Souk: Souk: gold, inciense and silver.
Souk is in the old town, close to the promenade.
Also there are some shopping centers but they are not very interested.
Jewerly and perfums shops are very goods and cheap for European people.
What to buy: In the souk you have to go for a walk not to buy. They want to sell you whatever.
You must to see first and later to go to buy.
The price is around the middle of they ask you at first.
In the souk you can buy species, coffe, pistachio pastries, nuts, inciense, traditional handicrafts and silver jewelry.
For gold jewelry is better that you go a jewelry store. Gold is cheaper than Europe and don't charge the jewelry work, only the weight of the gold.
Also for perfums is better that you go to a perfumery. There are a lot of very good perfum oils but you must smell them before buying, they can be too strong to you.
Also you can buy incense, it's the best of the world. they sell natural incense, sandalo and some perfums to burn.
What to pay: They are very good trader, Oman people love doing business. You have to be a hard negotiater if you want to get a good price.
The Most Valuable Perfume in the World
What to buy: Amouage Gold is the signature perfume of Oman. It was created in 1983 when his highness Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al bu Said, had a dream to restore the great Arabian art of perfumery. Guy Robert, a famous FrenCh perfumier assisted in the creation of Amouage which has Silver Frankincense as it's main ingredient along with jasmine, ambergris, rose, myrrh, vanilla vetiver and over 120 natural ingredients.
This combination creates the most beautiful exotic scent. The bottle is 24% lead crystal with gold plated decoration.
There are now other perfumes in the range but the original Amouage Gold cannot be beaten. This is my favourite perfume.
What to pay: It's not cheap! Actually it's really expensive. I bought it in Oman for around £80 for the eau de toilette, which is about £35 cheaper than I have found it in the UK at Harrods.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
along road: pots and carpets
Driving into Oman from the UAE there is not much to buy except fruit from a few stalls, and carpets and pottery. These last need to be bargained for.
there are shops where there are villages with all basic commodities too.
What to buy: pots and carpets
What to pay: according to your bargaining skillsRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Muttrah Souk: Souking
Old Muttrah Souk has tow entrances - a main one on the coast and then one behind (not far from Muttrah Fort). There are hundreds of stalls & shops selling pretty much everything. Make sure you shop around as while the price probably won't change hugely it will be different.
What to buy: Incense is probably the coolest buy and given that its used so widely in Oman it seems quite cheap compared to back home.
As with every market it seems there are the obligatory pashmenas - bargain hard ladies, but watch the quality - some are top quality from Kashmir some are not!
There are also carpets etc , but to be honest i think it is a little pricey here compared to say India.
What to pay: Incense is around 1-2 rials max - make sure you get plenty of coal, not sure where you can pick this up at home!
Mutrah Souq: Mutrah Souq
This is an essential to-do and shopping experience in Muscat. Very lively and quite a variety. What really makes it enjoyable is that you are not hassled like similar areas in Tunis, Marrakech or The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
You will also find places to eat or have coffe in the souq.
There are many winding alleys, but you can't really get lost. If you get to the other side (back entrance) of the souq, there are many nice shops which is not part of the covered souq.
One will probably not leave the souq without buying an insence burner and frankinsence (about 2 OR each).
What to buy: Frankinsence, ceramic burners, dishdasha, perfume and oils, silver jewelery, khanjars etc.
The textiles are mostly from India.
What to pay: Prices are more or less the same from shop to shop. Haggle only if you really feel you need to.
Muttrah Souq: Muttrah Souq
Muttrah Souq is the oldest market place in the Capital Area and is located behind the Corniche of Muttrah.
What to buy: Frankincense, spices, dates and antiques jostle for the limelight with electronic products, Barbie dolls and fashion accessories.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Ruwi Souq: Little India
Many different shops, including supermarkets, textile shops, many clothing stores, electronics etc. It reminds me of India, and most shops are also run by the Indian community. There is a great atmosphere at night, many people coming to do shopping, socializing and to eat at the many small eateries.
What to buy: Textiles, electronic goods and clothing.
What to pay: Prices are cheap, but check the quality
Mutrah Souq: Souq Shopping
The Mutrah Souq in Muscat (near corniche) is one of the most popular places for souvenir shopping in Muscat, Oman. The men will ask you for a price but through my experience start extremely low. The local Khanjars made of silver make a great present but the local men demand a high price. Dont buy from the first 10 shops in the souq because they are the most expensive, go deeper into the souq and the prices generally drop by 25%. Another tip, a real Khanjar should cost around 50 RO and you can tell that it is legitimate by counting the rings on the handle of the blade (more rings means better quality).
What to buy: Special items include Khanjar as mentioned and a dishdasha(no more than 8 RO).
What to pay: Khanjar in a souq (real one cost 50 to 60 RO) and the fake ones run 15 RO.
Football jerseys cost no more than 2.5 RO
Sandals cost no more than 4 RO.
There are shops selling perfumes in the various souqs in Oman, including the Mutrah Souq in Muscat. The perfume in Oman is very famous and you should buy some for yourself, family and friends. There is a large variety to choose from, and it can be placed in a traditional bottle to make it look very presentable. A small bottle will cost about 5-10 Omani rials depending on which type.
Khanjar (traditional Arabic knife)
Many people in Oman still carry the Khanjar, especially in the rural areas where people are still very traditional. Khanjars are made of silver and a normal sized Khanjar will cost at least about US$100. If you cannot afford it, you can buy the minature Khanjars (also made from silver) at about US$15 each.
The famous traditional pottery at Bahla
One of the things you must buy from Oman is the traditional pottery in the town of Bahla if you are there. The design is very simple and beautiful, and the price is cheap. They have lots of stuff like vases, frankincense burners, candle holders etc etc. More information & photographs are at my VT Bahla page.
When you are visiting the fish markets in Oman, you should buy the dried small sardines back home. What you can do is fry them and they taste very delicious when fried. One packet costs about 1 Omani rial and they can be stored for very long.
Frankincense & its burner
Frankincense is a hard resin (comes in many grades) obtained from the bark of the Boswellia tree which only grows in southern part of Oman, Yemen and north-eastern part of Somalia. Throughout history, frankincense has been very precious and it was more valuable than gold in the past. Frankincense is famous for its nice aroma when burned with coal, and the Omanis use traditional frankincense burners (see photo) to burn it.
What to buy: Therefore, buying frankincense & its burner is a must when you are in Oman. You can obtain them for about 6-7 Omani rials.
Local Souqs: Find Anything and Everything
I'm not a big shopper, but when placed in the right situation, I can be a good browser, and I truly enjoyed wandering through the different markets in Muscat. It was definitely a visual feast but turn a corner, and the other senses get aroused - the olfactory is hit with strange aromas, the ear drum is pulsed by a foreign melody. A phenomenal experience.
What to buy: You can find pretty much a little of everything in a good souq - clothes, electronics, spices, toys, souvenirs, artifacts - you name it!
What to pay: Bargain and bargain hard
Al Qala'a Souq for Trading and Handicraft: Bustling center for shopping for local craft
While driving in the city of Suhar in November 2003, we discovered this beautiful fort like structure. It turned out to be a center for handicrafts. On Eid day, it was closed and many tourists were seen clearly disappointed. Here an Indian family discussed amongst themselves the alternate ways to enjoy the vacations.
People told us that it is a bustling center for trading and shopping in local craft.
We saw a restaurant open and many Omanis were seated enjoying sipping Arabic liquids and smoking Sheesha (Hokka in Urdu, Hindi and Turkish). However, it was not a family oriented seen.
A look at the shops suggested that it would be a great bargain center for shopping for local handicrafts.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
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