Busy days for Muttrah Souq vendors

MUSCAT, JUNE 5 – Oman’s traditional market Muttrah Souq is all set to share the festival fervour with the shoppers as the number of people is increasing day by day with few more days left for Eid al Fitr. Shops that sell frankincense, tailors specialised in making abayas, sheilas, dishdashas, musar and kommas are putting in extra hours with customers scheduling their visit post-Taraweeh prayers till late midnight.
“Thank God, business is slowly picking up as Eid is nearing and things are going smooth,” Ahmed al Mulla, a frankincense vendor said.
Shopkeepers dealing with Omani and Indian artefacts, gifts and other knick-knacks together with antiques like a traditional Arab market give the feeling that the spirit of Eid is slowly filling the air.
Scores of expat tailors who are open round the clock since the beginning of Ramadhan seem to be the lot that have extreme pressure of work these days.
“These are hectic days but we are thankful for the customer turnout,” says Alam Geer, a tailor who runs a shop dedicated to women’s dresses.
About the trends in abayas and customers’ brand loyalty, Geer said the passion for modern trends in abayas is all the more on the rise and more Omani women are in to designing their own dresses inspired by their counterparts across the borders.
“My customers have diverse demands following the patterns and fashion trends seen across the world. Although women prefer to have them blindly, we follow traditional patterns for them after convincing them because we cannot deviate from the patterns to a great extent,” Geer adds.
On the other hand, men who have been getting their traditional dresses stitched by their tailors for years seem to be unwilling to switch to the branded clothes and their dresses are made ready well in advance.
“We have Omani customers for more than 30 years and we know their requirements very well. So we get their clothes ready when Ramadhan begins and we know they will get their clothes collected by their grandchildren. “And if anyone doesn’t turn out, we know for sure, what might have happened,” says Sidharam Banerjee and his brother, the tailor-duo from the Indian state of West Bengal. Unlike in the previous years, parking on corniche doesn’t seem to be a deterring factor for many shoppers. The vast parking area adjacent to the Muttrah Fish Market can accommodate large number of vehicles.

KABEER YOUSUF