Souqs in Oman

Think Oman, and immediately the senses are engulfed by an aura of antiquity and frankincense, the perfect combination that can lead the visitor solely by scent to a number of souqs that most cities in the country contain. The two main traditional souqs of the Sultanate are located in Muttrah and Nizwa, where buyers can find an endless assortment of traditional crafts, handiwork, gold and silver jewellery, khanjars, coffeepots, saddles, Arabian perfumes, camel hair and goat hair carets, hand-woven textiles, and baskets. Bargaining is a must, and the better the haggle, the better the deal!

Nizwa Souq

Lying within the vicinity of the famed Nizwa Fort’s walls, the Nizwa Souq has exploration avenues for the tourist that are expansive and unique. With an incredible array of products on sale, ranging from meat, fish, fruits and vegetables to dates, spices, gold and silverware, the Souq boasts of a history that has stood the test of time for hundreds of years. Khanjars (curved daggers), coffee pots and swords make up the myriad assortment of Omani souvenirs one cannot miss out on.

Timings : Daily, morning to evening
  • Location : Nizwa
  • Governorate: Al Dakhiliyah

Muttrah Souq

The Muttrah Souq is one of the oldest markets in Oman, dating back to about 200 years, and sells various Omani handicrafts, sweets, spices, and Arabian perfumes. Located in the wilayat of Muttrah, the Souq starts from the gate facing the Sea of Oman and the Muttrah Corniche, and ends at the gate leading into the city’s old quarters. Characterized by narrow winding alleys roofed with wood, this Souq is also known as the Market of Darkness amongst the locals due to its myriad lanes lined by shops that block the sun during the day.

Timings : Saturday – Thursday, 08.00AM – 01.00PM/ 05.00PM – 09.00PM | Friday, 05.00PM – 09.00PM
  • Location : Muttrah Corniche, Muttrah
  • Governorate: Muscat

Al Husn Souq

Located right on the mesmerizing beachfront of Dhofar, next to the sprawling expanse that makes up the Sultan’s Palace, is the marvelous Al Husn Souq (also known as the Al Haffa Souq amongst the locales, after the district in which it’s situated), a myriad little area of small shops arranged around a neat grid of pedestrianized alleyways. This is one of the most interesting souqs in the Sultanate, particularly famous for its frankincense, bukhoor, and at’tar. Rare types of perfume can be found here, including the finest of all, Hawjari (or Hasiki), from the wadis around Hasik.

Timings : Daily, 10.00AM – 01.00PM / 04.30PM – 09.30PM
  • Location : Salalah, Sultan Qaboos Street
  • Governorate: Dhofar

Muttrah Fish Market

Situated in a niche at the end of the Muttrah Corniche, the Muttrah Fish Market is an unforgettable experience. To experience the authenticity of the hustle and bustle of an Arabic fishery trade in full swing, visitors should come early to watch local fishermen drag their fishing boats up the beach next to the market to unload a large variety of seafood, ranging from king fish, hammour, prawns, octopuses and crustaceans.

Timings : Daily, 06.30AM – 09.00AM
  • Location : Muttrah Corniche, Muttrah
  • Governorate: Muscat

The Gold Souq

Right off the first alleyway on the left of the Muttrah Souq is the dazzling spectacle of the Gold Souq, a two hundred meter stretch passing through a series of fascinating lanes, and laden with gold and silver jewellery in the form of traditional Omani bracelets, anklets, khanjars (daggers), earrings, and heavyset necklaces. And that not being all, the ornament connoisseur can also find jewellery made out of camel hide and camel bones in vibrant colours, along with chests and caskets made of gold.

Timings : Saturday – Thursday, 08.00AM – 01.00PM / 05.00PM – 09.00PM | Friday, 05.00PM – 09.00PM
  • Location : Muttrah Corniche, Muttrah
  • Governorate: Muscat

Ruwi Souq

Considered to be the downtown getaway of Muscat, Ruwi is a fascinating explosion of shopping and fast-food with its many brightly coloured distractions that offer anything the heart desires. Visitors can find fantastic deals at little fabric and clothing stores, and jewellery stalls. Hours can easily pass exploring the charming backstreets where those with an eye for a bargain can rifle through knick-knacks. The Ruwi Souq is the ideal place to go to for anything from traditional Omani souvenirs to glittery diamond rings.

Timings : Daily, in the evenings
  • Location : Ruwi High Street, Ruwi
  • Governorate: Muscat

Sinaw Souq

The Sinaw Souq is amongst one of the oldest preserved souqs in Oman and has a history that steeps way back into time.Busiest on Thursday mornings when about a 120 shops open for business, the souq is a shopaholic’s delight as it sells practically everything in both its sections: the first one dealing in household items, kitchenware, and traditional silver jewellery (hammered by silversmiths right before the eyes), and the second one selling livestock, fresh meat and the agricultural produce of the land. Tourists will enjoy visiting the souq in the mornings, as it is especially charming to see the local Bedouins starting their day trade.

Timings : Daily, morning to evening
  • Location : Sinaw
  • Governorate: Al Sharqiyah

Souq Al Arba’h

With a name that translates to ‘Wednesday’s Market’, it is no surprise that the Souq Al Arba’h does exactly that; a flurry of activity that takes place every week on Wednesday, and solely run and operated by women. Having been in existence for a little over 15 years, the small, yet colourful market allows women to interact, chat, and trade without inhibitions.

Timings : Every Wednesday, morning to evening
  • Location : Ibra
  • Governorate: A’Sharqiyah

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