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10 Interesting Things About Oman

posted on: Feb 9, 2022

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Flag of Oman

By: Nouha Elyazidi / Arab America Contributing Writer

Oman is a beautiful country located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. For a quick introduction, Oman has a population of 5.1 million (2020), their official language is Arab and their official religion is Islam. This Arab nation has a very rich history that can often be overlooked. Let’s explore some of the things that make Oman so unique!

1. Oman Is the Oldest Indepent State in the Arab World

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Bahla Fort

Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world, with a history dating back over 100,000 years. Archeological evidence suggests the remnants of one of civilization’s first inhabited cities called Al Wattih and served as a center for trade and economic and societal industrialization.

2. Oman Has 5 Locations Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Ancient City of Qalhat

Oman currently has 5 locations listed on the UNESCO world heritage list. The first is Bahla Fort, built by the Banu Nebhan Tribe of the 12th century and is symbolic of the tribe’s power and prosperity at the time. The next location is the ancient city of Qalhat. Qalhat was estimated to have been developed between 1000-1500 CE under the Hormuz empire and has links to global trade with other parts of Arabia, Africa, and Asia. Third is the Aflaj Irrigation system. This system is 5 connected irrigation systems estimated to have originated in 2500 BC. These irrigation systems were the primary water supply for many towns and used the water from springs or underground. Next is the Land of Frankincense. This oasis region is home to frankincense trees that are plentiful, and have a deep history in global trade. And lastly, the sites of Bat: Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn. There are prehistoric sites that are in a collection of settlements dating back to the 3rd millennium BC

3. Oman Has the Longest Ruling Monarchy in the Middle East

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Culture Trip

Oman has the longest ruling monarchy in the Middle East. The Al Said family of Oman have ruled the country since 1744, almost three centuries

4. The National Emblem of Oman is the Khanjar Bo Sayfain

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: National Emblem of Oman

The National emblem of Oman is Khanjar Bo Sayfain. This emblem was created in the 1700s and the khanjar is a unique dagger that originated in Oman and is symbolic of the royal Sultans as it is often worn during significant ceremolina events.

5. The National Fruit of Oman is Dates

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Dates are a popular food across the Middle East, but in Oman they hold a place of honor in the national culture and cuisine. Amy E. Robertson for NPR

Dates are the national fruit of Oman. There is great cultural and economic significance behind dates in Oman. Typically, it is not just the fruits that are used, the date tree leaves are weaved into baskets, the tree trunks are used for furniture, and the palm fibers are used to create ropes.

6. The National Dish of Oman is called Shuwa

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Shuwa – Dina Macki

The national dish of Oman is called Shuwa. This dish is seasoned meat wrapped in banana leaves that is then cooked in an underground pit (or in the oven) and served over rice. Shuwa is typically reserved for special events. For a detailed tasty recipe on shuwa, check out Middle East Eyes’ blog!

7. The Largest Mosque in Oman is Called Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Viator Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Tours and Activities  

The largest Mosque in Oman is called Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This mosque was completed in 2001 in the capital city of Muscat. The architecture style is contemporary Islamic and this large mosque has a capacity of 25,000. The Mosque was built to celebrate the 30 year reign of the Sultan Qaboos.

8. The Shortest War in World History Was Fought in Oman

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: The Anglo Zanzibar War

The shortest war in recorded history took place in Oman. The Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896 between Britain and Oman was a conflict over legal control of the country and it is estimated by historicals to only have lasted 45 minutes!

9. The Colors on the Flag of Oman Have Symbolic Meanings

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Introducing the Flag of Oman  

The flag of Oman features the national symbol called the Khanjar Bo Sayfain and the colors red, green, and white. The white is symbolic of the country’s history, the Sultans, and peace within the country. The green symbolizes the mountains in the northern region of the country. And the red is symbolic of Oman’s position in the gulf states.  

10. Oman Is Famous For its Horses

10 Interesting Things About Oman
Photo: Excellent breed of horses/stallion

Oman is known for its incredible Arabians horses. Omani horses are known as some of the fastest and most beautiful breeds on the planet! 

Check out Arab America’s Blog Here!