Traditional markets (or as the locals call them: souqs) have been a significant part of the revered cultural history of Oman. For many years, locals have flocked to these markets to trade their products in a community-like environment that celebrate traditions of the olden Omani. You would spot folks auctioning their best livestock items, selling their freshest produce, and inviting passersby to try a taste of their traditional desserts. Here is a roundup of our favourite souqs in Oman.
Famous for trading a variety of antique weaponry and traditional handicrafts, Nizwa Souq is atop the lists of must-visit markets in the country, located in Ad Dakhiliya region (about 2 hours away from the capital), and nestled next to the historic Nizwa Fort. The market sells a variety of products ranging from fresh produce, to farm-raised animals and souvenirs. It’s a perfect stop in a day-trip to the interiors.
Location: Nizwa, Ad Dakhiliyah
Oman’s oldest souq is a wonderland of traditional goods, situated here in Muscat. Facing the picturesque corniche of Mutrah, the market is famously known as a tourist destination to those seeking an interesting combination of traditional ambience and seaside atmosphere. Inside the market, you’d find a variety of exotic goods sold at small mom-and-pop shops that occupy the sides of the market’s narrow alleys. It is best known for its remarkable antique khanjars (daggers), silverware, wooden crafts, and traditional items that are sold at cheap, negotiable prices.
Location: Muttrah, Muscat
Fanja Souq in Ad Dakhiliya region is somewhat overlooked by a lot of visitors who may be unaware that the market is one of the best in trading traditional potteries. Come here to explore the heritage and craftsmanship of the Omanis who mastered the art of pottery-making. The place sells an array of traditional goods, too.
Location: Fanja, Bidbid, Al Dakhiliyah
This market lacks the charms of ‘old markets’ such as those found in Mutrah or Nizwa, but it has a special place in the hearts of the locals, and it sure is a lovely attraction to explore. The market is popular for hosting numerous shops dedicated to tailoring traditional ensembles for the Omani gentleman that include headgears (mussar) and Omani caps (kumma). And, if you walk towards the right side of the souq, you will find the spice market, where you can purchase all your favourite Omani spices, herbs, and dried fish.
Location: Seeb, Muscat