What to wear in Oman - guide for female travelers

How to prepare yourself for a trip to country with different culture, different religion and different habits about women attire? These were my questions before our trip to Oman.

Nasveti za žensko popotnico v muslimanski državi, Oman
For entering mosque I had to cover my legs, arms and hair. But as a reward I got free copy of Quran in English! :)
I was reading different blogs, TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet forum and the opinions varied. Some suggested buying an abaya - Muslim long black dress for women, while others claimed that wearing whatever I do at home will be fine. So, what I did in the end? I chose the middle path :)

Ayaba shop. Do you see anything? Hardly, right? Sure, because they are all black!

Here are my tips to future female travelers to Oman:

  • Always cover your knees and shoulders. So, NO tank tops, no shorts!
  • Also, don't wear very tight clothes and avoid low necklines.
  • Covering your hair with a scarf is not necessary when walking adoung. However, I suggest to have a scarf always at hand. You never know, when it might come in handy. Either it will be due to air condition in the mall, you will feel too exposed being the only Westerner in a public place or you will want to enter a mosque.
  • For entering a mosque you HAVE TO have long pants or skirt (ankle long!), a jacket or something that covers your whole arms (till the wrists) and a scarf to cover your head. And you have to take off your shoes!
  • When on the beach - if it is a touristy place, you can swim in your bikini. But when surrounded with locals it is respectful to go in the water at least with a T-shirt over your bikini. If you add pants even better.
  • Don't shake hands with local men. By the Quran the are not allowed to do that with other women. But if you offer a hand they will shake it out of respect to you.
  • Showing affection in public places is not allowed. This also includes holding hands and kissing. Some shopping malls even have signs on the entrance doors :)
  • Often toilets are the squat kind, so get used to them. And also bring your won toilet paper! Most of the toilets only have a kind of shower for you know what ;) but no toilet paper.
  • In the end I'd suggest: don't be afraid of Omani people. They are all very friendly and very chatty.
Nasveti za žensko popotnico v muslimanski državi, Oman
A friendly local Mohamed visited us, while we were climbing in Hadash, Oman
All in all, there is nothing to be afraid of Oman. This is not Saudi Arabia and you will not be prosecuted for wearing shorts or skirts. It is more about respecting their culture and their tradition. After all, we are visitors to their country.

Nasveti za žensko popotnico v muslimanski državi, Oman
Katarina's dress in Oman: long skirt and a T-shirt.



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