Vendors brave heat for traditional markets

MUSCAT, JUNE 9 – Vendors at Juma Market brave the heatwave to continue their weekly sale as it is one of the most important seasons with Eid al Fitr fast approaching. They do not want to miss out on their regular customers as the Habta Market this year is going to be at Al Amerat. According to Oman Met office, the temperatures will continue to be above 40 degrees Celsius. But that is not going to stop the traders who specialise in the traditional markets.In the past, people rushed to Juma Market located at Wadi Kabir on Fridays. Though the Juma Market now has reduced in size sans the used car sale, the bazaar continues to weave its charm.
Being the last Friday before the Habta market begins, the vendors did not want to disappoint the customers. They braved the summer heat and brought out their best.
There were clothes, Omani caps, footwear, metal work, cables and Jamal al Balushi’s corner. Jamal is excited because he started his business at the Friday Market just eight months ago, but the business has been good.
He hails from Muttrah and his friends also join him in supplying different products. He travels to Iran, Egypt and other places to bring in rare items such as precious and semi-precious stones, antiquities and crystals. There is an old camera and a typewriter as well. Getting a lot of attention is Suwas. It is made of plant fibre.
“Suwas is used only by Balush people who live in Iran especially in Makran. They use it for the mountains and wadis. It also has ropes so you tie them like the Roman sandals. It fits all sizes and they are flexible yet very strong. They are used for hiking as well as by people who gather honey,” explained Jamal al Balushi.
“I am very happy because I am getting customers and am able to develop good relations. I specialise in unique things. As you can see
I have natural stones and jewellery.
I also have currencies and stamps. I have my own collection and I also buy and resell them. My friends also bring their collection to me to sell them,” said Jamal. The temperature must have been topping around 47 degrees Celsius, but vendors went on with their brisk business as people continued to walk in. Today, on the 25th of Ramadhan, the Habta market begins in Al Amerat. Jamal is also excited about the Habta matket. “For the first time the Habta matket is going to be held at Al Amerat Centre. None of these products are going to be there. I am going to Al Amerat with Omani mussars.”

Lakshmi Kothaneth