Oman March 2020

The land of 16,000 mosques, Oman is known for adobe fortresses, ancient souqs, and oases or wadis full of date palms.

The Al Said family has ruled Oman since 1744. It was one of the most isolated and traditional countries in the Arab world until Sultan Qaboos became ruler in 1970. His 50-year reign was a success story. When Qaboos came into power, there were only six miles of paved roads and three elementary schools in the entire country. He set into motion a major modernization project, which included over 1000 schools for both girls and boys through high school age; hundreds of kilometers of roads; hospitals and an opera house. All built with oil revenue. No surprise Sultan Qaboos was much loved by the Omani people.

The second largest chandelier in the world illuminates the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This 24-carat gold work of art measures 26 feet wide, 45 feet tall and weighs almost 9 tons. It is made from 600,000 Swarovski crystals and took more than 4 years to complete.
The contemporary architecture of Muscat can be described as simple clean lines. Think white limestone, arched windows and ornate doors.
Mosques are an important part of daily life. They serve as places of prayer, religious schools, and community meeting places.

The fish markets are a must see, especially in Mutrah and Barka. Go early to see the fishermen bring in their daily catch.

Friday is market day in Nizwa. You will find garden produce, numerous varieties of dates, meat, silver jewelry, crafts and the world famous goat market.

Driving a hard bargain!

A delightful goat herder living on the edge of the Jebel Shams.

Many of the physical jobs are performed by the expatriate community. Mainly—India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Omanis are known for their hospitality.

The Omanis are very religious and take pride in their traditions. They dress conservatively. Men wear the dishdasha—a long, collarless dress reaching the ankles. Many wear the kumma—a round-shaped hat decorated with beautiful embroidery or the muzzar—a woven turban. Women wear the thawb dress or abaya over loose-fitting slacks (sirwal). A scarf known as a hijab, covers her head.

The typical Omani meal consists of rice, spiced lamb or fish, dates and coffee or tea. Frankincense, which is native to Oman, is burned at the end of the meal.

The Bedouin life where a man's camel is essential to his survival.

The Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter, is the largest uninterrupted desert on Earth. It covers 250,000 sq. miles and spreads across Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It receives only 1.2 inches of rain per year, making it one of the driest places on Earth.

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Máa Saláma

Created By
Sue Wolfe


Sue Wolfe