One fine evening on my way to Sabco Centre, I spotted a vibrant scene at the back of Al Araimi Complex in the business district of Qurum. Overwhelmed with curiosity I was ready to explore the place to know more about it. I parked my ride in the Al Araimi parking lot and walked towards the place, only to find out that we have a new market in town, the Winter Market.
The Winter Market is a month-long annual market brought to life by the Arabian Gate Expo, and situated on Qurum’s walking bridge, stretching from the business district of Qurum and ends at the Qurum Commercial Complex area.
The event is a unique effort in support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Oman, where vendors and business owners are invited and given a stall to display and sell their goods. As I stepped into the alfresco market, I glanced around in utter joy, exploring something new in town.
It was a Muscat Festival meets Souq Es Sabt kind of an event, which is all that one could ask for. It had traditional stalls with cultural activities, restaurants offering succulent bites, shops that sell sweets and chocolates, as well as fashion, shoes, perfumes, beauty products, carpets, handmade creations, and a lot more.
The place has a vibe of its own, with families and friends strolling around in hunt for great deals. Others meet at a gaming bus and enjoy a friendly battle. The place also has dedicated zones for children where they can play as you shop to your heart's content out on home-grown goods. I spotted one of my favourite stalls selling Holy Quran-inscribed wall hangings.
There was another shop selling wooden handmade items as well as miniature carpets made of fur. This is only a glimpse of what the place offers, it’s a wonderland that has something for everyone. With promising stalls full of local businesses and exciting eateries, the event is bound to be major.
The market will run till late March, daily from 4pm to 10pm. Pay a visit and see what talented local entrepreneurs and creative minds have to offer. Make sure to stop by the giant air balloon installation at the entrance. It’s an added attraction and should not be missed.