Night markets to enhance Muscat’s charm

Energy Monday 02/December/2019 21:56 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: Oman’s capital city will soon have a new attraction that will help it come alive in the evenings, with night markets being planned in at least four areas in the city.
The move is part of Muscat Municipality’s plan to improve business in these areas, provide opportunities to SMEs, create more jobs for Omanis, and encourage more people living in the country as well as tourists to visit these locations. The markets are expected to be open from afternoon to 1 am every day.
In the final stages
The move is part of a proposal which is in the final stages of accreditation towards setting up a night market in Muttrah, which will have 40 kiosks.
According to Salem Al Ghamari, the representative of Wilayat Muttrah in the Municipal Council, the markets will “target families that produce goods, street vendors, entrepreneurship, small businesses and traditional craftsmen. Besides, the night market in Muttrah, there are proposals to build other night markets in Seeb, Bausher and Al Amerat.
He added, “The Council has directed that the market be designed differently from the traditional markets known in the Sultanate. We have developed the designs and the municipality is now working towards issuing approvals from the concerned authorities.”
Three phases
Located in the commercial area of Muttrah, the night market will start from Muscat Securities Market and run right up to the Al Walja intersection in Ruwi.
Salem Al Ghamari said, “We chose this area in order to re-stimulate the area around the commercial market, and the project will include three phases.”
“The first phase will be the establishment of the market, and the municipality has begun creating a park that includes games for children and a walkway and a bicycle corridor, as well as some sport fields. In the next phase we aspire to establish a special area for cafes and restaurants on both sides of the commercial square,” Al Ghamari added.
“In addition, the municipality will provide various basic services to the area such as parking, toilets and electricity, so that the area will be integrated into the society and will have special outlets for families and tourists,” he went on to say.
An official from the Municipal Council added, “Night markets are to be established in Muscat Governorate in accordance with a set of regulations and conditions to be coordinated in collaboration with the concerned authorities. This will contribute to the development of the areas and create jobs for business-oriented families, and will provide recreational parks and cosmetic projects and services in cooperation with the private sector.”

The night market will also have food trucks to help generate business and develop tourism. Salim Al Fouri, the representative of Seeb on the Municipal Council, added, “The plan to establish a night market in Muscat Governorate was discussed six months ago for the first time and studies are still underway to set up this project.”
“This market will help people get jobs and develop their skills and businesses so that they can earn money that will help meet their needs and cover their expenses. We also have plans to establish other night markets in Wadi Kabir, at the site of the Friday market, near the old Muttrah Souq, and in Seeb behind the Mall of Muscat,” he explained.
“The challenges we are facing at the moment deal with providing electricity, drinking water, toilets, and greenery, levelling the land, laying it properly and providing recreational activities,” added Al Fouri. “But we will overcome all of these difficulties and make sure the night markets are ready for people.”