There are many shops on the Muscat souk that sell sterling silver. Most pieces are stamped .975 OMAN, which makes for a nice souvenir. Shop around.
What to buy: Very popular are napkin rings, chains and charms, decorative boxes and my favourite a very elaborate cylinder with stand that was meant to hold verses of the Koran but can be used by to hold important papers such as marriage or birth certificates.
What to pay: I bought 10 charms with stones of various sizes and three 22 inch chains for 10OR ($26 US). I didn't spend that much time negotiating, it could be cheaper.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Women's Travel
The curved dagger, the khanjar is a distinguishing feature of the Omani personality as well as an important symbol of male elegance. It is traditionally worn at the waist.
The Shape of the Khanjar is always the same ans is charectrised by the curve of the blade and by the near right-angle bend of the sheath. Sheaths may vary from simple covers to oronate silver or sold-decorated pieces of great beauty and delicacy. In the past the silver khanjars were made by melting down the Marie Theresa silver coins.
Oman, the country of frankincense
Oman has been associated with its trade in frankincense. So nearly everywhere in Oman you can buy incense, but the Dhofar Province is the place where the frankincense trees grow. So we bought our burner and different types of incense in Salalah.
Frankincense is divided into four types according to quality: Hujari, Najdi, Shasry and Sha'abi.
The criteria for quality depends on the colour and purity. The white-blue frankincense (Hujari) is the best and more expensive. The reddish variety is of lesser quality.
What to buy: A typical Omani incense burner painted in bright colours and of course the frankincense itself.
What to pay: The local burners are rather cheap.
The price of the frankincense depends on the quality you will choose.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
There are severla shopping centers in Muscat. At Quram, there are some malls selling some good stuff and antiques also. try mostly Al-Araimi Mall and Sabco Mall. There is a big Mall at Mawaleh area, not far from the airport, it is called City center. it Contains also a big SuperMarket (Karfure).
Any gold shop: Cheap Gold! Cheap Gold!
What to buy: Gold is an exceptionally good buy in the Sultanate and, indeed, everywhere in the Gulf countries. Every city and town has at least one shop where you can buy the glittering yellow metal. Gold is still considered an essential part of a woman's wardrobe, so even the poorest own at least a few pieces. Designs range from the elegant to the utterly tacky, but you can always be sure that it is the real McCoy.
What to pay: They charge by weight: you pay the current London spot price for gold plus between 7 and 10% for workmanship. Bear in mind, you will find nothing lower than 18k and much of what is for sale is 22k, so the much darker yellow color may put you off if you're used to 9k or 14k. These lower qualities are illegal here.
The market in Muscat has a wide range of shops. Dates, spices and silver sold together with western tat!
All hotels have small gift shops.
What to buy: You can get some lovely souvenirs made with Omani Silver. Its so beautiful. The Kanjar dagger is perhaps the most well known. I buy Bedou necklaces or little silver boxes with stones set in them.
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