Savour the local flavours

By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: Jan. 29 – Muscat Festival offers unique opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises. One person who looks forward to the Muscat Festival every year is Zuweina al Jahdhami. She became a businesswoman after retirement and her source? Her passion – cooking. She was a kid who liked football, but one day her great aunt called her in to try out cooking and that is when she found her flair. She began her career in the government in 1973, but it is retirement that brought out the businesswoman in her and it is Muscat Festival that gave her the platform she needed.
912883By 3.30 pm she and her team is all set for the evening at Al Amerat Park. Being close to Gate One and on the way to the Heritage Village makes the location ideal. Her chosen specialty is Zanzibari cuisine and it is an instant attraction for everyone. From grilled Shari fish covered in coconut milk sauce that has been cooked with spices and chilies for long to popular snacks such as pakoras, kachuris and mandazis are much in demand with kadak tea to suit the weather in addition to her special recipe for the tamarind sauce called ‘sbar’ to accompany mishkak.
She has never advertised or used social media for marketing, but is fondly called Mama Zainab and her orders go as far as Nizwa. Over the years she has also established a restaurant, but she says there is nothing that will keep her away from her permanent place at Muscat Festival. Video can be viewed on Facebook @ omanobserver and Oman Observer You Tube Channel.
912891Meanwhile, Ruwa and Ruwan are sisters from Salalah who are at the Muscat Festival to showcase the different grades of frankincense. They are also foundation students. Back in school, they wanted to begin a home-based venture along with two other sisters and they naturally were drawn to the most natural commodity of Dhofar — Frankincense. Their hobby now has turned out to be a trade.
There are a variety of frankincense products they have discovered people have a liking to and so they carry all those products at the Muscat Festival. From gum – resin, chewable frankincense to concentrate oil, aromatic hand creams, their products are well appreciated. With the backing of their family, Muscat Festival is one event they never had to miss out.
There is a whole long row of frankincense shops at the Heritage Village that bring in the charm of Al Haffa Souq in Salalah.
Jewellery is another area young women have been focusing on venture. There are young men too who have invested in costume jewellery as a business venture because experience has shown that these are some of the products that visitors to the festival like to indulge in.