A few shops on Ruwi High Street have started opening up, lifting the dreary atmosphere on this otherwise busy street. Shopkeepers say they’re fed up of being cut away.
After being locked down with zero activity for over the past month, Ruwi High Street now appears to be waking up after a long slumber as some shops have now resumed their daily activity.
People frequenting this otherwise busy street are thankful to the Supreme Committee for COVID-19 for deciding to open some commercial activities in this area last week. What had seemed dark and dreary for the past few weeks, ever since all shops had to down their shutters, is now showing streaks of light as some shops have opened up.
Muscat Daily photographer, Syed Fasiuddin, who took a stroll along the street, said, “I met a few shop keepers who said they were longing to see their fellow shop keepers since long. Everyone has been following the lockdown instructions seriously as no one wants to take any chance for themselves as well as others.”
People were seen in queue in front of Al Baraka Hypermarket, maintaining the two-meter distance. “We are allowing 10-15 people at a time inside the market with strict safety measures. We are not allowing people to enter without a face mask, despite the shortage of supply. We are trying our best to serve the people and maintain the best price possible,” said Mohammed Sheikh, supervisor at Al Baraka Hypermarket on Ruwi High Street.
Some shopkeepers said, “We sit in Sun and heat the whole day in front of our shop and don’t allow customers to enter the shop, and request them to observe social distancing guidelines. We are scared but we need to meet our monthly expenses.” Another said, “I have never seen Honda Street this dark and deserted in my last 25 years of life in Oman. It’s good to now see some life on Honda Street which was dark and deserted for the past one month.”
Tahir, a dry fruit shop in-charge, said he has been staring at the empty street the whole day and not being able to say ‘hello’ to even a single person. It is a very uneasy feeling. “Today, I saw a few people and did a business of just RO2.5, but it makes me feel good.”
Photos and text by Syed Fasiuddin