Shoppers have been coming to Muscat’s Mutrah Souq for 200 years or more. Here, Nishad Padiyarath picks out some of its most one-of-a-kind finds.
It’s always a magical experience to visit the iconic Muttrah Souq on a weekend. You could either walk across the souq in under 10 minutes or you could even spend hours here with the family, and shop for a variety of goods rarely seen in modern markets. For anyone looking to buy the famous frankincense or even traditional jewellery, this is the perfect place to shop. Mutrah Souq, is one of the oldest of its kind in the Arab world, and it continues to stand as a symbol of traditional Omani trade. Thousands of tourists visit daily to get a glimpse of this souq.
Have you read ‘Aladdin and the Magic Lamp’? Let’s face it: we all dream of walking in Aladdin’s shoes and think of having that magic lamp to make our three wishes. Well, you can find that famous lamp here at Mutrah Souq. The vintage lamp is beautifully decorated with vibrant enamel. Made of bronze, this genie lamp comes in various sizes and the one we found at Old Silver LLC is
priced at RO9. “This is our best-selling item. Most of the tourists come and enquire about the lamp,” says Salim, the shopkeeper at Old Silver LLC.
If you’re a frequent visitor to Mutrah Souq, you can never miss the famous Ali Baba Gift Town located in the centre of the souq. Owned by Akthar Rasool Baksh, the shop has been in existence for more than 90 years. The store has some of the best antique collections that you could dream off. The highlight of this shop is the Omani antique silver necklace that weighs 375 grams. The necklace has six Maria Theresia Thalers and a large disc with a sun motive. “In Arabic, we call this necklace ‘as Samt’,” explains Akhtar. “This is a rare necklace and people come here to take pictures of it,” says Akhtar. You can buy this beautiful jewellery for RO350.
The Arabic coffee pot famously known as ‘Dallah’ is a common item you can find here at Mutrah Souq. It comes in various shapes and styles and was used by Omani Bedouins for serving coffee or Qahwa. This silver coffee pot is a rare piece that can be found only at Ali Baba Gift Town. “It’s a richly ornamented pot and it was used as a sign of Omani hospitality,” says Akhtar. This iconic piece is priced at RO800.
Are you looking to buy an antique looking glass from Europe? You don’t need to go that far. You can find it right here in Mutrah Souq. Ali Baba Gift Town offers a wide range of mirror collections. This 80-year-old Roman antique looking glass is a handmade piece and is priced at RO350.
Jamal Mohammed Ali Trading at Mutrah Souq is truly a magical place to visit. The shop showcases items that date from more than 4,000 years ago. As you enter the shop, the first thing that catches your attention is this antique globe made of bronze. Hung neatly inside the shop, this globe shows the map of the Ottoman Empire and is priced at RO65.