Oman Dress Code :
Dress Code for Visitors:
The dress code is fairly liberal in Muscat, although
decency is still expected. Women should wear, for
example, tops with sleeves, and long skirts or trousers.
Men are required to wear trousers and shirts with
sleeves. Swimwear should be restricted to the beach or
Male dress is characterized by ease and adaptation to
the surrounding environment. The national dress is
ultimately a simple, ankle-length, collarless gown with
long sleeves called a “dishdasha”.
At the rounded edge, where a traditional collar would
be, the area is embellished by a narrow strip, the
colour of which may differ from that of the dishdasha
itself. Upon the chest drapes a tassel of entwined
thread; “furakha” or “karkusha”, usually scented with
perfume or frankincense.
Underneath the dishdasha, a plain piece of cloth is
worn, covering the body from the waist down. Generally
speaking, the most noted regional differences in
dishdasha designs are the style with which they are
embroidered, varying according to age group, with more
detail included for the younger generation.
Two types of head dress are worn by Oman’s men, the
“mussar” and “kummah”. The mussar is a square cut piece
of finely woven wool or cotton fabric, of a single
colour, with various patterns in the middle of the
cloth. Coming in a spectrum of colours, the mussar is
worn on official engagements and is wrapped around the
head like a turban. The kummah is more like a ‘cap’ and
is the head dress worn during unofficial timings. It is
hand embroidered and comes in a plethora of colours and
The Khanjar (dagger) is worn in a leather sheath at the
front of the body in a special belt, in a tradition
unique to Oman. It is a symbol of a man's origin, his
manhood and courage. National dress is not complete
without it and men wear the khanjar at all public
occasions and festivals.
The khanjar has played an important role in Oman's
history and this fact is reflected in the incorporation
of its image into the Omani National Flag.
The khanjar consists of the hilt, which is made of
silver, or ivory in the case of the ancient weapons; the
shaft, which is decorated with bands of silver or gold
wire; and the blade. The leather sheath is often
intricately embellished with floral or scrolled leaf
Ex-circulation of silver coins are utilised, with one
dagger taking more than one month to make. Inscription
work carried out on the silver shaft is a very delicate
process, and entails a highly specialised skill, one
requiring excellent craftsmanship and precision. These
techniques are passed down through generations, and it
is this which sets them apart from other daggers of the
Good quality khanjars may cost between OMR 200-800.
However, the Saidi Khanjar —attributed to the Royal
Family, which is generally of pure silver and
gold-plated— can cost much more. Other popluar khanjars
include the Nizwany distinguished by its large size, the
Sury and the Sohary.
Omani women are distinguished from their Arab Gulf
neighbors by their eye-catching national costumes, which
distinctively vary from one region of the country to
another. The choice of colours, particularly in the
past, was linked to a tribe's tradition. However, all
costumes demonstrate vivid colours and vibrant
embroidery and decorations.
The components of the Omani women’s costume comprise:
The “dishdasha” or “kandoorah” is a long dress whose
sleeves or “radoon” are adorned with hand stitched
embroideries of various designs. A slit in the middle of
the chest, usually red or purple, is also typical.
The dishdasha is worn over a pair of loose fitting
trousers, tight at the ankles, and is known as a “sirwal”.
Women also wear a head shawl known by several names, “wiqaya,”
“lisso” and “fatqah”. However, it is most commonly
referred to as the “lihaf”.
In today’s fast paced world, the women of Oman are
opting for practically and reserve wearing their
traditional Dress for special occasions. In its place, a
simple and convenient item of clothing is preferred.
Women now choose to wear a loose black cloak called an
“abaya” over their personal choice of clothing; whilst
in some regions a face mask known as a “burqa” is still
worn to this day.