What to wear as a visitor to Oman?
This is probably the number one question I am asked about Oman. Well actually, the question is probably more like, “are women all fully covered in Oman?” I love this question because it lets me speak about the great things that go on here, and how Oman doesn’t fit the western stereotype of the Middle East. It also opens door for me to relate Oman back to the curious traveler who asked the question with advice on what to wear as a visitor to Oman. And in case your were wondering; women are not required to cover themselves by law. However, culturally, Omani women do typically cover their heads by choice with a beautiful piece of cloth called a shayla.
In this episode of the Sultanate I chat with two of the most adventurous people I know, Goos and Agnes, about cultural respect as visitors to Oman, as well as clothing choices you need to make when planning a trip to the Sultanate. Goos and Agnes are a Dutch couple I met here in Muscat shortly after I arrived in 2011, and they bring to the table a wealth of knowledge from a lifetime of travel, including living and raising children abroad in some very exotic countries. Goos works in the oil industry which has taken him and his family to live in places like Pakistan, Scotland, Nigeria, Australia, and Oman. Currently Goos and Agnes are on their second posting in Muscat and can tell you some great stories about what it was like here on their first posting in the 1980s.
We discuss the topics of: what to wear and what not to wear from both the men’s and women’s perspective, how to respect the Omani culture, how to project your marital status as an unmarried couple, how to stay cool when it is hot, handshaking, and I throw in a few stories for good measure.
D’s Recomendations on What to Wear as a Visitor to Oman (as a minimum)
|Public Beach||Swim Shorts||Avoid if possible, best to find a quiet secluded beach and wear conservative swim suit and cover up outside of the water|
|Hotel Beach/Pool||Budgie smugglers||Bikini|
|Sport||Shorts that extend to the knee and t-shirt||Pants to the ankle and shirt that covers cleavage, shoulders, and mid drift|
|Public Place||Pants and short sleeve shirt with close toed shoes shoes||Pants to the ankle and shirt that covers cleavage, shoulders, and mid drift|
|Mosque||Pants and short sleeve shirt with close toed shoes shoes||Pants to the ankle and shirt that covers your neck, mid drift, and arms. Also, you'll be required to cover your head and all of your hair with a shayla|
|Hiking/Camping||Shorts and t-shirt||Pants to the ankle and shirt that covers cleavage, shoulders, and mid drift|
|Royal Opera House||Dress shirt, tie, and trousers. Suit recommended||Trousers/blouse or dress that covers your legs, mid drift, and shoulders|
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