Photowalk Travel Info

Nizwa Goat Market

Photos and info on Nizwa Goat Market in Nizwa, Al Dakhiliyah region of Oman

Oman Photowalk Series is a new series of posts I am start at OmanTripper in order to share some of the many many photos I take during my trips around Oman, and which I never get a chance to post. It will also give me a chance to provide some basic information on the places I post on my social media channels instead of having the draft posts languishing on my ‘to do list’ for ages.. so onto Nizwa Goat Market.

Nizwa Goat Market (سوق نزوى للمواشي) is a traditional cattle market in Nizwa city, in Al Dakhiliyah region of Oman that occurs every Friday morning! Nizwa Goat Market is technically an extension of the historic and famous Souq Nizwa (سوق نزوى) but is used exclusively for the villagers to sell and barter for goats, sheep, cows and on extremely rare and unusual occasions, a donkey (it happened once in its recent history that someone brought a donkey to sell in the market, and it actually made it all over social media as it is quite unusual).

Farmers and shepherds from the surrounding towns, mountain villages, hamlets, as far as Jabal Shams or Ibri, bring their cattle to this market every Friday to be sold in an open bid. The market is basically a small circular pavilion with benches inside and place for the bidders and spectators around. The sellers bring their cattle very early in the morning, usually well before 6 am where they give chance for the potential buyers to view and inspect their cattle before the bidding starts at 7 am. In the Bidding, Al Munadah (المناداه) in Arabic, sellers take their cattle and walk them around the pavilion in circles, where potential buyers shout out their bids, and if the seller reaches a price he/she likes, they go to the person who bid and complete the transaction! Both parties are required to complete the transaction and move the cattle immediately after the market and people have dispersed, and there are permits that the settlers should have along with health certificates on their cattle (I am actually unsure how strictly is this enforced!).

Nizwa Goat Market has become a very popular attraction for visitors and tourists to Oman over the past few years, and to be honest I have personally never considered visiting it myself – but I met many visitors who really hyped it up, and some even told me it is their favorite attraction in Oman, so I really felt compelled to go! Obviously, it is not fun going there as a day trip from Muscat, as it means you have to start very early in the morning. But, even as an Omani, I found the market to be a really great experience that is worth visiting, and of course you can always combine it with a visit to Nizwa Fort, Jabal Akhdar or Birkat Al Mouz.

Practical Considerations

The official sign-board indicates that the bidding should start at 6 am for goats and sheep, and 7 am for cows. However, I understand that people usually start gathering at the Nizwa Goat Market pavilion by 6 am, and the the bidding starts at 7 am. If you like to have the full experience then you should go a earlier, not only to be able to get a suitable place to view the proceedings, but I think it is also part of the experience being there at the ‘showcase’ period before the bidding starts. The bidding usually continues for a couple of hours, and people start dispersing by 9-10 am, I would advise not getting there any later than 8-8:30 am if you want to experience it!

Even though the market is full for locals, lots of tourists go to visit and many go for photography – this is perfectly acceptable and the locals have grown accustomed to it. Just please keep in mind to observe the local customs with regards to dress code (avoid wearing shorts or open tops/tight clothing).

The market can get a bit crowded and noisy when the bidding starts, so if you go with any young kids, I would advise to keep a close eye on them so as they don’t get lost or accidentally walk across the path of the goats with their shepherds while the bidding is ongoing.


Nizwa Goat Market is in Nizwa, right next to Nizwa Souq. Just park your car at the car park of the souq and keep walking to the left (if you’re facing the souq gate) until you see the small circular pavilion.

Nizwa Goat Market Gallery

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