrah, Nizwa, Rustaq and Salalah, trading is a way of life. The objective is not just to buy and sell, but also to pour coffee, share it with friends and catch up on the news of the day.

Muscat's famed Mutrah souq is the best-stocked souk in the Arabian Peninsula. Here, in its maze of alleyways, it is possible to find traditional clothes, jewellery, spices, antiques, hand-woven Bedouin carpets Muscat and craft workshops. Look for the craftsmen making traditional sculpted silver and ivory daggers known as khanjars.

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Mutrah Souq

At Nizwa’s famous Friday souq, cows, sheep and goats are paraded before an attentive crowd of potential bidders. Trading kicks off in the early morning and finishes before midday prayers. In general, Omanis like to shop in the cool of the evening. To enjoy the souqs at their most lively and atmospheric, visit after sunset.

Another notable weekly-only souq is the Women’s Souk in Ibra. Also known as the Ibra Wednesday Market, it takes place on Wednesdays only in Wilayt Ibra and is dedicated to women. It is open from 6.00am until 1.00pm only and offers a fascinating insight into daily life in this region.

Visitors can take the pulse of any Omani town by exploring its souqs or covered markets, their stalls stacked with incense, produce, spices and antiques.

 

SHOPPING MALLS

Muscat's souqs are utterly charming and the source of some of the finest shopping experiences anywhere, but they're not the only option in town. Modern shopping complexes have sprung up in the city in recent times, mostly situated in Qurum and in the Al Khuwair area facing the Government ministries.

All Muscat shopping malls are fully air-conditioned, have their own mix of local and international shops, boutiques, supermarkets, car parks, cafes, food courts and play areas for children.

Here are some of the city's best known malls: