Located some 150 kilometres from Muscat, on the road that connects the towns of Bid Bid and Sur, is the town of Ibra that sits on the fringes of the desert of the Sharqiyah Sands. Ibra is considered the gateway of Oman’s eastern region.
It is often among the last cities people heading out on off-roading adventures stop to take a break, with the souq in the town being a highlight of their time there, as well as a magnet for tourists and locals alike. “Once a trading hub at the gates to the Sharqiyah Sands, Ibra today is a modern city complete with a university, hospitals and hotels,” said Oman’s Ministry of Tourism.
“Its many forts and mosques are some of the oldest in Oman, with Al Minzifah and the Wednesday Women’s Market just some of the must-see highlights.” Open only to women, the women’s market that takes place every Wednesday is a one-of-its-kind event in Oman.
“The Ibra Wednesday Market takes place every Wednesday of the week in Wilayat Ibra in A’Sharqiyah North Governorate and is dedicated to women only,” said Oman’s Ministry of Tourism. “Every week, women head to this market to buy all they need. It is open from six in the morning until one in the afternoon.”
That it is only accessible to women means the souq has generated a lot of curiosity among people interested in culture, history and tradition.
“Ladies, here is your chance to prove your shopping mettle at the Wednesday Souq in Ibra,” said the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN). “Why? Because it’s an all-women affair. No men allowed. So ditch your significant other and come to Ibra. Handicrafts, utensils and textiles are the main features here.”