A Visual Feast at Muttrah Souq in Muscat

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Looking around Muttrah Souq in Muscat, my eyes were drawn to the sparkle of colourful sequinned clothes, the dull sheen of old silver daggers and the brash brightness of tourist tat.  The smell of spices and incense wafted through the air and the low murmur of Arabic voices enticed me deeper into an Aladdin’s cave of ‘stuff’.

Muttrah Souk in Muscat Oman, one of the oldest souqs in the Middle East

The Mutrah Souq located off the Corniche on the Muscat waterfront is supposed to be one of the oldest markets in the Arab world.

Muttrah Souq in Muscat
The entrance by the Corniche

Muscat has one of the world’s biggest natural harbours.  In historic times, it was a convenient port for the trade coming from India and China.

Muttrah Souq in Muscat
Men hanging out by the souq

Muttrah Souq in Muscat

You really can’t tell how large the souk is from the unprepossessing gate.  Inside the souq is covered in timber sheltering you from the sun but also creating a shady darkness.  You never know what you’d find at the next store so, of course, you had to look.  Part of the fun of visiting the souk is not known what you will find.

Muttrah Souq in Muscat
Traditional Omani headgear

Amongst the stores, I spotted frankincense and gold.  I’m sure I would have found myrrh if I had looked hard enough.  We were dazzled by the ornate treasure boxes in gold and silver, the khanjars (daggers) that Omani men wear and the traditional Omani jewellery of the women.

Muttrah Souq in Muscat
Incense wafting
Muttrah Souq in Muscat
I love the detail of this hat.

We did a careful loop around the souk making sure we knew how to get back to the taxi.  There are lots of side streets that branch off making navigating the souk tricky.

Muttrah Souq in Muscat
Omani flags hung from the ceiling

Muttrah Souq in Muscat

As you would expect, we were approached by vendors trying to sell us things. Vendors though were polite and accepting rejection with good grace.  We never got the hard sell though like we did at the Medina in Marrakech.  Nor was the souq a chaotic jumble of tourist entertainment and local shopping that we found at the old marketplace in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

Muttrah Souq in Muscat
Men hanging out by the souq
Muttrah Souq in Muscat
The intricately decorated ceiling

Visiting Muttrah Souq in Muscat

The souq is open in the mornings and then has an extended lunchtime closing. It reopens in the evening around 4pm.  I found Muttrah souq in Muscat much more enjoyable an experience than other Arab market places I have visited.  Haggling is expected but, these people are experts.  Don’t be disappointed if they only throw you a pity reduction in prices.

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Looking around Muttrah Souq in Muscat, my eyes were drawn to the sparkle of colourful clothes. The smell of spices and incense wafted through the air and the low murmur of Arabic voices enticed me deeper into the market. Check out why you need to visit the Muttrah Souq in Muscat, one of the oldest market places in the Arab world. According to me, it’s one of the best things to do in Muscat! #oman #muttrahsouq #muscat #souq #omantourism #souk
Looking around Muttrah Souq in Muscat, my eyes were drawn to the sparkle of colourful
clothes. The smell of spices and incense wafted through the air and the low murmur of
Arabic voices enticed me deeper into the market. Check out why you need to visit the Muttrah Souq in Muscat, one of the oldest market placesin the Arab world. According to me, it’s one of the best things to do in Muscat! #oman #muttrahsouq #muscat #souq #omantourism #souk

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2 thoughts on “A Visual Feast at Muttrah Souq in Muscat”

  1. This looks like a fun visit.I can probably spend hours wandering around that souk. Love places like this that shows part of the culture and who can’t love all those colors and accessories. I don’t know too much about Oman and glad you had a wonderful experience here.

    1. We didn’t know much about Oman either. It’s actually a wealthy little country but keeps a lower profile than its neighbours.

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