12 Interesting Facts About Oman That You Probably Didn’t Know

12 Interesting Facts About Oman That You Probably Didn’t Know

One of the most vibrant cultures in the history of humanity; Oman exudes a very different, unique and exotic vibe from the rest. With traces of human civilisation to have been found which date back to several centuries, humanity is said to have grown its roots from this very place since 8,000 years. To add to this, Oman became the oldest Arab state to have been formed in the Arabian peninsula.

Back when it was a kingdom, Oman was strategically placed where it sat atop a plateau surrounded by a landscape which acted as a natural barrier against invaders. The only way to reach Oman was by traversing through a pass which served as a funnel and provided Oman with the upper hand. It was practically a fortress which was impregnable whose defences couldn’t be breached or tampered with. Over the years, it became the seat of power, which held a crucial position in the shipping of goods and spices by establishing Muscat as an essential port. This isn't all, here are 20 facts about Oman that will make you want to explore the beautiful Arab nation. 

1. Uninterrupted Dynasty of Rulers

The Al Said family is the longest-ruling royal family in the whole of Arabia whose reign has been continuous since the past three centuries (1744 to be precise). Ranked third in the list of ‘longest ruling monarchs’, Qaboos Bin Said al Said is the king and bears the title of the Sultan. The Sultan is the head of the government as well as the monarch. He holds absolute power over all aspects of his kingdom.

2. Ancient Souqs for Miles 

Basically marketplaces which sprawl over for kilometres at a stretch. They have rapidly gained a name for themselves in the international market for the availability and ease of procurement of various items ranging from handicrafts to food items to jewellery. There are several souqs in Oman, most prominent of which are Muttrah souq, Nizwa souq, Hibri souq and Al Husn souq, to name a few. This fact about Oman will make you want to add these souks to your Omn itinerary. 

3. Whitewashed Houses and Buildings

Surrounded by a plethora of buildings and houses painted in white, one is bound to get confused as to which locality they are in. Structures of any kind ranging from office complexes to malls are whitewashed, and any other colour requires prior permission from the government with adequate reasons. This adds to the flawless beauty which the country of Oman presents to you.

4. Oil Exports

The Omani rank is quite high on the list of exporters of oil. It sits atop a vast oil reserve that is bound to last for a couple of centuries. Oman’s GDP is mainly contributed to by this and the ever-growing tourism industry. All the expenses of the state are covered and tended to by this. Which aims to get their citizens loads of incentives, including the exclusion of taxes. Now does the no-tax fact about Oman may make you want to work there?

5. Amazing Shipbuilders

Being a fantastic ship maker courses through an Omani’s veins. They are well known for building ships which have stood the test of time and bear testimony to their mastery of this skill. Partly surrounded by the sea, Omanis have refined this craft over time and built some of the most significant naval ships which have been lauded for their versatility. Every intricate detail is meticulously looked into with nothing short of utter perfection. 

6. Mountain Dew - The Alcohol of Oman

An average Omani’s love for mountain dew knows no bounds. Willing to go to any extent for this carbonated drink, this beverage enjoys a monopolised market with no equal to rival it. Since the introduction of mountain dew in Oman, it is one of the few drinks which has the highest rate of consumption for any middle eastern country. It is often hailed as the “alcohol of Oman”. Facts say that when coca-cola tried to enter the market, they were shunned away and their sales plummeted down to an all-time low in any country. With the Omani making their love for the former crystal clear, it has become a rarity to come across a cola bottle here.

7. License For Getting Intoxicated

When it comes to actual alcohol being sold in the country, the Omani has framed a set of stringent laws which are meant to be followed down to the very letter. Breaking these laws equals to going against the Islamic code of conduct which elicits a swift response comprising of penalty inclusive of prison and a hefty fine. 
Alcohol is usually served by five-star hotels and restaurants who possess a valid license.

8. Non-existent Crime Rate

This fact about Oman will make you feel safe when visiting the country. While the crime rate fluctuates over the years in several countries, the Omani people boast of a virtually non-existent crime rate. Reasons for this are attributed to the stringent Sharia law implemented in the country, which calls for rigorous punishment for any crime committed. Measures such as these have led to the sharp fall in the crime rate and serve to keep it at bay. 

9. Disturbing Public Peace (honking) is Prohibited

An unwritten rule. Advocators of the fact that silence builds character, the Omani are prohibited from honking in public and private places unless the direst of situations demand it. Walk down the streets of Oman, and you wouldn’t find a single soul honking unnecessarily. 

10. The Addictive Beverage - Coffee

Also known as ‘Qahwa’, this beverage is mandatorily served to every guest upon arrival to one’s house. While pleasantries are exchanged over, this fosters a bond of friendship and has become a ritual that one follows. The coffee is locally grown, has a delectable taste to it and is usually mixed with saffron.

11. Hotels

Unknown to most people, the current chain of luxury hotels in Oman were nothing more than mere shacks sitting on the coastline and enjoying the view. This was the case before 1970. Post this, facing a massive wave of modernisation, Oman revolutionised its entire hotel industry among other sectors and made them reach the pinnacle of their success. Today, Omani hotels have redefined what luxury is and offer an impressive quality of service, which is world-renowned.

12. Excellent Breed of Horses/Stallions

Ask an equestrian which breed do they desire the most, and the answer would undoubtedly be the Omani breed. The Omani are known for raising horses which have incredible speed, endurance and stamina. Legend has it that King Solomon gifted an Omani tribe a stallion named Zad el-Raheb which was the epitome of an encapsulated all the qualities. It’s said that all these beautiful horses have descended from this horse. Now isn't this an interesting fact about Oman?

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