Spent a few hours rambling around this souq or market.

Mutrah Souq is one of the oldest markets in the Arab world. This antiquity has perhaps increased its beauty, magic and allure. Mutrah Souk or Al Alam Souk has been named after darkness because the crowded stalls and lanes do not allow the sun rays to infiltrate through during the day and the shoppers need lamplights to see where they were going. The market used to be a source of supply for Omanis where they could buy their needs in the 1960s for simpler life requirements.

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In addition to local products like fruits, vegetables, textiles and dates, there were imported goods too. The souk sells traditional textiles, garments, jewellery, incense, frankincense, pipes, pottery and craftwork. Purchase souvenirs like Khanjars and coffee pots, Bedouin jewellery, and clothing (dishdashas, kummas (caps), massar (turban) and khanjar (curved daggars) for the men; dishdashas, surwal (trousers), lihaff (shawl) for the women).

Mutrah Souk has narrow winding alleys roofed with wood. Among the local Omanis, this souk is called the Market of Darkness, with its myriad of alleys and roads lined by shops that block the sun during the day. This name applies to the section that extends from the Prophet’s Mosque to Khawr Bimbah. The east and west parts of Mutrah Souk, separated by Khawr Bimbah, are also known as ‘the small market’ and ‘the large market’. The Market of Darkness is the small market, whereas the large market is the wholesale market.

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