Haggle hard at an ancient soukMuscat, Oman
Walk through clouds of frankincense, pass by clutches of locals bargaining as if their life depended on it and eye alcoves gleaming with precious metals. Said to be one of the oldest markets on the Arabian peninsula, Mutrah Souk is arguably the biggest draw for those visiting capital Muscat, if not the entire country. Its tangle of narrow alleys is filled with colourful, matchbox-sized shops selling anything from kumas (traditional hats) to hand-painted incense burners.
Shops are grouped according to their wares, and one cluster of passageways and stalls is so tightly jammed together that sunlight can't seep through, inspiring the souq's local nickname Al Dhalam, meaning "darkness" in Arabic. To say that Mutrah's heaving arteries are confusing to navigate would be an understatement: a local tour guide can help make sure you don’t get too lost and point you in the right direction of your own personal Aladdin’s Cave.
- Picking up mementoes from your time in the Arabian Peninsula
- Meeting the local stallholders
- Buying exotic gold trinkets and rare essential oils such as frankincense and myrrh
- Haggle hard to get a good deal
- Some laneways are more touristy than others – it’s worth a long wonder if you want to escape the hordes
Visit Mutrah Souk on the Oman Adventure with Swagman Tours.