Social Sustainability and Globalization; and the Role of Souq Mutrah in Muscat-Oman

Fatma Al-Habsi (1)
(1) Master of Science in Islamic Art, Architecture, and Urbanism program, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar, Qatar


This study examines the impact of globalization on the historic urban fabric of Mutrah, with a specific focus on the coastal neighbourhood of Sur al Lawatiyah and the development of the souq Mutrah in Muscat, Oman. The city's urban design reflects its challenging and fractured history, marked by fortified walls, towering forts, and a dense, clustered urban fabric, particularly during and after the Portuguese occupation. Additionally, the study explains how social sustainability, one of the key pillars of sustainability, has been affected by globalization. Despite being separated from the surrounding neighbourhoods by massive walls and gates, the souq Mutrah, located in the middle, is a crucial public space for people to gather, making it an essential element in Islamic neighbourhoods.

Furthermore, the study examines the effect of the souq Mutrah's development on the surrounding neighbourhood of Sur Al-Lawatiyah. The souq has been redesigned and transformed into a larger market that attracts people from all over the world, reflecting the city's multi-cultural identity. Although some residents have created physical and social boundaries to protect themselves from visitors, the souq remains an important public space for locals to gather, trade, and work. Ultimately, the study concludes that the souq's development has increased social interaction and the sense of space without negatively affecting the surrounding neighbourhood's identity or way of life.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Fatma Al-Habsi
fatma[email protected] (Primary Contact)
AL-Habsi, F. (2023). Social Sustainability and Globalization; and the Role of Souq Mutrah in Muscat-Oman. Environmental Science & Sustainable Development, 8(1), 10–24.

Article Details

Received 2023-04-13
Accepted 2023-06-15
Published 2023-06-30