Market of darkness? The local name for Muttrah Souq is Al Dhalam Souq. “Al Dhalam” means darkness and “souq” means market. Muttrah Souq is located opposite Muttrah Corniche where it’s main entrance can be found. It was called Al Dhalam (darkness) Souq as the sun rays has no chance to penetrate inside due to the congestion of shops and some part of it are narrow alleys that I had to stop and let the person on the opposite side to pass before I proceed.
Even though no sunshine inside the market, I find it very interesting, the atmosphere, the mixture of people and the artistic wooden ceilings that comes in different designs are very charming and well preserved.
Muttrah Souq is very popular tourist attraction in Oman along with the Muttrah Corniche. People of different nationalities make up the traffic inside the souq from the locals, Middle Eastern, Asian and Europeans. The locals and middle eastern get their household supplies and other nationalities are just simply looking around and buy items that amuse them as souvenirs.
A wide range of products are displayed and sold in each stall. Gift items, souvenirs, clothes, framed khanjars (omani dagger), textiles, house decorations, incense burners, frankincense, sheesha (arabic pipe), spices, hair accessories, tailoring materials, perfumes and so on.
Khanjar and Kuma is part of Omani male dressing. Kuma is the embroidered cap they wear on their head and Khanjar is the Omani dagger worn on the waist on their disdasha.
Incense burning is part of Omani culture. The Omanis burn incense to make the house fragrant and also to welcome visitors. Incense burners come in different styles and different designs.
Here is a shop that sells different kinds of spices from different countries. Honestly, the only thing I recognized here are the dried red chilis.
Sheesha is the long arabic pipe that goes with different flavors such as apple, orange, etc. It comes in different sizes and perfect to smoke during winter along the beach.
Omani jars were used in the past as water and food storage and even now, the locals in the villages still use these jars for storage purposes.
Muttrah Souq showcases Omani culture like a museum as these items can be found in almost every household which are essentials in their day to day life.
One thing I’ve learned in visiting countries is that markets are the best places to understand and get to know the local culture.
From the Ruwi Roundabout, take any taxi and all drivers know Muttrah Souq. At the time of this post, RO 1.500 would be reasonable enough until the entrance of Muttrah Souq. If you don’t want to bargain, get into the taxi sharing, you need to wait for a few minutes as the driver will take other passengers, it would cost Bz. 200. The sharing taxi will stop and drop the passengers at Fish Roundabout and from there Muttrah Souq entrance is approximately 500 meters away.