|OMAN: is an Arab country in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders
the United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on the west and Yemen on the southwest. The
coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.
1. MUSCAT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL: one of the most important festivals, combining the efforts
of all active officials, private, and even the popular sectors in the country. These festivals reflect the
magical beauty of the Sultanate, the depth of its history and heritage, the urban development witnessed
by the country while preserving its cultural heritage, customs and the authentic Arab traditions of the
Omani people. The festival is usually held in Muscat in January and February of each year, and provides
an excellent opportunity for shopping and sightseeing. The festival also offers a variety of cultural, artistic
and traditional events and activities. It will be held in the largest heritage village in Al Qurum Natural Park
where you can see and get to know traditional and artistic Omani life.
The Festival showcases an array of traditional industries from around the world.
2. SALALAH TOURISM FESTIVAL: is held annually in Dhofar Province during autumn, between 21
June and 21 September. Northern and north-western winds blow over the seas adjacent to the Arabian
Peninsula’s southern coast. Rain showers fall, accompanied by light patches of fog that lend the region
moderate temperatures and cover Dhofar with a gorgeous green blanket.
In July, Autumn Festival activities present to families and visitors various artistic and cultural shows, in
addition to parades. There are a variety of local and international programmers to please every taste and
guarantee a pleasurable and useful time.
The evolution of architecture is a measure of a nation’s civilization and Oman abounds with a number
of cultural buildings that stand as a testament to this art. As a visitor to the cities of Oman, you will surely
observe the diligent efforts to preserve this ancient and traditional architecture that is characterized by its
simple lines. It avoids high rises, yet maintains an understated elegance of its own. The castles, forts and
walls are a testament to an architectural style that has defense in mind, the most famous being Jabreen
Castle and Bahla Fort and Walls (Sur Bahla), included in the World Heritage Sites list.
Like the country’s diverse terrain, architectural styles vary in Oman with the change of scenery. The
types of houses built in Musandam Governorate are examples of this diversity. There are the mountain
houses, houses like Bayt AlQefel (the lock house), Bayt Al Areesh Al Mua’laq (the hanging vine house)
built to employ the natural air currents to form a cooling system able to beat the scorching heat of the
summer months. Misfat Al `Abriyyin village in A'Dakhiliyah State is considered another outstanding
testament to this environmentally friendly style of architecture.
As Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Wilayt Bawshar, Muscat Governorate, is a live monument
housing a collection of Islamic art. In addition to its distinctive architectural features and the innovative
approach to the construction of the mosque itself, its corridors display a rich array of the art of Islam.
Oman is known for its popular tourist attractions. Wadis, deserts, beaches, and mountains are areas
which make Oman unique among its neighboring GCC nations (Wadis in particular). With a coastline of
1700 km, Oman offers clean beaches popular with visitors. Few beaches are private, except some
attached to the beach resort hotels, or those adjoining military or official property. Wadis are green, lush
oases of palm trees, grasses, and flowers. Some wadis have year-round running water, with deep, cool
pools in which it is quite safe to swim if the currents are slow. A Falaj (pl. aflaaj) is a system for the
distribution of water and is commonly used to describe irrigation channel systems downstream of water
sources. Some aflaaj in Oman were built more than 1,500 years ago, whilst others were built at the
beginning of the 20th century. In many areas, the only water available is attained by drilling wells to
depths of dozens of meters.
Numerous forts and castles are included among Oman's cultural landmarks and, together with its
towers and city walls, have historically been used as defensive bastions or look-out points, as well as the
seats of administrative and judicial authority. There are over 500 forts, castles, and towers in various
architectural styles, built to defend a 1,700 km coastline from potential invaders.
Souqs can be found in many of the towns throughout the country. One of the oldest preserved souqs
in Oman is Muttrah, on the Corniche, consisting of a maze of pathways; gold and silver jewelry is found in
abundance as well as numerous wooden carvings, ornaments and spices and traditional implements.
Household goods make up the bulk of the wares. Today the capital area also has a number of Western
European-style Shopping Malls, mainly situated in Qurum, but also extending to the Al Khuwair area of
Muscat, where a variety of shops, ranging from boutiques to chain stores, can be found. The largest mall
in the country is the Muscat City Centre which includes a French Carrefour hypermarket.
Other popular tourist activities include sand skiing in the desert, scuba diving, rock climbing, trekking,
surfing & sailing, cave exploration, bull fighting, and camel races. The Muscat Festival, usually held in
January and February, is similar to the Dubai Shopping Festival, but smaller in scale, where traditional
dances are held, temporary theme parks open, and concerts take place. Another popular event is The
Khareef Festival held in Salalah, Dhofar, which is 1200 KM from the capital city of Muscat, during the
monsoon season (August) and is similar to Muscat Festival. During this latter event the mountains
surrounding Salalah are popular with tourists as a result of the cool weather and lush greenery, rarely
found anywhere else in Oman
Has been strongly affected by the country's coastal location, with Omani sailors interacting with and
bringing back music from, Egypt, Tanzania and elsewhere. More recently, a Portuguese occupation has
left its own marks, while geographic neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and
Iran have also had a profound influence. In contrast to other Arab countries, Omani traditional music has
a strong emphasis on rhythm.
Traditional music marks all the stages in the life of an Omani, including birth, circumcision, marriage
and death. In contrast to many Arab countries, all Omanis participate in music; include both men and
women, and young and old.
Liwa and Fann at-Tanbura are types of music and dance performed mainly in communities which
contain descendants of East Africans.
The Omani Centre for Traditional Music claims that Arabic music in Oman can be characterized by "tetra
chords with typical Arabic intervals, including three-quarter tones taken from the Arabic musical scales;
They have very colorful costumes which vary from region to region. The main components of a
woman's outfit comprise of a dress which is worn over trousers (sirwal) and the headdress, called the lihaf.
There are numerous traditional styles of Omani costume seen in Muscat. However, there are three
main types which show vibrant colors, embroidery and decorations. One style of costume is rather flowing
and resembles that worn by the women of the Interior, while another is decorated with distinctive silver
bands. The embroidery on these dresses can take around two months to complete.
Hair is conditioned with oil extracted from the shoo seeds which is said to make the hair shine and delay
the signs of graying. A popular shampoo is made from sidr and ipomoea nil leaves.
Many women in Oman paint their hands and feet with henna, particularly before special occasions such
as Eid holidays or weddings. Henna comes from the plant of the same name and is extracted by pounding
the leaves into a powder which is then mixed with water to form a thick paste. The paste is applied in
patterns on the hands and feet, which, when dried, leaves a temporary orange/brown design which fades
after around three weeks.
Member of International Dance Council, UNESCO
Member of Belly Dance Meet up, Florida, USA
Member of Associated Artists of Middle Eastern Dance, INC.
MY DREAM IS TO HELP AT LEAST ONE PERSON FROM EACH FAMILY,
ESPECIALLY A CHILD, TO BE CULTURALLY AWARE AND EXPOSED TO THE PERFORMING ARTS,
I SEE MYSELF AS SOME ONE WHO CAN INFLUENCE PEOPLE'S LIFE.