KABEER YOUSUF –
In her home country, the Philippines, Rose Banguis is one of the hundreds who will be out late every Friday evening. Together with her friends, they would reserve 10pm as their food hunting time and there is no better place they’d rather be than spend it on a night market.
“The tropical climate back home gets friendly in the evening. But on top of that, every Friday, there’s this pop-up night market where different food items are on display,” she shared.
“It’s a walking distance to where I live but people from even miles away would all come just to see what was going on. Our night market offers artisan foods and other than that, it also offers the menus of up and coming chefs who would like to see if their food preparation will click with the public,” she shared.
When she passed by Al Qurum late Monday evening, the vibrant stalls lining up the area definitely caught her eyes.
“It’s something that is really exciting. I’m interested to see what this night market would be like and what the SMEs will offer,” she said.
Like Rose, those who have travelled out of Oman and experienced the uniqueness of night flea markets in Asian, far eastern or European countries will definitely be excited about this latest attraction in Oman.
The month long night market which will officially be opened in a day or two will certainly have all the features of such night markets from abroad.
It will definitely become a place where people can haggle for their favourite items. Under the stalls’ neon lamps, many Oman residents will have an opportunity to re-experience walking home happy after winning a bargain.
Clothes, footwear, accessories and toys, the night market will offer diverse products coming from Oman’s prolific SMEs. It will also offer a diverse range of gastronomic delights.
However, the only feature that differentiates the Winter Market organised by Arabian Gate Expo is that the scores of small shops are arranged on a pedestrian bridge between the Al Araimi complex and CCC in Qurum.
This initiative is an attempt to support hundreds of SME’s in the country. Each small and medium scale business, startups are given a week or so to run their business on the bridge as part of the night market so as to accommodate more such entities.
“This is an attempt to replicate the night markets we see outside Oman mostly in Thailand, Taiwan and the like. More than that, this will give our local SME’s a chance to display their products and services to the visitors,” says Ruqaya al Mani of Arabian Gate Expo.
The night market is open from 4pm till 10pm every day and people can access the same either from CCC or All Araimi complex side because it’s happening on the huge, iconic pedestrian steel bridge which was recently opened to public.
“If these stalls will not offer food, then I’m definitely looking forward for a good bargain on some shoes, bags and accessories,” Rose said.
“I knew of a few people who are just as excited as I am to visit the night market,” she added.
The trial run of the night market has been on since the last two days.