Oman: Holidays and National Customs
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the time of Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Lent, which lasts 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|February||Id al-Adha (Mutton Festival)|
|March||Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year Festival)|
|May June||Maulid (Muhammad’s birthday)|
|October November||Beginning of Ramadan|
|November December||Id al-Fitr (End of Lent)|
|November 18th and 19||Birthday of Sultan Qaboos|
Source: Countryaah – Oman Holidays
Oman is an Islamic country. Religious customs should definitely be taken into account.
Police, military and border stations as well as soldiers and police officers may not be photographed. The interiors of religious buildings may also not be photographed. People should be asked for permission in advance.
The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on various factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people planning a beach holiday. Health status and age can also play a role in the experience of the climate. Therefore, our travel time recommendations are divided into the following three categories:
For people who are not sensitive to the sun, who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any complaints, can travel to Oman all year round. However, a visit is not recommended for people sensitive to heat. Unless you spend your time in air-conditioned buildings.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
|March||0 – 01||29-30||22-23|
|April||0 – 01||32-33||24-25|
|May||0 – 01||33-35||24-25|
|October||0 – 01||32-33||19-20|
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that OM stands for the nation of Oman as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Game reserve in the Oman desert
The game reserve in the Oman desert is located in the central desert and extends to the coast of the Indian Ocean. The desert climate has produced a unique flora with numerous endemic (= native) plants. Rare animals can also be found here, such as the oryx, Arabian gazelles, Arabian wolves, honey badgers or the caracals. The wildlife sanctuary in the Oman desert was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 1994 and was removed from the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 2007. The reason for this was Oman’s decision to reduce the area of the nature reserve by almost 90%.
The village of Bahla is almost the oldest royal city in Oman. It is located about 180 km south of the capital Muscat. The city wall, burned out of mud, surrounds the fortress Hisn Tamah. The fortress is still partially inhabited. It is a great building with 15 gates and 132 defense towers. Recently the fortress has been restored. If you are in the area, you can visit a palace from the 17th century, which is about 7 km from Bahla. Bahla Fortress was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987
Bat fortress with the Bronze Age settlement of Al-Khutm and the necropolis of Al-Ayn
These sites are located in the interior of Oman. They were made about 3,000 years BC. founded and are very well preserved.
The fortress Bat with the Bronze Age settlement of Al-Khutm and the necropolis of Al-Ayn were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988.
Frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah and sites of the frankincense trade in Dhofar Frankincense is
still extracted in the Dhofar region today. In the ancient world, the aromatic resin of the Boswellia sacra tree was considered one of the most sought-after commodities. In the dry valleys, the trees are scratched and the resin comes out, which is then harvested after a few days. Of the old places, however, only ruins remain. The frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah and sites of the frankincense trade in Dhofar were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000
Aflaj irrigation system
In Oman there are still old irrigation systems that currently secure the water supply. The oldest systems are said to have existed in this area as early as 2,500 BC. The irrigation systems ensure a distribution of the rare and therefore precious water with which agriculture and the residents are and were supplied. So-called towers were built to defend the irrigation systems. The Aflaj irrigation system was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.
Ancient City of Qalhat
The ancient city of Qalhat was a major trading center on the east coast of Oman from the 11th to the 15th centuries.
Nowadays, the UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the walled ancient ruined city as well as burial sites outside the walls. The ancient Qalhat is evidence of trade between the east coast of Arabia, East Africa and India to China and Southeast Asia. The ancient city of Qalhat has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018.
Masqat (Muscat, Muscat)
Masqat is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. Until 1970 the city seemed to have stood still in the Middle Ages. The city gates were closed every evening until the 20th century. Since Sultan Qaboos ibn Said came to power, Masqat has been massively modernized, the old houses torn down and a modern metropolis created on the Gulf of Oman.
Port city of Sur
The port city of Sur was once the port of call for trade with East Africa. Today, due to the ongoing modernization of the city, there are hardly any old buildings to be seen. However, life at the port has taken its usual course for centuries.
Nizwa was and is the religious center of Oman. Islam was adopted there in the 7th century and the first imam was elected.
Former British Embassy
The former British embassy in Masqat was built in 1890 in an oriental style. There is a museum in the building, which is well worth seeing.
Bait Nadir House
The restored Bait Nadir house in Masqat dates back to the 18th century. It gives a good impression of the home decor of that time.
Center of Ibra
The center of Ibra is about two centuries old and well preserved. The old houses and defense towers are mostly impressive buildings and have a special atmosphere.
In the oasis group of Manah you can visit the old, two-story mud houses, which are abandoned today.
Old trading houses
The old trading houses in Mirbat date back to the 18th century and have the small, rectangular windows, stepped battlements and incised decorations typical of the region
Opera house in Muscat
In the capital Muscat, the state sultan has built a magnificent opera house. The official name is “Royal Opera House Muscat”. The opera house has around 1,100 seats and houses the “Royal Symphony Orchestra”, which has existed since 1985. The inauguration of the house took place on October 12th. This makes Oman the only Muslim-Arab country besides Egypt to have an opera house.
Palace of Jabrin
The palace of Jabrin was built in 1675. The splendid residence shows impressive living rooms with beautiful ceiling paintings, ornamentation and stucco.
Great Mosque in Masqat
The Great Mosque in Masqat was opened in 2001 and is the largest mosque in Oman with space for 20,000 people. The huge chandelier inside the church is worth seeing.
Mosque in Bilad Bani Bu Ali
The mosque in Bilad Bani Bu Ali consists of parallel barrel vaults and is adorned by 48 domes.
Sultan Qaboos Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Nizwa is worth seeing with its blue and gold dome and high minaret.
The Ottoman-French Museum is now housed in the former French embassy in Masqat. Among other things, you can admire French and Ottoman costumes as well as the former interior.
Ruins of the old city of Urba
The ruins of the approx. 4,000 year old city of Urba have been excavated since 1992. The former trading town has already been mentioned in the Bible and in the Koran. In the museum of the site you can learn about the history of the former city.
Tomb of Job
The tomb of Job, a historical person whose fate is described in the Old Testament in the Book of Job, is on the way from Salalah to Ittin.
Field of ruins of Qalhat
The field of ruins of Qalhat shows the remains of a former magnificent city, which even Marco Polo described in his notes. The only remains are a mighty wall ring and a tomb.
Fortress The Nizwa Fortress dates back to the 17th century and is an important cultural monument. The mighty cannon tower is approx. 23 m high and has a diameter of approx. 40 m. From the platform on the tower you have a very good view of the city.
Mirani Fortress The Mirani
Fortress, which rises above Masqat Bay, dates back to the 16th century. It is used by the royal guard and is therefore not accessible to visitors.
Fortress The Bahla Fortress, Hisn Tamah, is a special testimony to Ottoman clay architecture and is a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The mighty building dates from the 17th century.
Fortress The Bait Na’aman Fortress dates back to the 17th century. Today you can visit the artfully restored rooms of that time.
Fortress of Al-Hazm
The fortress of Al-Hazm is a winding, very beautiful complex, the rooms of which are richly decorated.
Fortress The oldest parts of the Rostaq Fortress date from the 7th century. However, it received its current appearance in the 18th century. The town’s souq is directly connected to the fortress.
Shipyards, old ports
In the three old Dhow Yards in Sur you can still observe every stage of the dhow formation.
Port of Mirbat
The port of Mirbat was one of the most important export ports for incense until the 18th century.
Port of Sammaram
The port of Sammaram dates back to pre-Islamic times and was an important port for the frankincense trade.
Ain Thowarah Hot Springs
The Ain Thowarah hot springs in Nakhl are one of the city’s attractions.
Above the Mughsayl lagoon there are circular holes in the rock that have been washed out by the sea water. When the sea pressure rises in the lagoon, the water shoots in high fountains from the openings.