Thursday, 20 August 2015

Out and About: A look at Mutrah Souq

I've written specifically about shopping for silver in the Mutrah souq/souk before, but today I wanted to take an overall look at the market, which I believe is one of the oldest in the country.

The entrance to the souk is clearly marked out once you reach Muttrah. You step through the arched frame and there is that sense of stepping back in time the deeper you walk in. From what I understand though, the souq was updated recently. That aside, the souq has an old charm with its small shops and winding tiny lanes. As you walk through the smell of Bukhoor is everywhere.

You can find anything from scarves to antiques, and even industrial scale cooking pots. Generally types of stores tend to cluster together. The shops straight after the main entrance tend to be the most diverse though, I guess to catch the tourists. The prices for most items are negotiable and haggling is a long standing tradition, although I personally tend to do this for higher priced items, like jewellery.
I have only ever visited in the evenings after the souq reopens for the day at 4.30pm but it is open in the early morning until about midday, and opening hours are extended during Ramadan until midnight.

Tripadvisor lists Murtada A.K. Trading (link) as the top place to see in Muttrah (and by extension in the souq) and number 22 of the "things to do" in Muscat, but I haven't figured out exactly which shop this is -- so if you know please advise, and other recommendations are also welcome!