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    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

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    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

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    Mongolia: Desert. Go Now!

    Mongolia
    This vast country has a culture that spans past and present... a nomadic life shifting to a modern & sedentary society. Begin Your Journey!

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    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

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    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Social Life in Oman

Behavior

How most Omanis behave and the expectations for how foreigners must behave is deeply rooted in the people's Islamic faith. Adult women are best off traveling to Oman with their husband or family. Single women travelers are looked at oddly and traveling with a man who is not related or married to you is considered wrong. Pretending you are married is not right, but is less offensive than a single man and women traveling together. It is also improper to touch a woman, even holding your wife's hand or offering to shake a local woman's hand can be considered inappropriate.

Additionally, there are some strict Islamic dietary restrictions in Oman, including the fact that neither pork nor alcohol shall be consumed (see our Oman Dining & Food Page). Although some high end hotels may offer alcohol in their restaurants, pork is nearly impossible to find and consuming either is extremely offensive so should be avoided.

Finally, avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, or showing off wealth.

Dress

Omani Culture - Traditional Dress
Traditional Dress

As a Muslim country, there are a number of religious laws which should be obeyed by everyone in Oman, including tourists. Oman receives very few tourists and not following Islamic laws is considered rude and inappropriate, although the local people are generally too kind to point out your lack of respect. Most local men wear a loose fitting outfit called a dishdash with a local Omani hat or piece of cloth wrapped around their head. Women tend to completely cover up down to their wrists and ankles, nearly always covering their hair and sometimes even their faces.

Women should cover their hair at all times in public (although it is not legally required) and both women and men are expected to cover their legs and shoulders; showing your knees and/or shoulders is very offensive. Even 3/4 length pants, like Capris and short sleeve shirts should be avoided, although there is some leniency to the short sleeve shirts so long as the shoulders are covered. Some all-inclusive resorts that cater to tourists relax these regulations on their private beaches, however everywhere else you must cover up.

This page was last updated: November, 2013