The Omani national symbol is the silver-sheathed dagger known as the khanjar. These vary widely in quality and cost, but almost every shop will stock several different models. Most of the modern ones are made by Indian or Pakistani craftsmen under Omani direction, while many are actually made in India or Pakistan. There is a large variety in quality, from the handles to the sheath. The best handles are made of silver-adorned sandlewood, while the lesser quality handles are made of resin. Look carefully at the sheath to determine the quality of the silver work. A good quality khanjar can cost upwards of OMR700. Typically, those will come in a presentation box, and include a belt. In towns like Mutrah, Nizwa, Rustaq and Salalah, trading is a way of life. The objective is not just to buy and sell, but also to pour coffee, share it with friends and catch up on the news of the day. Muttrah Souq The most popular tourist shopping spot in the whole country, The Muttrah Souq in Muscat is designed much like a traditional Arab market, except for its, timber roofing. The souq is packed with little vibrant shops and stalls, selling everything from Bedujewelleryy to frankincense to myrrh. The whole souq is like a maze, and it?s really easy to get lost amongst the tangled streets full of wooden handicrafts and little alleyways selling gold. Walking inside the souq, you will smell the aromas of frankincense as well as Arabian perfumes. The souq is liveliest at night, with lamps lighting the wooden walls of the buildings and crowds of tourists haggling with the shop owners. The locals call the souq ?The Market of Darkness? due to its tiny streets and alleys, which block daylight. Muttrah also has its own Gold Souq, with alleyways full of gold and silver jewellery. There are also stalls selling the famous Omani sweet Halwa, as well as a handful of spices. All in all, the Muttrah Souq is a disorienting yet fun shopping experience! Nizwa Souq Within the realms of the Nizwa fort is one of the oldest and most renowned shopping spots in Oman, the Nizwa Souq. Covered with stalls of all kind; tailor shops, jewellery stores, hardware stores, date stalls, pottery etc., the Nizwa Souq has it all! There are even live cattle and goat markets held at the souq every Friday! The buildings of the souq are quite interesting as it is a mix of both traditional and modern architecture. The beautiful sandy coloured buildings give the Souq a unique and enchanting look. Al Husn/Haffa Souq As the largest and oldest souq in Salalah, the Al Husn Souq is also the busiest. Famous for its immense collection of aromatised frankincense, the souq also sells beautiful handicrafts and breathtaking silver jewellery. The best location in Salalah for exquisite souvenirs and traditional clothing, some of the best purchases you can make are the iconic silver daggers (named Khanjars), traditional coffee pots (named Dallah), tasselled turbans, and of course the incredible frankincense. The local merchants sell frankincense coals, burners, essential oils, lotions and perfumes. You can even try some frankincense honey and ice cream! At one corner, you will see the extraordinary Gold Souq, here you can order the type of jewellery you want, and the goldsmiths will make it for you! Ladies Souq Ibra Every Wednesday, in the desert town of Ibra, the region transforms into one of the brightest and most colourful souqs in the Middle East. This occurs because Wednesdays are Women-only market days! Men are not allowed to step foot inside the market as Wednesdays are dedicated for women merchants to sell their goods to other women. Women from all over the Bedouin area come to the souq to sell jewellery, textiles, makeup, home décor, souvenirs and much more! Dressed in beautiful hijabs and abayas, the women are kind, courteous and very welcoming to foreigners. In another part of the souq, there are women selling dates, goat?s milk, honey and cheese. A refreshing shopping experience as male traders dominate all the other souqs in Oman.
Southwest Asia، Muscat, Oman
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