Mutrah Gold Souq

Market in Muscat

Image by John Sones Singing Bowl Media Getty Images

A visit to Mutrah Souq wouldn't be the same without a stroll through the narrow alleys that house the glittering gold shops. The bridal gold, worked into bibs, buckles and belts, may not be to everyone's taste, but the sheer accumulation of treasure in the shop windows is exciting on the eye.

The gold souq is a five-minute walk via the main souq entry off Mutrah Corniche, followed by an immediate right turn. The covered lane leads through textile shops, and the gold souq is a left turn just before re-entering the Corniche. If you feel comfortable getting lost, the alleyways behind the main gold souq are home to shops selling precious stones and silver. This is where monocled old men with beards sit in a muddle of uncut, semiprecious stones, making and mending rings and pendants in designs that are as old as the hands that craft them.