For those interesting in cultural experiences, a visit to the Muscat Fish Market is a must do. Although it attracts tourists, it is still traditionnal and geared towards the locals. You need to have you stomach settled, but you get to glimpse at a real moment in the Omanis' lives!
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Muscat Fish Market
In the Muttrah area of Muscat takes place a traditional fish market, not far from the Corniche and the Souq. At the moment it is still small and full of charm. However they are building a bigger one and I don't know if the atmostphere will remain.
This area is where you come to observe everyday life. I was surprised at how little impact tourism has on this tradition. They just keep going as if we were not here. I loved it!
However, beware, this is really not a place for the faint hearted - it is right under your eyes and under your nose. All your senses are stimulated:
- You see so many different varieties of fish: tunas, squid, king fish, prawns...
- You smell the fresh product from the sea
- You hear the buzzing noise of the price haggling and laugh between friends
- You feel the salt in the air
- And if you buy one, you will be able to taste it!
If you have a few days, check out my list of things to do in Muscat, Oman.
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Arrival of fishermen
Before going inside the fish market itself, I stopped by the pier. It was quite alte but I still saw 2 boats coming it. And here we are not talking about the big fishing boats I see in France. Just small boats with 2 or 3 fishermen on it. They go out in the middle of the night or before dawn and come back to sell their catch of the day.
Sardines out of the net
I spotted also a team of 4 men clearing a net from all the fishes it had caught. Mackerel I believe. They were welcoming and happy to chat a little bit with us while still working.
And eel was spotted in the middle of it. It was soon removed and thrown away. I wish he had put it back in the water but he did not understand.
Selling area of the Muscat Fish Market
After that it was time for me to get ito the arena. As I said I was there late so it was not as lively as early morning, but still bargainings were happening.
I toured the are to discover the different types of fish they were offering.
Fish Preparation at the Muscat Fish Market
Once you buy a fish you can pay one of the prepare to clear and gutt it. It goes very fast! There were many 5 of them. But I forgot to ask the price.
The men I photographed below accepted that I capture his work removing the scales and cutting it with expert hands. I have often seen my fish seller in France prepare a fish. But somehow this was way more interesting 🙂
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