What is Omani weekend like

Before telling you how does Omani weekend look like we have to explain two things: Who are Omani people and when do they have weekend.

Al Seifa Beach
Let's start with people: Omani people are traditionally Arabs who live in the country of Oman. You can recognize Omani men by wearing long white dresses, called dishadasha, white hats and sometimes even a turban over them. Turban is like western tie - for special occasions only. Women are traditionally dressed in long black dresses - abeya with black head scarfs covering their hair or even the mouth and nose - depends on the age, religiousness and region. Besides those people Oman is also home for Bedouin people - nomads who live near the deserts and have camels or goats. Indian, Bengali and Pakistani people are mostly low-cost workers in the country, while western expats are here because they found well-paid jobs. Altogether there are 3 million people living in this huge, wast country in the size of Italy (by surface).

Rok dressed in traditional Omani dress
Now about their weekend: Oman is a muslim country, meaning that their holy day is Friday. So, originally their weekend was on Thursday and Friday. But that meant that they can do bussines with western world only 3 days in a week, when all countries had working days (i.e. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). This wasn't convenient so a few years ago they changed their weekend to Friday and Saturday. This way they gained one more day for business with western world and kept Friday as part of the weekend. 
We arrived in Oman on Saturday morning, so on their last day of the weekend. It was hot and we wanted some beach time, so we drove from Muscat to the nearby beach of Al Seifa. Long sandy beach on Indian ocean was so typical Omani, that we fell in love with it and the culture right away. 
On one side of the beach there was white western family in bikinis and shorts, not far from them, however, were two Omani women swimming in full burkini: long pants, long dress and head scarf. Contrast that you can't miss. Not far from them were Indian families with a lot of kids, running around and playing cricket (how typical :)) and then they all went swimming with their clothes on: T-shirts and pants. It was really interesting for us, how they were all so different but didn't bother each other.

Left: burkini style, right: bikini style
As the sun was setting, people started packing their things slowly. Quickly we noticed that 3 cars are parked in a funny positions on the beach: they were stuck in sand! And the show started: first the whole Indian group (around 20 people) pushed a white LandCruiser (4WD by Toyota) and got it out of the beach. Not far from it another, smaller group of people was digging the sand away from their Discovery (4WD by Land Rover). They put different materials under the wheels for better grip and soon also their car was safe and sound out of the beach. The last one was Dodge, not even a 4x4! That car was stuck very deeply. Whole group of people was trying to push it, but nothing happened. The wheels were rolling and throwing the sand in the air, but the car didn't move.  Later the LandCruiser came back on the beach with a rope and they tried to pull the Dodge with that rope. Not successful, either. LandCruiser got stuck again and the whole group needed to push it once again. The situation seemed pretty hopeless when a small red Jeep Rubicon came. Driven by a young snobby guy it looked like it also doesn't stand a chance getting the Dodge out of the sand. But we were wrong. In a first try the Rubicon pulled the Dodge out!

Left: white LandCruiser being pushed, middle: black Dodge - people already gave up on that one, right: red Rubicon, the muscle :)
Omani guy in Rubicon just got all important and wanted to show off, so he started racing around the beach, soon some friends joined him and all we could see and hear were engine roars and sand in the air.

We were really amazed by all the happening ... it was so relaxed, and all those people ... from different backgrounds, different religions, different races ... but they all cooperated, no one judged anyone. It was perfect coexistence!

And what were we doing there, you are wondering? Nothing really. Observing the events, Rok was taking some photos, Katarina was posing and smiling ... later we made dinner on the beach and when all the people left, we put up out tent and spent the night on that beach.

Our first camp in Oman: on Al Seifa beach




  1. Thanks for sharing. Never heard of Omani, looks like a gorgeous beach.

  2. I didn't realize Oman was the size of Italy. Looks like Funland at the Beach (like the Dead Kennedys song).