Culture Oman

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    Carlos Rodrigues
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Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Oman

Oman : Discover the country's culture


Novels, travel stories and essays:
The literature of modern Arabia: an Anthology by Salma Khadra Jayyusi.
Arabia Felix from the Time of the Queen of Sheba: Eighth Century B.C. to First Century A.D.,: by Jean-Francois Breton and Albert Le Farge.

Photography books:
Under the Spell of Arabia: by Mathias Oppersdorff.


Oman (Bradt Travel Guide).
Oman and the United Arab Emirates (Lonely Planet Country Guide).


Oman: Traditional Arts of the Sultanate of Oman, by various artists, Unesco.

Oman : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

3000 BC: the sailors of the Magan kingdom are incense and copper merchants.
1000 BC: Hadramaut and Dhofar incense is exported, by caravan, beyond the desert.
8th century BC: the Azds, an Arabian tribe from northern Yemen, settle in the mountain areas.
563 BC: the Achaemenid Persians occupy the east coast. They import the falaj, irrigation system. Persians and Arabians share out the territory.
630: the Azds convert to Islam. The Persians are pushed out.
893: the caliph of Barhain invades Oman and destroys a great part of the irrigation system.
971: Sohar harbour is sacked by the Persians.
107: the Turks invade Oman.
1295: Marco Polo stops over in Dhofar.
1331: Ibn Battutah, an Arabic geographer and traveller visits Qalhat.
13th century: the Persians invade the coastal region again. Omani navigators arrive in eastern Africa. They establish trading posts along the coasts, from Somalia to Mozambique and on Zanzibar and Pemba islands (Tanzania).
1507: Portuguese vessels cruise off the coasts of Oman.
1518: Muscat is seized. The coastal areas remain under Portuguese domination. This will last for 150 years, despite Turkish naval attacks in 1554 and 1581. The Omani take refuge inland.
1624: Omani Nasir al Yarubi, imam of Rustaq, raises armies and defeats the Portuguese along the coasts. His successor, Sultan bin Saif al Yarubi frees Muscat.
1698: the Omani seize the post of Mombasa from the Portuguese and push them away from the African coast.
1715: at the time of Sultan bin Seif II, the country founders into civil war. The Persians take control of Muscat and Sohar again. They are definitively pushed out in 1783.
1861: Zanzibar becomes an independent sultanate from the sultanate of Oman. Beginning of the decline of Oman.
1873: abolition of slavery in Zanzibar. The Omani ships from Sur (Oman) display the French flag. The British suspect that they will continue with the slave trade.
1890: Oman is under British control.
1924: prospecting for oil begins. In 1964: the first finds and 1967: the first barrels exported.
1930: first exploration of the Rub al Khali desert by Bertram Thomas. From 1945 to 1950, then again in 1959, the Englishman Wilfred Thesiger travels across the same desert.
1932: Sultan bin Taymur is in power until 1970.
1954-1956: domestic unrest and exterior threats. Saudi Arabia lusts for Omani oil.
1965: war in Dhofar.
1970: Sultan Qaboos deposes his father. He undertakes the sultanate's development.
2000: five women enter the Council of State, or Majlis Al Dowla.
November 2003: Oman joins the World Tourism Organisation.

Oman : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events


January 1st:
New Year's Day.
Horse races in honour of the sultan.
May 1st:
Labour Day.
From mid-July to end of August:
Khareef festival in Salalah. Music, dance, the cooking of typical dishes and an exhibition of Dhofar handicraft.
November 18th:
National holiday and Sultan Qaboos's birthday.
The Muslim holidays depend on the lunar calendar, therefore the dates vary every year. For a rough estimation of these dates, count eleven days down from the date it fell on the previous year.
Hijra day: Islamic New Year.
Mawlid: birth of the prophet Mohammed.
Beginning of Ramadan.
Eid al-Fitr, celebrations for the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, feast of sacrifice.

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