Nizwa Cattle Market

For the most part of the 20th century the Sultanate of Oman isolated itself from the world. While neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates gained wealth and developed quickly due to their booming oil industries, Oman’s ruler refused to participate in the global oil trade. As a result, the country was in lack of a sufficient water and power supply and a mere total of 10 kilometers of roads were paved, when Sultan Qaboos overthrew his father and seized power in 1970. In the years to come the new Sultan gradually opened Oman to the global markets and used the revenues of the country’s oil exports to launch a widespread modernization process. In contrast to the nearby Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Oman aimed to carefully limit growth fearing interference with its cultural heritage. Therefore ancient traditions like the Cattle Market of Nizwa are still part of everyday life. To this day merchants and buyers meet every friday morning to trade live stock even though supermarkets and malls would offer a more convenient yet less authentical shopping experience.