Muscat: Omanis made the best use of the weekend that preceded Eid Al Fitr by turning up in big numbers for the traditional Habta souq across the country. The Habta souq is a traditional Omani market usually held before Eid. The auction of livestock is the highlight of such impromptu markets that is formed by the residents of nearby smaller towns gather at the bigger town in the wilayat to trade. During the auction animals, mostly bulls and goats are shown in the centre of a circle formed by the potential customers. The Dhakhalia region is very popular for such markets in Nizwa, Bahla and other towns. However, such Habta souqs are also held in other parts of the country where from toys for children to live stock is sold vefore the start of the Eid celebrations. During the weekend, the cattle auctions around the country Omani goats and cows were pretty popular as they were much cheaper than the imported variety. While in the east high demand saw prices of cattle at Habta auction soar while in the north the greater supply saw prices drop to 60 riyals for a goat. Since Wednesday afternoon all exits out of Muscat are packed with traffic as Omanis head home to their villages and towns to enjoy long holidays.
The government sector has a total of nine days, including two weekends, holidays while the private sector has six days off for Eid Al Fitr. The banks are also closed for six days.