Fulfilling your Aladdin dreams, Muttrah Souq is thought to be one of the oldest marketplaces in the world! A labyrinth of little shops — it can be difficult to navigate your way around but let’s be honest, Muttrah Souq is definitely a place that is fun to get lost in!
Located in what was old Muscat, the Souq starts with a modern looking entrance surrounded by shops both new and old. There are two entrances that are clearly marked and the main entrance is clearly visible from the sea road.
The narrow alleyways and are vibrant, with shops selling everything from one-of-a-kind vintage artefacts to high-quality frankincense, gold and precious jewels to funky, handmade purses. A treasure hunt of sorts that one can imagine belonging to tales from One Thousand and One Nights.
The market is well-organised, and you will find shops selling the same kinds of things in the same areas. Many shops sell jewellery and accessories from Oman and around Asia, including beautiful hand-made necklaces from Nepal, embroidered Kashmiri jackets and vests, rugs, carpets and lanterns.
There are shops selling frankincense, oud and other perfumes used in every Omani home, as well as soaps and oils. The frankincense comes from Dhofar, in the south of Oman, and is considered the best quality in the world.
The souq also has lots of gold and jewellery shops, most of which sell goods made with pure Omani silver, which is often more expensive than other silver pieces.
You can also find the Omani Khanjar for sale. These unique daggers are worn by men around their waists, and also appear on the national flag. They are an important part of Omani culture, and Omanis are very proud of them. Each is handmade and etched by professional craftsmen. You can buy them at the souq, including fine examples that are framed for display.
Like in most other countries, especially in traditional old markets, be sure to haggle to get great bargains (Be sure to never get cross or rude, Omanis are warm people known for their hospitality and as a visitor, it is best to be respectful and courteous).