Oman is home to numerous souks. These traditional marketplaces have been an integral part of local life for centuries. Every place has its distinctive flavour and every city has a market that relates its stories, embraces its history and accompanies its evolution.
Both Khanjar daggers and frankincense are prized local souvenirs. Khanjars are handcrafted from pure silver and may cost up to £2,500, depending on age and intricacy. Each one requires the skills of at least three specialised artisans: one each for the dagger, the filigree case and the special leather belt that fastens around the waist.
Al Hafah Souq
Al Hafah Souq lies 3 kilometres from the city of Salalah in Dhofar Governorate. It is surrounded by lofty coconut trees and is the perfect place to buy the best kinds of gum and incense, not only in Dhofar, but also in the Sultanate.
Al Hafah Souq is replete with a variety of products, including traditional textiles and clothing, gold and silver jewellery as well as many other traditional artefacts.
Al Husn Souq
Al Husn Souq is characterised by its location in the middle of Salalah's old neighbourhoods in Dhofar Governorate. This souq retains a traditional style with its handicrafts, conventional in their design, shape and function, such as braziers and other traditional handicrafts. Al Husn Souq retains its ancient architectural personality, having preserved the original features of its surroundings, apparent in every corner.
Bahla Souq is a short distance from Bahla Fort. It has many traditional industries like making daggers and copper artefacts, in addition to Omani sweets (Halwa). This Souq is famous for its active commercial activity.
Sohar Handicrafts Souq
This souq is located in Al Hajra region near Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Wilayt Sohar in Al Batinah North Governorate. Built in the style of Arab-Islamic architecture, Sohar Handicrafts Souq was inaugurated in 1999 with a view to encouraging artisans and to preserve Oman's traditional handicrafts. Craft shops sprawl over an area of 7,000 square metres and the souq houses under one roof various Omani traditional industries and handicrafts, such as leather, ceramics, palm leaves, cotton textiles, wool, gold, silver, as well as perfumes, herbs, natural medicines, honey, Omani sweets (Halwa) and traditional weapons.