Muscat Fish Market – A Photo Essay

An early morning visit to the new Muscat fish market in Muttrah was a fascinating glimpse into ‘life behind the scenes’ in Oman.

Earlier this year Muscat fish market moved into a new purpose-built hall. I wondered if ‘health and safety’ and, you know, basic consideration for the comfort and well-being of the men working there might have made it less atmospheric and photogenic, but I still jumped at the chance of an early morning visit.

Muscat Fish Market
Muscat’s new purpose-built fish market

I don’t know what the old market was like, but this new one still managed to pack in plenty of photo opportunities despite the air-conditioning, refrigeration facilities and modern stainless steel stalls. I spent a good half hour or so wandering around with my camera, taking photos and chatting to the guys selling the fish.

Muscat Fish Market
Although I was told the names of many of the fish, I didn’t really catch what was said a lot of the time. And the rest of the time I just forgot. A fish is a fish right …
Muscat Fish Market
… but if you know what any of the fish are called, please let me know in the comments

A few had caught the fish themselves, but mostly the sellers seem to be just dealing with the sales end of the business.

Muscat Fish Market
Waiting for customers

Although most other people were there to buy, my friend and I weren’t the only tourists wandering around with  cameras. The men didn’t seem to mind and even held up fish for us to photograph when they spotted us looking at their stalls.

Muscat Fish Market
Many of the sellers held up their fish when they saw we wanted to take photos.
Muscat Fish Market
A shark stall

The market is located near Port Sultan Qaboos in the Muttrah area of Muscat. The port is used by cruise ships and so is an easy ‘attraction’ for tourists on the ships to visit, so I guess they are well used to visitors.

Muscat Fish Market
It might be an all-new market, but I think these scales made their way over from the old market
Muscat Fish Market
And new market or not, some things are still done the good old-fashioned way – like transporting fish in a rusty old wheelbarrow
Want to read more posts on Oman? Try this one about the Royal Opera House in Muscat.
Muscat Fish Market
Love the yellow-tipped fins on these fish …
Muscat Fish Market
… and the spots on these fish

The 1,410 square metre hall which houses the market is long and has its 120 stalls laid out in rows. At the far end was  an enclosed area used for cutting and cleaning fish.

Muscat Fish Market

Want some ideas of other fascinating markets around the world to visit? How about the market in Chania, Crete? Or the massive Christmas markets in Manchester?
Muscat Fish Market
Big fish …
Muscat Fish Market
… and little fish …
Muscat Fish Market
… and some medium-sized fish
Muscat Fish Market
Yellow fish …
Muscat Fish Market
… and pink fish

Across from the fish market is a fruit and vegetable market. I had a quick wander through it, but the main attraction was definitely the fish market.

Muscat Fish Market
The fruit and veg market
Muscat Fish Market - date stall in the fruit and veg market
All kinds of dates sold in all kinds of ways – at the fruit and veg market

Do you like visiting markets? Are there any you’d recommend? Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

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Muscat Fish Market - Before the oil there were the fish. A visit to the newly built Muscat fish market in Muttrah provides an opportunity to see a traditional side of Omani life in a modern 21st century setting.

A Night at the Royal Opera House Muscat

One activity that needs to be high on your ‘must-do’ list if you visit Oman is a night at the Royal Opera House in Muscat.

On my first visit to Muscat four years ago, I wandered round the outside of the white building, but couldn’t get inside even for a brief glimpse. Of course, what I really wanted to do was get in to see a performance, but I never got the chance. Continue reading “A Night at the Royal Opera House Muscat”

Friday Flickr – Muscat

A desert city by the sun. Friendly people, good food and a fascinating culture and history. What more could I want?

Following on from my Friday Flickr album on the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d put together an album from the rest of my stay in Muscat. Continue reading “Friday Flickr – Muscat”

Friday Flickr – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

062_25494205204_oIt’s over two years since I spent a half term visiting a teaching friend in Muscat. Our holidays didn’t match up and so on the first day, whilst she was in school, I took myself out to explore. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque seemed the obvious place to start. Continue reading “Friday Flickr – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque”

Jammin’, jammin’ (hope you like jammin’ too)

I should be on the boat to Shetland now. Instead I’m making jam in Manchester.

I should be on the boat to Shetland now. Instead I’m making jam in Manchester.

I want to avoid driving in the heat so had intended driving up to Aberdeen yesterday evening and then catching tonight’s overnight ferry to Lerwick, but, the best laid plans and all that … I keep finding things to do here and although I’m aware that my time for travelling in Shetland and Orkney is ticking away, I’m feeling good about getting so many things sorted out at home. My life is usually completely chaotic with far too many things going at once, and so I end up with piles of papers, books, camping gear, etc, all over my house and feel completely disorganised. For once, I’m working through those piles and getting everything sorted out. I’ve even been picking all the fruit from my tiny garden (white currants, blackcurrants and gooseberries) and had a go at making jam. For the last few years I’ve tried this without success, as I always misjudge the setting point and it turns to toffee. This year I’ve bought a jam thermometer and it seems to work. Finally I have my own home-made jam.

I’ve had chance to catch up with a few friends as well. Yesterday a friend called round with a bag of goodies for lunch and we were able to sit out in the yard and enjoy a relaxing few hours round a table of salads, garlic bread and home-made lemonade (yep, even had time to make my own lemonade!). And then this morning I was able to have a nice chat on the phone with my friend who lives in Oman. She’s just arrived in the UK to spend a few weeks with her parents and if I had left on time, I wouldn’t have been able to chat with her. Unfortunately we won’t get to meet up, but I’ll be seeing her soon enough when I go to Oman in October. I’m already getting excited about that holiday and I’ve not even got started on this one yet!

Oman and the wonder that is facebook

Facebook demonstrated its usefulness when I quickly planned a trip to Oman.

I was supposed to go to Oman in the February half term to visit a friend who moved there last summer. When I looked at flights the prices were way too high – if I could have gone a day earlier and come back a day later they would have been just over half the price I was being quoted. So I went to France and Spain instead and starting learning to drive on the wrong side of the road.

On Saturday I was chatting to said friend over facebook and she mentioned that October has nice weather and asked why don’t I consider going over in the October half term? A scan through various websites looking at flights and they all seemed too expensive. Damn school holidays. Why do they always have to be in the school holidays? In a last ditch attempt I looked at Emirates, fully expecting them to be the most expensive of all. Bargain! They had reasonably priced flights for the dates I was looking at. Of course I then assumed I’d got the dates wrong. A message on facebook asking for confirmation of our half term dates got me a couple of replies in under a minute! Satisfied I’d not confused the dates, and overjoyed at the efficiency of facebook, I went ahead and booked.

I have a 6 hour wait in Dubai airport on the way out, but I’m not too bothered about it. I’ve been told it’s a great airport and one that it’s easy to while away some time in. Although I’ve stayed practically next door to it before in the Dubai youth hostel, I’ve never actually been in the airport. It’ll be quite late at night, so I won’t bother working out plans to go out and do anything in Dubai, I’ll just have a full-on airport experience. On my return the wait is less than an hour an a half.

Once I get to Oman I’ll have a week to explore, relax and catch up with my old friends, Dawn and the sun.