Date traders at the Omani market are in the middle of their peak season. The market is busy right through the day with hordes of customers in search of dates.
Traders say that the three months of summer starting from June are the busiest. Hidayatullah Khan has been working at an outlet close to four decades and is one of the most sought-after traders. The Bangladesh national is the last word on the dates for most customers.
Salesmen go to great lengths to bring out each date variety’s characteristics.
Mupsri, Kanagi, Nagal (Nawal), Sagai and Tamar are some of the varieties available. The first three are from Oman and the others originate in Saudi Arabia.
Some are best consumed immediately and others can be stored until the Ramadan fast begins.
Raw Mupsri and Canagir are traded for QR25/kilo, this price prevails through the first two months of summer, according to a trader. Nagal is available for QR12/kilo.
“Demand in the week prior to Ramadan may lead to an increase in prices of Mupsri and Canagi,” he said.
Many Omani traders travel from the interior areas of the Sultanate of Oman by road and bring their produce in trucks.
One Omani, Abu Issa, spoke about Sagai (dry dates) and Tamar from Saudi Arabia. Tamai at QR 8/kilo was the cheapest on the offer yesterday.
Representatives of a number of the country’s top hotels place larger orders with the wholesalers.
Different varieties from Iran are also available.
One of the notable features of the market is of traders outside the main shed, especially along the pavements leading to the main hall. “Each of them does as good a business as anyone running a regular outlet,” said a trader at the market.
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