Muscat: To boost the morale of Omani entrepreneurs, a daily evening market selling local and traditional products is planned in the commercial township of Muttrah. According to a source at the Muscat Municipality, there are also plans to establish a weekly market within the Muttrah Souq. “The civic body is also actively considering the requests from citizens to open shops in residential areas,” he said. These issues were reviewed and agreed to be implemented at the recently held Municipal Affairs Committee in Muttrah under the chairmanship of the wali of Muttrah, the councillor said.
According to sources, the specialists concerned at Muscat Municipality will study what type of shops can be allowed to operate in the residential areas. “The study will also focus on how these shops could be established without coming into conflict with the existing laws and regulations that govern these issues,” the source added. The businesses in the commercial districts of Muscat and Ruwi have been facing stiff competition from hypermarkets. The new townships of Al Amerat, Bausher, Ansab and Ghubra are also not excluded from the challenges. Some of these areas face acute parking and restroom constraints, which force their potential customers to look for alternatives.
It is difficult to get new customers due to these and more factors. Only a few old loyal customers still come to us even after shifting from our neighbourhoods. Such measures from the government will help address the issue to some extent, said Sulaiman, owner of a multipurpose shop in Muttrah. “I can’t blame competitors for offering better facilities something which we cannot afford to give my customers,” he said. Muttrah and Ruwi still offer nostalgic value to many residents and citizens in Muscat even if they have moved away from the area. “Evening souqs and street food markets will certainly add to the local flavour which is always sought by international tourists,” he added.