MUSCAT, Dec 23 – Souq Al Maseelah, one of the biggest traditional markets in the Sultanate, was closed for about 15 years. Thanks to the local initiative led by Yahya al Aysari, 23, the market has got a new lease of life. Having spent all his childhood in the market, he says he could not see the market dying. “I decided to find a way to revive it. I coordinated with the officials and explained its importance.” After he got the green light from the authorities, he arranged meetings with relatives and friends. Al Aysari coordinated with the local community and gathered more than 70 volunteers representing different sections of Wilayat Al Mudhaibi.
“They welcomed the idea and promised to help me achieve my goal (of reopening the market). I am glad to see the souq being run in a proper manner.” Currently, the souq, constructed on more than 7,000 square metres, is witnessing active trading. While the locals are happy to showcase their items, they also want to promote the market as a tourist attraction. Dating back to hundreds of years, it is one of the oldest Omani markets located amidst clay-built lanes. It has two entrances: north and south.
The Al Maseelah market gained fame because of caravans and merchants coming here from different governorates of the Sultanate. The souq offers various products such as livestock, dates, clothes, various vegetables, fruits, fish and traditional handcrafts. The market is open both in the morning as well as evening.
YAHYA AL SALMANI