(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Despite regular raids and warnings issued by the Muscat Municipality, many shop owners continue to display and sell their goods outside their shops in Muttrah Souq
Residents and visitors say they usually have a tough time negotiating their way through the lanes in and around the souq during the peak hours.
They say it is going to get worse as the peak tourist season is fast approaching.
''The shops here open by around 7.45am every day and by 9.30am they arrange everything on the lanes blocking the way. Most shops here are very small but they have plenty of items. So they spread their products outside the shops to grab the attention of customers,'' said a resident who has been living in Muttrah for 20 years.
''There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of staying near a big market. We are expected to bear with such problems. Display of products in the lanes causes trouble for both residents and visitors,'' said Ahmed al Belushi, another resident.
Shop owners say their shops are too small and they don't have an option.
''The idea is to attract the attention of customers. Most of the shops here are too small to accommodate all the items. Thus, it is inevitable for shops to display their products in this way to increase sales. However, this does not mean that we cause trouble to residents and customers,'' said K Ashraf, who runs a shop in Muttrah Souq.
''There are many shops which are located deep inside the souq. For them, if they do not display their products outside, it would be impossible for them to attract customers,'' said Sidhique T P, another shop owner.
According to the Muscat Municipality, a warnings is issued first, and if shops are found violating the rules a second time, a fine is imposed on th