For those interested in cultural experiences, a visit to the Muscat Fish Market is a must do. Although it attracts tourists, it is still traditional 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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Why visit the Muttrah Fish Market in Muscat?
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. I hope it can keep its atmosphere.
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.
PLANNING TIPS - Muscat Fish Market
How to get to the Muscat Fish market
- The Muscat Fish Market is near the northern section of the Muttrah corniche, near the fruit and vegetable market
- Try parking in the area, wherever you can and walk. With all the construction work do not try to get as close as possible with the car
Visiting the Muscat Fish market
- Fishes start arriving at sunrise and the activity is mainly during the first half of the morning
- Wear closed shoes as it is muddy and bloody
- Not recommended for vegetarian... and not for the faint hearted – again it is smelly and bloody
Accommodations in Muscat
You can stay near: Al Qurum beach to enjoy evening walks on the sands, or in Muttrah for more traditional restaurant and experience, o in Ruwi for the cheaper options.
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 🙂
Traditional fishing in Oman
As I spend a night wild camping on a beach in Oman, I was lucky to be able to see fishermen through their net early morning. It was fascinating!
You can learn more about traditional fishing in Oman in this article.
Rest of the Muttrah market
If you keep exploring around you can find the vegetable markets and sweets and more...
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