Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. Arabic is the official language of Oman. It has about 5 million population. The capital and the largest city is Muscat.
History and Government
Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. By the 18th century, the Omani Empire stretched from present day Oman down the east coast of Africa. Oman is an absolute monarchy whereby the Sultan of Oman is both the head of state and the head of government.
Geography and Environment
The northernmost part of Oman, the Musandam Peninsula, is separated from the rest of the country by a strip of land belonging to the United Arab Emirates. The peninsula is comprised mostly of low hills and mountains. In the north, a narrow and fertile coastal plain fronts the Gulf of Oman; from there the land rises into the rugged Hajar Mountains. Central and southeast, a few scrubby hills and low mountains dot the central desert landscape and coastal areas.
The society of Oman is largely tribal with each tribe having its own culture and customs. The thawb or dishdasha is usually worn by Omani men. It is an ankle-length full-sleeved collarless robe that is generally white in color. Traditional accessories for men include the khanjar (a ceremonial curved dagger), muzzar (a headdress), and the assa (a ceremonial cane). Omani women wear vibrant colored embroidered dresses over trousers called sirwal.
While planning your trip to Oman, visit the country during some of Oman's biggest festivals so that you can truly immerse yourself in the Omani culture! Festivals in Oman are unique to the core, built on years of tradition, customs and culture. One of the grandest festivals in Oman is the Muscat Festival, which showcases the Omani culture and heritage through art forms and various activities. It is a magical festival, reflecting the beauty as well as the history of Oman, and is a beautiful way of preserving its culture, customs and traditions. Due to the majority of Muslim populations in Oman, the country celebrates 'Eid al-Fitr', and it is regarded as one of the most important religious festivals in Oman. Eid marks the end of Ramadan, which is the Islamic holy month of fasting. The festival of Eid lasts for three days.
Omani cuisine is influenced by various global cuisines including Arabic, Persian, Indian, African, etc. Rice is the staple of the cuisine. Fish, lamb, and chicken are other important parts of the diet. Omani dishes are usually rich in herbs, spices, and marinades. Everyday meals feature curry, cooked fish, chicken or meat, rice, and vegetables. Some of the traditional Omani dishes include harees (wheat mixed with chicken or meat and cooked to form a paste), kebabs, machboos (rice cooked in meat or chicken broth with added saffron), etc. Kahwa is a popular Omani beverage. It is coffee served with cardamom powder. Tea and yogurt drinks are also popular.
Best Time to Visit Oman
The best time to visit Oman is between October - March, during the winter months, when the weather is pleasant and cool. April and May are the shoulder seasons when the weather is still pleasant, but warmer than in the winter months.
If you just travel one place in Oman, it is probably to be Muscat. This town is the abode to forts, palaces, museums, and marketplaces, offering something for everybody. All these things made this place one of the best attraction of Oman. In the middle of Oman, sand dunes extend for miles and form what is called the Wahiba Sands. In this place, the Bedu people live, and it is a beloved tourist destination for those seeking for the real, pure and conventional Oman. In Southern Oman is Salalah, a destination sometimes familiar as the second town to Muscat. On a trip to Salalah, you can appreciate the unbelievable Qaboos Palace, and you can admire the ancient architecture in the Old Town.