The Sultanate of Oman’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), local artisans and other startup companies marked the 3rd Accession Day with a first of its kind, uniquely themed traditional ‘Souq’ that aimed at attracting both citizens and expatriates to Oman’s treasure of local artists and craftsmen.
Titled ‘Souq al Madina’ by ‘Oman Night Markets’ in association with the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), the three-night market offers a platform for Omani artisans, vendors, SMEs and home businesses to showcase a variety of Omani products and handmade items ranging from garments to jewelry and accessories. Also on display are vendors with honey, luban, candles, art, chocolate and essential oils.
"This night market concept is quite new to Oman and gives people like us an opportunity to meet with our potential customers and help us understand what modifications we need to make to our products," says Husna al Mandheri, an Omani woman who has a startup food production unit.
The market is being held from January 12 till 14 and also showcases the art of making Omani bread, halwa and traditional henna, basket weaving, kuma making, silver articles, besides a range of ‘Made in Oman’ products that include abayas and ladies' apparels, home furnishings, gold, silver and fashion jewelry, bukhoor, cosmetics and shower gels, wooden items, heritage items, paintings, books, chocolates, sugar-free foods, essential oils and much more.
“Our goal is to assist the Oman economy in supporting SME vendors who seek a platform to showcase themselves. The goal is that our SME' s grow with us and the night bazaar is one of several events planned by Oman Night Markets together with Souq al Madina for the forthcoming weeks and it is an ideal platform for both Omani vendors and shoppers to meet face to face and know each other’s needs,” said Nicole Bradbury-Becx, the chief organizer of the event.
In addition, the team has also extended support to participants from the Omani Women’s association by allowing eight vendors to exhibit their wares. Entertainment will include a live Omani band with performances on Jan 12 and 13 at 6.30pm and 8.30 pm respectively. The night bazaar also offers activities for kids, with a play area with multiple activities and an arts and crafts section for the more artistically inclined kids.
Souq al Madina is a community retail centre located in the heart of Madinat Sultan Qaboos. The property is inspired by Oman’s cultural heritage and incorporates several architectural features of the traditional Omani souqs. The tenant mix focuses on the 3 C’s – Convenience, Cuisine and Community.