By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Jan.28 – For Omani woman Thamwa Naseeb, Pakistani national Anam and Bangladeshi citizen Shahzadi, three young students of a university, visiting the Muscat Festival venues was just one of the activities to while away their time on a weekend. But upon arrival at the massive Amerat Park on a Friday, they were amazed to see the collections of jewelry, abayas, and other outfits that a woman would always want to add to their wardrobe. “We were like Alice in wonderland after seeing the ladies’ outfits and accessories from a number of countries across the world. What was even appealing is the range of Arab and Middle East countries,” they said.
Traditional abayas, the black longer robe, in all its hues and styles, are pulling women of all ages to the garments pavilions at both festival venues, as said by the shopkeepers. “We have a variety of cuts in abayas which are called French cut, Moroccan and Lebanese styles and butterfly cut which are of great demand”, Naseerudheen, an employee of one of the shop commented. The accessories area, which is highly frequented by virtually all nationalities, is buzzling with heavy footfall. From headscarf to toe rings and from bangles to earrings, these shopkeepers are offering their merchandise for reasonable prices. And bargaining, of course is a virtue of most of the customers.
“Outlet prices are not fixed and that is the second reason why customers are crowding here, besides the variety of styles”, another vendor added. Nearly 40 shops are selling accessories while an equal number of them are displaying the variety of Arab women garments. “They (both abayas and accessories) are not just fashionable and different, but are also affordable and fitting an ordinary customer’s pocket”, Omran Mohammed, a private sector employee and a visitor to the festival said.