By 1900 the harbor had developed into a bustling trading metropolis, a business center, protected from the interior by defensive towers and walls. Today you will find here the new Port Mina Qaboos, the fish and vegetables market and also the biggest souq in the country.
Muttrah’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 Muttrah 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.