2 Best Places to Shop in Bidiyah, Oman

Bidiyah Bedouin Market

Fodor's choice
On the outskirts of Bidiyah—in the desert just after the paved road ends—Bedouin women sit in a large tent each day making handwoven baskets, cushions, and key chains made with their traditional textiles. They will invite you to sit with them and enjoy a cup of light, cardamom-infused Omani kahwa (coffee) and dates before you peruse their offerings. These inexpensive wares represent an ancient desert tradition of handicraft and are their main source of income. The offerings make great souvenirs and gifts.

Ibra Ladies Souq

Fodor's choice
Every Wednesday from 8 to noon, the typically quiet desert town of Ibra is overrun with vendors and shoppers from all around Sharqiyah for the massive ladies' market, a display of the best perfumes, silks and other textiles, makeup, and jewelry in the region. Though traditionally access was restricted exclusively to women, this policy has eased over the years so the odd brave or curious man can be seen walking through the crowded byways through the hoards of women immersed in the heat of barter and negotiation. The energy of the market is exhilarating, and the women are extremely friendly with foreign visitors and quick to try to explain their handicrafts and products. Other customers will jump in to help translate. It is the most lively market in Oman, and well worth a visit if you can plan to be in the area on a Wednesday morning on your way to or from Bidiyah, which is about 30 minutes to the south.