What is Oman Famous For?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 29/11/2023

Oman has a rich history that spans over several millennia. It was the site of prehistoric human habitation, as evidenced by the stone tools and fossils found in various locations. Oman is predominantly Muslim, with most Omanis following the Ibadi sect of Islam, which is unique to Oman and some parts of Africa.

This country has a rich and varied heritage of crafts and arts, such as weaving, pottery, embroidery, jewellery, leather, wood, and metalwork. Not only that, Oman is also famous for its architectural marvels. Let's talk about in detail what Oman is famous for.

Famous Places in Oman

Oman has five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many other monuments that showcase its people's architectural, artistic, and religious achievements. Here are some key Oman tourism places.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

One of the best places to visit in Oman is Sultan Qaboos Mosque. It is the largest mosque in the country and can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers. It was constructed in 2001 as a present from Sultan Qaboos.

The mosque has a vast dome, a tall minaret, and a stunning main prayer hall that houses a huge Persian carpet and a dazzling chandelier.

Nizwa Fort

It was built in the 17th century by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'arubi, who led the resistance against the Portuguese invasion.

The fort has a unique circular shape, with seven wells, two cannons, and a museum that displays weapons, costumes, and artefacts.

Bahla Fort

It was built by the Banu Nebhan tribe, who ruled the region for over 400 years. The fort is one of the best places to visit in Oman and a fine example of a defensive complex with high walls, round towers, and spiked doors.

This fortress is also associated with legends of magic and sorcery, as Bahla is believed to be the birthplace of black magic in Oman. The fort was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987 and underwent extensive restoration in 2012.

Al Alam Palace

This is the official residence of Sultan Qaboos in Muscat and a popular Muscat tourist attraction. It was built in 1972 on the site of a former palace that dates back to 200 years.

The palace is known for its striking Islamic architecture, with blue and gold columns, arches, and domes. The palace is surrounded by a lush garden and the Mutrah Harbour, where you can see the royal yacht and the naval vessels.

The palace is not open to the public, but you can take photos from a distance.

Royal Opera House Muscat

This place is another Muscat tourist attraction. It is a cultural landmark showcasing the best local and international performances. It was inaugurated in 2011 by Sultan Qaboos.

The opera house has a capacity of 1,100 seats and features a state-of-the-art auditorium, a concert hall, a cinema, and a library.

This place also has a stunning facade inspired by traditional Omani architecture, with marble, wood, and gold details.

The opera house offers guided tours, as well as a variety of shows, concerts, and festivals throughout the year.

Land of Frankincense

Among many noted Oman sightseeing places, one is the Land of Frankincense. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has four locations in the Dhofar region of Oman. These are the ancient city of Al Baleed, the caravan oasis of Shisr, the frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah, and the port of Khor Rori.

Frankincense comes from the Boswellia sacra tree and is used for incense, perfume, and medicine.

Jabreen Castle

It is a 17th-century castle that Imam Bil'arab bin Sultan Al Ya'arubi, the son of the builder of Nizwa Fort, built. The castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Oman, with elaborate decorations, paintings, and carvings.

It has three floors, with 55 rooms, including a reception hall, a library, a courtroom, and a school. The castle also has a secret passage, a hidden well, and a rooftop terrace that offers scenic views of the surrounding palm groves and mountains.

Birkat Al Mouz Ruins

It is a village in ruins on the way to Jebel Akhdar, a mountain range in the Al Hajar Mountains. The village became deserted in the 1950s and is now a popular Oman sightseeing place. In the village, there are two ancient ruins showcasing Omani architecture—one made of mud and the other of stone.

Nakhal Fort

It is a 17th-century fort built by the Al Ya'aruba dynasty, the rulers of Oman. This fort is in the Al Batinah Region, on a rocky hill overlooking the Nakhal oasis. The fort has a distinctive shape, built around a rock, giving it a natural defence.

The fort has many features, such as a prison, a mosque, a bath, and a museum that displays weapons, pottery, and manuscripts.

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

It is a natural reserve that protects the nesting site of the endangered green turtles. It is in the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, in the Ras Al Hadd district.

The reserve is home to thousands of green turtles who come to the sandy beach to lay their eggs yearly, from May to October.

Muscat Gate Museum

It is a historical museum located at the Muscat Gate, one of the main entrances to the old city of Muscat. The gate was built in 1979 and was renovated in 1995.

The museum displays the history and culture of Muscat, from the pre-Islamic era to the present day. The museum displays a collection of photographs, maps, models, and artefacts, such as coins, pottery, and weapons.

Wadi Bani Khalid

It is a beautiful oasis in the Sharqiyah region in eastern Oman. It is one of the best places to visit in Oman and accessible wadis in Oman, with clear green water throughout the year. A wadi is a dry riverbed that overflows with water during heavy rainfall, forming a natural pool.

Jebel Shams

Known as the Mountain of the Sun, it is Oman's highest mountain, with an elevation of 3,028 meters. It is located in the Al Hajar Mountains, in the Al Dakhiliyah region.

Jebel Shams is famous for its spectacular views of the Grand Canyon of Arabia, a deep gorge that cuts through the mountain. You can drive, camp, or trek to the summit of Jebel Shams and witness the sunrise or the sunset over the canyon.

You can also visit the nearby villages, such as Al Hamra and Misfat Al Abriyeen, and experience the traditional Omani lifestyle.

Sur

It is a coastal city in the Ash Sharqiyah Region in eastern Oman. Sur is known for its maritime history, as it was a major port and a centre of shipbuilding and navigation.

This place has many attractions, such as the Sur Maritime Museum, which displays the history and techniques of shipbuilding and sailing; the Sur Lighthouse, which offers beautiful views of the city and the sea; and the Dhow Factory, which is a workshop where you can see the artisans making the traditional wooden boats, called dhows.

Famous Food in Oman

Omani food is influenced by various cuisines from India, Persia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. Here are some popular ones.

Majboos

Majboos, also known as Kabsa, is considered the national dish of Oman. It is a saffron-infused rice dish with spiced meat, commonly chicken, lamb, beef, or goat. The meat is prepared with several spices, garlic, and onion. The rice is then added and cooked with the meat, which gives it a yellow and creamy colour.

Shuwa

Shuwa is a dish of roasted meat that is prepared only on special occasions. It is a complicated and time-consuming dish, as the meat is seasoned with spices and covered in banana or palm leaves, then cooked in an underground sand oven for one or two days. The meat then becomes tender and crispy, with a layer of spices around it.

Mashuai

Mashuai is a type of seafood. It has roasted kingfish and savoury lemon rice. Locals season the kingfish with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then grill it over charcoal. Cook the lemon rice with onion, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and cardamom.

Mushaltat

Mushaltat is a soft flatbread filled with honey, meat, spinach, or cheese. The bread is prepared from refined wheat flour, kneaded into thin cakes, filled with the chosen ingredients, and baked for approximately five minutes. You can enjoy this dish with dates, kahwa (coffee), or laban (buttermilk).

Kahwa

This one is Oman's speciality. Kahwa is the Arabic word for coffee. It is a traditional drink in Oman served with dates and halwa (dessert). Omani kahwa typically incorporates cardamom powder, imparting a unique aroma and flavour. The brewing process occurs in a metal pot known as a Dallah, and the brewed kahwa is then served in small cups called finjan.

Dates

Dates are a staple food in Oman. There is a wide range of dates, differing in size, colour, texture and sweetness. The most famous varieties are Khalas, Khunaizi, Fard, Sukkari and Medjool.

Folk Music and Dance

Music and dance are an integral part of Omani society. Some of the most common and popular types are:

Liwa and Fann at-Tanbura

The descendants of Bantu peoples from the African Great Lakes region, who live in the coastal areas of Oman, perform this music. They use drums, tambourines, and tambura (a stringed instrument) to create lively and rhythmic music, accompanied by singing and dancing in a circle or a line.

Al-Bar'ah

The people of Dhofar, the southern region of Oman, perform this. It is a warlike dance and tribal chanting, performed in a half-circle by both men and women. It is usually performed during the Khareef (monsoon) season when the region is lush.

Al-Azi

It is a solemn music performed by a group of men who recite poetry and praise the achievements and virtues of their tribe or leader. They use drums, swords, and sticks to create rhythmic patterns and movements.

Al-Razha

It is a maritime music performed by a group of men who sing and dance on a ship or shore. They use drums, oars, and ropes to create musical sounds and motions, reflecting their navigational skills and traditions.

Festivals

Some of the famous traditions and festivals only found in Oman are:

Muscat Festival

This festival is held every year between January and February and lasts a whole month. The festival showcases the Omani culture and heritage through various art forms and activities.

The festival features theatre performances, acrobatic shows, educational programs, sporting events, circuses, camel races, contests, recreational activities for children, traditional and international food stalls, and fireworks shows.

Salalah Tourism Festival

This annual festival is held in Salalah, the second-largest city in Oman. It usually takes place during the monsoon season, from June to September, when the city is transformed into a lush oasis by the rain showers that cool the summer.

The festival hosts many artistic and cultural shows, including international and local programs.

Conclusion

Oman has many to offer travellers, from deserts to beaches, forts to art and culture. This country's unique food is delicious and hard to find elsewhere.

However, before you start your adventure to this wonderful country, we recommend you compare travel insurance from numerous insurance providers and get the one that provides comprehensive coverage.

A travel insurance policy protects you financially and provides immediate assistance if you lose your passport or baggage, need to prolong your stay due to an unforeseen scenario, or are in a medical emergency that requires quick treatment. If you are undecided about the best travel policy, choose Tata AIG travel insurance for rapid coverage and support when filing a claim.

FAQS

What is Oman famous for?

Oman is famous for its beautiful landscapes, historic forts, and welcoming culture.

What is the capital of Oman?

The capital of Oman is Muscat.

What are some traditional Omani food items?

Traditional Omani food includes dishes like shuwa (slow-cooked meat), majboos (spiced rice with meat), and halwa (sweet dessert).

What is the most popular drink in Oman?

Kahwa, a traditional Omani coffee, is a popular drink. It is often mixed with cardamom, giving it a special flavour.

What is the most famous festival in Oman?

One of the famous festivals in Oman is the Sultan Qaboos National Day, celebrated on November 18th. It marks the birthday of the late Sultan Qaboos.

What is the most popular sport in Oman?

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Oman.

What can tourists do when they visit Oman?

Tourists in Oman can visit old forts, explore lively markets, relax on lovely beaches, and learn about the unique culture. They can also do fun activities like desert trips and snorkelling.

How many days are enough to explore Oman?

Spending around 7 to 10 days in Oman is enough to explore Oman.

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