54 Interesting Facts About Oman

Last updated on November 14th, 2017

Omani culture and customs

#29. Before Islam reached Oman, Omanis practiced Ibadhism. The people belonging to this sect practiced austerity and tolerance.

#30. It is a tradition in Oman to greet a visitor with a bowl of dates, qahwa (coffee with cardamom) and fruit.

#31. Muscat, the capital of Oman, was occupied by the Portuguese for a period of 140 years (1508-1648). After the Portuguese, the Ottomans took control of Oman, only to be pushed out by the current line of leading sultans. However, it was once again occupied briefly by Persia, but it (Oman) finally succeeded in freeing itself. During this time, the country was also known as Muscat and Oman.

#32. Date palms are served with coffee in several of the Omani hotels.

#33. In Omani culture, Ramadan (the month of fasting) and other Islamic festivals are very important.

#34. Women wear hijab and abaya. Most women do not cover their heads in offices. They also wear brightly colored dresses during festivals such as Eid.

#35. Omani men wear–Dishdasha–an ankle length robe.

Interesting facts about Omane: Omani boys wearing Dishdasha
A group of Omani boys wearing Dishdasha. Image credit – D’Arcy Vallance

#36. Locals smoke traditional shisha. These are also known as hookah pipes or hubbly bubbly. However, their proper name is nargile.

#37. The Omani week ends on Friday. Omanis enjoy Thursdays and Fridays to their core. In the coming years, they are planning to shift their weekends to Friday and Saturday.

#38. Women-only souq is an open-air marketplace or commercial quarter in Western Asian and North African cities. (The equivalent Persian term is “bazaar” – Wikipedia.org) It takes place every Wednesday in the city of Ibra. Only women are allowed to participate in this open-air marketplace. Women sell and buy a variety of things, including jewelry and spices.

#39. The grandest mosque in Oman–The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque–was built from 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone. The construction of the mosque took six years and four months to complete. It is located in Muscat.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat
Interesting facts about Oman: A view of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat. Image credit – Dan

#40. Ornamented, decorated and embroidered doors are common in Oman, providing a popular attraction for visitors.

#41. Mesmerized by these interesting facts about Oman? Want to visit the country? Take a note: winter is the best time to visit this Arab country.

#42. Except in Muscat, women in Oman are not easily seen on the streets. Omani women are generally required to stay at home and look after the household – except for one day.

#43. Women in Oman wear facemasks and burqas depending on the weather conditions and their tribe. However, you may not find any woman without veils.

#44. It is customary in Oman for women to meet other women at the occasion of a birth in the family. While at the time of death, it is the men who attend the actual burial of a body.

#45. Pork is not consumed in Oman, as it is prohibited in Islam.

#46. The main meal of the day is consumed in early to mid afternoon. It usually consists of a large serving of rice and a sauce made from tomato and fish or meat.

#47. Men wear turbans and caps that are generally embroidered.

#48. Oman also has one of the oldest marketplaces in the world – The Mutrah Souq. This marketplace has so many colorful little shops where you can buy bukhoor, frankincense (an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes), silver khanjars, jewelry and many other exotic items.

The Muttrah Souq
One of the oldest marketplace in the world – The Muttrah Souq, Oman. Image credit – Riyadh Al Balushi

#49. The Telegraph Island–a maddening island, which is also known as Jazirat al Maqlab in Oman–was used as a telegraph outpost for important communications between Britain and India between 1864 and 1869. The oppressive heat and the lonely atmosphere had made the soldiers mad when they were stationed at the football-field sized island. Thus, the outpost was abandoned in the mid 1870s.

#50. More than 100 tombs all shaped like beehives stand contumaciously on the hilltops of Northern Oman. These tombs are estimated to date from 3000 to 2000 B.C.E.

#51. In 1988, these tombs were declared a World Heritage Site. Together, these tombs form one of the largest prehistoric necropoleis (a tract of land used for burials) in the world.

#52. The majority of the monuments in Oman were built with regular cut stones.

#53. Migrating turtles. Thousands of turtles migrate to the Omani coastline each year. If you are interested in watching the turtles hatch, you may want to visit Ras Al Jinz, which is one of the prime locations for turtle watching. There, you have a chance to see different species of turtles, including the Green Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle.

#54. A component of the most valuable perfume in the world–Amouage–is produced and traded in Oman. It is known as Frankincense, and is available in its purest form for purchase for OMR 50 per bag.

Oman – country at a glance

Independence1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Capital CityMuscat
(23°36′N 58°33′E)
Largest CityMuscat
(23°36′N 58°33′E)
Total area309,500 sq km
Population3,355,262 (July 2016 est.)
National anthem"Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani" (The Sultan's Anthem)
National symbolskhanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords
National colorsred, white, green
Suffrage21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces by law cannot vote
Official LanguageArabic
BordersUnited Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
CurrencyRial (OMR)
DemonymOmani
ReligionIslam and Ibadism
Life expectancy75.5 years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatedry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
Terraincentral desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
Literacy rate91.1%
Natural resourcespetroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
Agricultural land4.7%
Government typeabsolute monarchy
SultanQaboos bin Said al Said
Prime MinisterQaboos bin Said al Said
Industriescrude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
Exports$30.39 billion (2016 est.)
petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Imports$25.78 billion (2016 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
GDP - per capita (PPP)$43,700 (2016 est.)
Birth rate24.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate3.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio1.19 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Time ZoneGST (UTC+4)
Internet country code.om
Calling Code+968
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 26, 2017