On the beachfront, right next to the sprawling Sultan’s Palace (Al Husn), is the marvellous Al Husn Souk (also known as Al Haffa Souk, after the district in which it’s situated), a pretty little area of small shops arranged around a neat grid of pedestrianized alleyways. This is one of the most interesting souks in Oman, particularly famous for its frankincense, bukhoor and attar (perfumes). Various rare types of local frankincense can be found here: shazri, sha’abi, najdi and, perhaps finest of all, hawjari (or hasiki) from the wadis around Hasik. Many of the stalls selling aromatics are run by veiled female traders – you may find bargaining with someone when you can only see their eyes a little disconcerting.

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