Oman Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by Ewingjr98
  • Local Customs
    by travelmad478
  • Local Customs
    by bradbeaman

Oman Local Customs

  • OMAN COAT OF ARMS

    KHANJAR (dagger)SWORDSBELTIn front of Sultan Qaboos Al Alam palace in old Mascate.Colorfull palace from the arabian nights.

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  • DRESS

    HIYES Omanis are VERY nice people !!!When i did wear my dishdasha i was with my omani guide,he suggest me to wear, to know the 'feeling',but the reaction of omanis was great, positive.The little ''hat'' was great,,,friendly reaction...Pierre

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  • Meet to Oman people.

    the people from Oman is really kind and friendly. But only men are.Men use to go to small juice shops and cafes to drink some juices, to take a coffe and to smoke a narguile.They talk beetwen them about life. If you can meet someone from Oman, it can be really great going with them to a cafe.

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  • Traditional Omani-style dress

    Oman is unique for its traditional dresses and clothes. Men usually wear a - mostly white - long dishdasha (long gown) with sandals and the traditional Omani "kummah" (cap). It is white with colorful patterns. In addition, old Omanimen carry a cane stick - all of these items are sold on the local souqs.Omani women are quite different from other...

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  • Islam

    Islam is the official religion of Oman. In coastal areas, the people have been exposed to outside cultures and influences for centuries due to maritime trading. Therefore, unlike in some of its neighboring countries, other religions and ways of life are tolerated. Alcohol is available to non-Muslims in hotels, Western tourists may wear shorts, and...

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  • The Shihuh Tribe

    The Shihuh tribe is the main tribe to be found on the Musandam Peninsula. They are cousins of the Sharqiyyin tribe of nearby Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, and trace their origins back to Yemen. Until about the early 1970s, the tribe was isolated from the outside world. They did not trust outsiders, and it was common for visitors at that...

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  • Cover Up

    Hoping that 99.9% of people reading this won't need to, but please take care to look 'respectable' in the eyes of locals when you are 'out & about'. This means dress modestly and if in doubt cover (male or female). While in a taxi we drove past a group of tourists in quite revealing clothing and not only does it upset the locals, but it also gives...

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  • Ladies - keep it under cover!

    We have just returned from two weeks travelling around Oman whose capital, Muscat is as enlightened as most capitals but - if you plan to travel around the Interior (the countryside) then you may want to consider the feelings of the conservative people who live there. We spent a morning in Ibra which is a typical town about an hour and a half's...

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  • Segregration in Restaurants

    Be careful when you walk into a restaurant in small towns. The culture of Arabs is that they dont want offend you, they will never tell you that you are in the wrong. Make sure if you are in smaller towns that you go to the correct area of the restaurant. There are family sections and if you dont know you may cause major problems with the...

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  • Calm People

    Omanis are gentle people therefore you must behave in a certain way in public. If you think that an Omani is doing you wrong either in a souq or taxi dont worry. Calmly tell the man that you believe you deserve better service and they will kindly help you. Overall, smile and be friendly.

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  • Interaction

    Many tourists think that they can safely interact with women in the Gulf because they base it on their experiences in more liberal societies such as in Lebanon or some areas of Egypt or Jordan. Make no mistake, Oman is one of the most conservative countries on earth and the only way you will interact whatsoever is when you speak with cashiers etc...

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  • Dress Code

    Oman is an extremely religious and conservative society. They follow a conservative branch of Islam called Ibadi Islam thus making them dedicated followers of their religion. The dress code should be at all times shorts below the knee and t shirts at best for men with women wearing baggy pants and quarter length shirts. Outside Sohar, Muscat and...

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  • Round water container

    In ancient Oman, the container for water was round as shown in this photograph. It was normally tied to a rope and hang onto somewhere. When a person needed to drink, he just need to hold the container and pour the water. Interesting indeed :)

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  • The bed in the fort

    When you visit the forts in Oman, you will discover only the ruler of the fort got to sleep in a bed! All the other people, including his family and guests have to sleep on mats. Unlike in other countries, the bed of the ruler usually look very simple.

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  • White colour & height of buildings

    Due to religion, you will notice that most of the buildings and houses in Oman are of white colour. In fact, certain areas of Muscat (e.g. the luxurious Al Khuwair suburb) only allows houses of white colour to be built. Also, the buildings and houses are not tall because Oman has lots of land, and the highest building in Oman is apparently the...

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  • Man & Camel

    The camel is the most important animal in Oman. This is because life in the desert depends largely on the camel for food, transportation, camel milk etc. Some children in the desert have been drinking camel milk all their life and have never even tasted water before ! The camel is man's best friend in this part of the world :)

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  • The Bedouins

    The Bedouins are the desert nomadic people and there are still many Bedouins living in the deserts of Oman. I have a chance to visit a Bedouin family who is close friend to my Omani guide and it was really a very good experience into the culture of these people.

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  • Forts in Oman

    Why are there more than 500 forts in Oman? The reason is because Oman used to be ruled by many different tribes and the forts (together with its watch towers surrounding the area) are a means of protecting the various towns from enemy attacks. Some of these forts remain till today and the ones in Jabrin, Nizwa, Bahla and Nakhl are the mosr famous....

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  • Cemeteries in Oman

    Unlike many other cultures, Islam believes in simple burial for the dead and therefore the tombs in Oman are very simple. Normally, only a pile of rocks is used to mark the location of the burial. In the older era, tombs such as the one shown in the photo is common, but now many of them are being removed. There are 1-2 remaining near to the coastal...

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  • Way of life in Oman

    Contrary to believe, Oman is a very safe and modern country with some of the most friendly people you will ever find. Despite modernisation, Oman is still a very traditional country where people wear traditional costumes and islamic way of life is very dominant. Oman is more liberal towards women than some other countries in Arabia, and women in...

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  • Watch towers

    There are many ancient watch towers in Oman from the coast to the inland areas. These watch towers were used as sentry posts to warn of enemy attacks on the various towns during the era when Oman was divided into many different tribes. Usually, there is a fort in the town area surrounded by these watch towers.

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  • The Falaj (water channels)

    When you visit the mountain villages and towns of Oman, you will be able to see the Falaj (water channels). The Falaj is extremely important because it brings fresh water from the mountains to the town and villages. The water near the source is used for drinking, cooking etc and those flowing downstream is used for farming, washing etc.

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  • Fishing as a way of life

    Because of the long coast which Oman has, and the surrounding seas of the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea are rich in marine life, people living along the coast of Oman tend to be fishermen. You will see many fishing boats, fish markets along the beach and small huts for storing fishing equipment along the beautiful coast of Oman.

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  • Dress for Respect

    Basically, you don't want to be showing too much skin in Oman. They are not the strictest of muslim countries, but when abroad, it is always considerate to be respectful of local customs. The people are understandably a little more lenient with foreigners, but it's still a good idea to wear long pants instead of shorts when in public.

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  • Learning Arabic

    If you would like to learn a little Arabic before your travels, just click on this site. Apologies for the adverts which appear on it:Babel Arabic

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  • Ramadan

    In Islam, Ramadan is the holy month of fasting, the ninth month of the Muslim year, in which “the Qur'an was sent down as a guidance for the people” (Qur'an 2:185). For more information on the Holy Month, click here to visit my Travelogue The Holy Month of Ramadan

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  • government

    Sultan Al Qaboos has jurisduction ultimately, over everything. He convened an elected Majlis ashshura (consulting council) in 1992 as the first step towards democracy.Sultan Al Qaboos is separated, and has no children. The Oman constitution says that the heir to the throne must be chosen by the royal family within 3 days of it 'falling vacant'.

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  • traditional dress #2

    For formal wear, a khanjar (silver dagger), is worn around the waist on a silver belt. Womens' traditional clothing is made up of 3 main parts. The dishdasha (below the knee dress), the sirwal (baggy trousers), and the lihaff (embroidered headdress). All are worn in any colour.When going outside, Omani women usually wear an abaia, a long and thin...

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  • traditional dress

    Omani traditional dress is legally required to be worn by all government emplyeesI think a lot of other people also wear it on a daily basis also.The main item that Omani men wear is the dishdasha (long dress shirt) , which is collarless unlike that worn in the rest of the Gulf. A knotted tassel hanging called a farakha/kashkusa hangs from the top...

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  • Oman is a very traditional...

    Oman is a very traditional country, so it's important to respect their traditions...such as the dress code; as you can see on the pic here; men wear dishdashas and women also wear traditional dresses. I always made sure that my shoulders and legs were covered, certainly in the lil mountain villages.

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  • Be moderate in all you do.

    Like in any other Islamic country, women travelers should be conservative in their dressing. No over-exposing clothes, no photography of local women and their families and of military installations, unless permitted. Oman's national population comes from original inhabitants, Balochis from Pakistan and Zangibarians. The picture here shows Omani...

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  • I am Local guy and i can say...

    I am Local guy and i can say that omanies r soo friendly people, just try to respect their culture. Contacting with a local women in the street is not a good idea if u r a man. try not to wear shorts and short clothes if u r not at the beach.

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  • Women should cover their arms...

    Women should cover their arms and legs in public. Hotels are fine. Never drink alcohol in the street. Learn a few words Maharba -(Hullo). Salaamm Aleyakhom (formal greeting) and in return Aleyakhom Salaam

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  • Tthe following poem was sent...

    Tthe following poem was sent to me by my Omani friend Abdallah:On this blessed and glorious occassion, I dedicated this poem to to you and loved ones!The sky has changed so many hues,from blue, to purple, to red,and a solitary cloud is floating by,on the numerous upturned heads.The people have gathered on their roofs,to witness the moon of Eid,and...

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  • Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on...

    Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Zul-Hijja. 1st Zul-Hijja 1421 AH should be on 25th February 2001 for most of the world pending the sighting of the crescent on the previous evening (24th Feb 2001). This festival is incorporated in the great pilgrimage to Mecca which should properly be made during this month but it is also...

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  • Ramadan is the holy month in...

    Ramadan is the holy month in which Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Holy Koran. It is also party time a wonderful celebrative time of year. Shops all open late everyone out late on the streets. All in all great fun. As a visited you have to be discreetBut, ….Courtesy and hospitality are among the most highly prized virtues of the Arab...

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  • Handicrafts in Oman are so...

    Handicrafts in Oman are so many which are considered a big part of Omani culture...the 'Khanjar' is a silver wear for men ... it was used as a weapon in the past ... its also used as a logo of the country..any Omani man proud to wear the 'Khanjar'.

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  • Never wear shorts in small...

    Never wear shorts in small towns and villages. Even in Muscat, many locals find it offensive. It's best to save them for the beaches. And never, ever wear such clothing -- or eat or drink -- in public if you are here during the fasting month of Ramadhan.

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  • You won't need much Arabic...

    You won't need much Arabic when you're in Oman, but you do need to read the numbers. Note that the upper row is the printed form; the lower row is handwritten. And the '0' is a raised dot. Decimal points are indicated, as in German or French, with what looks like a comma. Here they are:

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Oman Local Customs

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