No matter how long your visit is, be sure not to miss the Muttrah Souq in Oman. Take home a handful of authentic and rare relics from the oldest Arabian marketplace in the world. Be it a few hours of transit or a quick run through as the cruise stops by, visit this old alley and breathe in ages of history. It sure is among the most visited places in Oman.
Set across the beautiful Corniche, this traditional Arabic souq is a lovely place to pick up some quirky gifts. Take a whiff of the sea air and inhale in the fragrance of the burning incense, and wander through the winding alleys of old world goods that evoke the times bygone.
It is one of the cleanest souqs you will ever visit in the Middle East and is a good hangout to buy affordable souvenirs of traditional origin. As you stroll through the narrow alley, you can see the shopkeepers clamoring for your attention with their different wares at bargainable prices.
At first glimpse, you can see huddled shops that sell varieties of incense, Arab perfumes, pashmina shawls and even unique pieces of silver blended between rings, coins, and charms. There are also shops with different Omani crafts and attractive silver wares as well as colorful Turkish mosaic lamp shades, mosaic glass chandeliers, and stained glass windows that charm your eyes
If you love the delicate scent of Middle East incense, you should try out Bakhoor. Bakhoor means in Arabic scented bricks or a mix of natural ingredients of Oud and Agarwood. They are soaked in fragrant oils and mixed with resin, musk, ambergris, sandalwood or flower oils. It is a tradition in Oman to burn incense at homes but it is proved to lift up moods and fight depression. So why not get high with a simple affordable bit of scented wood?
Omani frankincense is best known for its high quality. Ancient Dhofar buzzed with Frankincense trade and cities and civilizations have been built around it. The amazing benefits of frankincense oil include medicinal use as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and expectorant.
The Souq has plenty of gold and jewelry shops that display antique jewelry designs and pendants in gold. The Gold Souq Muttrah is just a walk from the main entrance. If you love to go in chunky jewelry and make a big fashion statement, this is a must stopover. These shops not only keep accessories from Oman but also from Asia and even include Nepali hand-made necklaces.
Most of the silverware utensils are made with pure Omani silver. You can find sets of traditional silver coffee pots, incense burners, and rose water sprinklers. The antique silver coffee pots have little danglers at the base of the handle. The lids have small stones sealed inside them, which will rattle once opened. Stories say it was designed to announce an intruder who could be attempting to poison the drink.
The Omani Khanjars are traditional daggers worn by men around their waists and is also the national emblem. Khanjars are made of gold or silver for the upper class while local craftsmen use brass and copper. The sheath is adorned with exquisite craftwork and was part of the everyday attire. Nowadays it is used as ceremonial daggers and worn at formal ceremonies. Buy one and adorn your home with an Omani ethnic relic.
After finishing your shopping, go for a walk in the Muttrah Corniche and marvel at the skyline of Muscat dotted with classic Arabian buildings. Across the road, you can view His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s luxurious yacht of floating in the waters. Have fresh fish grills soaked in aromatic spices at the seaside local restaurants and feel the charm of the ancient port town.
So that’s it. If you don’t visit Muttrah Souq, then you haven’t been to Oman. Visit and buy rare souvenirs to keep and give away to your friends.
Have you ever been to Muttrah Souq? What did you like about it? We would love to know about it.
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