Today we will talk Oman on my Things You didn’t Know series. Sultanahmet of Oman is a country I fell in love with after first few minutes being there.
I have travelled in Omani Sultanate back in October of 2012 and it is one of the very few places I’m planning on returning to. People here are some of the nicest people in the world!
Oman Info/ Oman Facts
Oman Capital: Muscat
Oman Currency: Omani Rial OMR
Oman Language: Arabic
Oman Population: 4,42 million
Oman Religion: Ibadi and Sunni Islam
Oman Flag: A horizontal tricolour flag of white, red and green with a vertical red stripe at the hoist, charged with the National emblem of Oman. Adopted on the 25th of April, 1995.
White symbolize the Imam, the religious leader of Omani Sultanate, and at times the political rival to the ruling Sultan. It also symbolizes peace.
Green represents the Jabal al-Akdar, or “The Green Mountains,” which lie toward the north of the country.
Red is a common colour in Gulf state flags. The national emblem dates back to the 18th century. A curved dagger and a pair of crossed swords.
Oman Map/ Where is Oman located?
As this Oman country map shows, Omani Sultanate is located on the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Sea precisely the Gulf of Oman. Bordering Yemen, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Interesting, funny and quirky facts about Oman.
1. No Coca-Cola
There are almost NO Coca-Cola Company products while Pepsi is widely sold. That is a very interesting Coca-Cola fact :)
It was very weird but I loved it. Coca-Cola was nowhere to be found. I have heard that in big luxurious hotels it is not a problem but not coffee shops and bazaars.
I spoke with many Omani people about this, and the majority of them didn’t pay that much attention to “this issue” as they seem to love Mountain Dew up to the point of total addiction. They called it ‘Omani Alcohol’! therefore that is why Pepsi wins I guess.
It was not a problem, I’m not a big fan of fizzy drinks anyway, but as you all know I’m a bit strange and love everything which is slightly surreal.There is no Coca-Cola in Oman? How come? #cocacolafactsClick To Tweet
2. Liquor licence Issue
One needs a liquor licence issued by the police to be able to buy alcohol in Oman. The permit’s value is determined by one’s earnings. It is usually 10% of the basic salary.
How do I know that? No, I’m not officially registered in Omani Sultanate, simply I went for a diving trip to Daymaniyat Islands with German and American Boys working and living in Muscat.
They told me that a proper Polish party could easily blow an amount permitted monthly! Oh, well, I know we can drink back in my home but it is good to see it from a different perspective!
Looking for all the dramas and accidents caused by alcohol in Poland maybe it is not such a bad perspective!You need to have a licence to buy alcohol, same as driving licence or licence to kill haha #samesamebutnotClick To Tweet
3. Coffee + dates
Coffee is superb in Oman and it is always served with dates. The little cups are never full. Traditionally Omani people drink coffee in a thousand little sips, each served separately.
It takes a lot of time. But that is the whole point of their amazing hospitality. To please guests with conversations while sipping delicious freshly made coffee with some of the best dry dates I have ever had in my life!Coffee is always accompanied by dates, not bad custom at all! #sweetlovrsgonnalove itClick To Tweet
4. Weekend = Friday + Thursday
Oman still has its weekend on Thursday and Friday. Friday is the Muslim holy day when Jumu’ah prayers take place.
It will be changed to Friday and Saturday very soon, as well as Saudi leaving only Afghanistan to adhere to this weekend scheme.Is weekend Thursday and Friday or Saturday and Sunday? #itshouldbeallofthoseClick To Tweet
5. Woman – only souq
Oman is the only country to have a women-only souq. It takes place every Wednesday in the city of Ibra.
It is the most colourful souk of Arabia. Men are forbidden to even stick around. Women traders sell everything from spices to jewellery and fabrics to women buyers.
Many people ask me what to do in Oman and that is one of the musts!A women-only souk is a true highlight of Oman. Must vists for sure!Click To Tweet
6. Doors to Heaven
The country is famous for its ornamented doors. Doors in Oman are unique, colourful and embroidered. And no matter what the whole house looks like, even a simple house has truly stunning doors.
As you may know from my Pinterest I’m a bit obsessed with taking pictures of doors, so it was little heaven for me! This is my OCD kicking in, I like series!Oman has some of the most beautiful doors in the world! #doorsondoors #doorsoftheworldClick To Tweet
7. Oldest Independent Arab State
Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. It has been ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744.
It is true that most of the country’s citizens gained voting rights only in November of 2002 but Omani Sultanate has a very interesting Foreign Policy which makes has changed an isolated and unstable Oman into a leader in Middle Eastern and global diplomacy.
I must admit I have been highly impressed with Omani people, they are truly hospitable, but as well super nice, polite, open to discussion on every subject even controversial ones.
When I was visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, I have been invited for coffee by a truly interesting woman for coffee and conversation. It was refreshing to hear her opinions on her own country which she loved.Oman is the oldest independent Arab States #historyfactsClick To Tweet
8. Frankincense Trees
In Oman, frankincense trees only grow in the wild. Frankincense trees are facing an uncertain future worldwide. It is said that in the next 15 years production of the fragrant resin could decline by half.
Used extensively in religious rituals and in the perfume industry. Been investigated for its medicinal properties. It is becoming a very precious and demanded feedstock.
Very special tree for Omani is not a mere tree for them rather an embodiment of culture, history, sociology and geography.Frankincense Trees - the real treasure of Oman. #treeloversClick To Tweet
9. Arab Horses Land
Omani Sultanate is traditionally known for breeding Arab horses. Historically it has been famous for its purebred Arab horses. Omani people believe that the horse is an image of its master and a reflection of his courage, stamina and ability.
Zaad AL-Rakeb – the first horse in Arabia to which all the Arab progeny horses comes from. It belonged to the Uzd, the old members of the Arab Uzd tribe of Omani Sultanate.Land of the best Arab horses in the whole world. #arabhorsesheavenClick To Tweet
10. Open for tourists!
If you would ask me what is Oman famous for before I went there it would be exactly this fact related to Oman travel situation. That it is one of the youngest countries to visit for tourists.
Officially country was open to expensive package tours and business travellers only and its allowed tourists to enter its territory freely only starting in 1987 when Omani government decided to eased visa restrictions.
Up to 1970, there were no hotels in the country at all! These days they have some of the most amazing resorts to host you. It is really worth a visit, so pack and go before all the others will. Especially if you are such a desert lover as I’m!
If you want to visit Oman do not hesitate, it is a great country! One of the best I have visited in the Middle East.Opened only in 1987 to wide tourism is a real gem of Arabian Peninsula. #visitOmanClick To Tweet
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And do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about what is Oman known for. More than happy to chat!