Mutrah, the old business center
By 1900 the port had developed into a bustling trading metropolis, protected from the interior by defensive towers and walls. Mutrah’s importance did not change after the change of rule in 1970. On the northern side of the bay the large port Mina As Sultan Qaboos was built, together with a new fish market and associated vegetable market. Each morning the fishermen moor their boats directly next to the market and sell their colorful bounty.
In the southwest curve of the bay a number of imposing 19th century houses remain. They form the harbor frontage of the Sur al Lawatiya quarter, inhabited by the Shi’ite Khodja religious community. The Khodjas, originating mostly from Hyderabad in India and from Pakistan, are today among the most successful merchants in Oman.
To the east of this quarter is the Mutrah souk, the largest and most important in the country. In the souk you will be met by the most unbelievable contrasts. Scenes from times believed to be long gone exist side by side with the modern.
Georg Popp and Juma al-Maskari
What makes this travel guide so special? This book is a product of the long-term personal friendship between the authors, Mr Georg Popp and Mr Juma Al-Maskari and their continuing fascination with the Sultanate of Oman. Combining their insights from European and Omani perspectives, they have produced a guide which is as much about culture and history as it is a practical guide for planning your itinerary.