14 Fun Facts About Oman’s History, Funny Laws and Traditions

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Featuring a rich history, Oman features some of the earliest human habitats.

The Sultanate of Oman, or simply known as Oman, has serene white buildings and mesmerizing architecture that will awe you with its beauty, paired with some interesting history and funny laws.

I’ve rounded up these fun facts for an enriching virtual experience, but I might just encourage you to book a trip!

1. Oman Is The Oldest Independent Nation Of The Arab Countries

Among all the Arabian siblings, Oman was the first nation to be freed from the British in the late 19th century. This peninsular state was called the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman before independence.

It has always been a place of political trade. In 1951, Oman finally signed a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, and became a free country.

2. When In Oman, You Need To Get A License To Get Intoxicated

As Oman is an Islamic country, alcohol is strictly prohibited in private homes unless you hold a license. Non-residents and tourists can enjoy drinks at licensed venues such as restaurants and cafes, but don’t bring beers back to your hotel room.

3. A Middle Eastern Terrorism-Free Country

Did you know that Oman has experienced zero terrorist activities?

Yes, unlike other middle-eastern countries, Oman was blessed with a far-sighted leader, Sultan Qaboos-bin-Said. He has consistently worked to ensure political stability across the country.

4. Oman Is A Paradise For Birdwatchers

If our feathery friends satiate your soul, then Oman is the place to be. Migratory birds from three continents are welcomed in the oases, swamps, and islands of Oman.

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The best places to go bird watching are the Dhofar springs and the Masirah islands, where hundreds of species of birds fly from Europe, Asia, and Africa.

5. Omanis Are Incredible Ship Builders

Omanis are traditional craftsmen in building wooden ships. They have long been associated with sea and trade, especially given their location on the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

Even today, Omanis remain incredible at building wooden boats.

6. The Entrances Of Houses In Oman Are Art Pieces

In most parts of Oman, traditional houses have large crafted doors at the entrance. These metal or wood gateways give a sneak peek into the art and culture of local Omanis.

The reason? Intricate designs and colorful motifs provide an excellent first impression to the guests. Whatever the reason, these entrances add to the aesthetics of a house.

7. Oman Is One Of The Last Countries To Abolish Slavery

With Oman being a major trade center between Europe and Africa, the slave trade wasn’t abolished until 1970. Enslaved people from Africa were brought to Oman and trafficked to other peninsular countries.

8. A 100-Year-Old Hindu Temple In Muscat

While Oman has a very high Muslim population, there are several Hindu templates in Muscat to serve its several thousand Hindus. The Shiva temple is one of the oldest temples in Arabic countries.

9. Wadi Ghul Is The Grand Canyon Of Arabia

The Ghul village of Oman features a charismatic deep valley with steep mountains.

Wadi Ghul

Many add Wadi Ghul to their bucket list, especially as the magnificent water pools and the rocky mountains make for the perfect Instagram photo.

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10. Oman Has One Of The Longest Serving Monarch In The World

Sultan Qaboos-bin-Said took control of Oman in 1970 and named the nation The Sultanate of Oman. In addition to avoiding the terrorists, he turned this nation into a disciplined state that continues to work on becoming a first-world country.

He ruled the country until his death in 2020, after a nearly 50-year reign, and was the longest-serving ruler in the Arab world.

11. The Wednesday Market Where Men Are Not Allowed

Now, this is an interesting law! There is a weekly souq that takes place in Ibra, Oman. This unique Wednesday market prohibits men, so women freely roam and shop for anything and everything here.

12. Oman Is Home To Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites

This country has a rich history whose legacy is depicted in its heritage sites.

Aflaj Irrigation Systems is an ancient irrigation system to channel underground water for agricultural use. The Ancient City Of Qalhat had archaeological evidence of trade links between continents.

Bahla Fort, Land of Frankincense, and the Archaeological sites of Bat, Al Khutm, and Al Ayn are other World Heritage sites.

13. Oman Is The Land Of Frankincense

Frankincense is a resin that is obtained from the trunk of Boswellia trees.

Boswellia trees on mountain top

These grow naturally in the oases of Oman but are uncommon in other parts of the world. Frankincense is essential in making perfumes or treating skin problems with its oil.

14. The Omanis Can Get A Plot Of Land For Free

Rather than saving for 5 to 10 years to afford a down payment, Oman’s law entitles every Omani adult citizen to a piece of land from the government. All the citizen has to do is apply and wait for the allotment.

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Now that’s a fun fact that could solve our housing crisis!

Joshua Smith

Joshua has visited 10 countries and has another 110 to go! He plans to sail around the world over 5 years, and then spend the next 5 years driving around the world in a 4×4. He prefers to explore the more remote places without the tourists, and yet, doesn’t mind the ritzy feel of business class at 10,000 feet either.

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