Oman Culture and Heritage


Culture

If you are someone who has an understanding and appreciation of history, arts, architecture and the intricacies of a civil society, Oman is the place for you. From the ancient city of Nizwa to the towns along the coast to the Capital to Salalah, all seeped in history, you can experience Oman's sense of timelessness.

The Sultanate enjoys an unspoiled culture and traditional lifestyle in almost every aspect. Even in its modernity, Oman is distinctly Arabic and offers many unique old-world wonders.

The Omani culture has its roots firmly deep in the Islamic religion. Oman developed its own particular form of Islam, called Ibadhism, after its founder, Abdullah ibn Ibadh who lived during the 7th century AD. Not all Omanis are Ibadhis however; there are also Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Omanis are not only tolerant of the beliefs of different Muslim divisions, they are also tolerant towards believers of other faiths, who are allowed to practice their religion in churches and temples.

Muslims are required to pray five times each day after the call to prayer by the Imam. Beautiful, ornate mosques are found throughout the Sultanate, but they are not open to non-Muslim visitors. The holy month of Ramadhan is a time of fasting and praying. For around 29 to 30 days each Islamic year, Muslims refrain from smoking, eating and drinking during the hours of fasting (from sunrise to sunset). Ramadhan advances 10 to 11 days each year as it is governed by the lunar calendar. Out of respect, non-Muslim residents and visitors to the Sultanate are expected to observe the same principles in public.

Heritage

A legacy that has been passed on from generation to generation; the art, the culture, the folklore and the artistry has to be seen. But there is much more in the heart of Oman to explore: the sense of respect for time, for people, and for nature. Come and taste a part of Oman's rich heritage, kept alive and unchanged for generations. It may help you understand tomorrow a little better.

For its size, Oman boasts an unprecedented number of UNESCO-classified World Heritage Sites including Bat—with its tombs dating back 3,000 years, the Fort of Bahla, and the majestic Frankincense Route which commences from Dhofar and includes Al-Blaid; site of the ancient city of Zafar, Khawr Rawri, Shisr and Wadi Dukah.

Oman's heritage features a prominent sea-faring tradition, as one would expect from a country with 3,165 Km of coastline.

Many museums and galleries around the secluded and historic harbors of Muscat and Muttrah illuminate the importance of the sea and, indeed, of water generally, throughout Oman's 5,000 year-old history.