There are days that going to the mall seems not so exciting but an instant visit to the souq could be more thrilling. Souq is an old traditional Arabic market. Basically, everything can be found in the souq from fish, meat, fruits and vegetables to gold, silver, perfume oil, potteries, tourist souvenirs and antiques.It is one of the unique places to visit if you are visiting an Arab country. The architectural element of the souq is quite interesting. Some stores are made of muds. Souq reminds me of food bazaars and tiangge (Filipino version of flea markets) in the Philippines where you can bargain over the price of goods including golds in jewelry shops.
Just couple of weeks ago, my friends and I visited Nizwa souq. Nizwa souq is one of the must visit souqs in the Sultanate of Oman. It shouldn’t be a surprise when you see a lot of males in the market. Souq is mostly dominated by men. Traditionally the men do the shopping. Salesperson and even those who goes to the souq are mostly males. One reason could be, Nizwa is still one of the most conservative towns in Oman where less women can be seen on public places. Or lack of women on the souq can be rooted to their religion and tradition where females stay at home to cook and take care of their children. Therefore, it is advisable to wear something appropriate if going to the souq.
For those eyeing for jewelries, it is good to check the items on the souq. They give big discounts especially if you are buying more items. So if you wish to buy, grab someone with you to get bigger discount in price.
It is cheaper to buy fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables in the souq compared to the hypermarket. I took the advantage of buying some food when I went for a visit.
To end our short visit, my friends and I had dinner in one of the restaurants on the market. It is newly opened grilling restaurant. We savored the fish and seafood that were freshly grilled. But if you love to eat with rice on it, you have to bring some!
To have a cultural shopping experience visit the souqs in the Sultanate of Oman. You don’t only get discounts but you also discover new and unique things at the traditional Arabic market.
Have you visited a souq on any Arab countries? Share you experiences on the comments below.