(Suri dress style)



Before His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said came to the throne in 1970,

a variety of dress styles were worn by both men and women.  The main reason

for this variation was the ever-changing borders between Oman and its neighboursas well as their nomadic people. Within the current national and regional borders of Oman, dress styles often overlap these borders.  As a result, more than one region can share a number of dress styles.


Since 1970, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has initiated a number of changes in Oman in order to unify the people and modernize the country.  One of his earliest directives was on the subject of Omani dress where a new national dress for men and women was declared. This initiative was not intended to replace the existing regional styles but to choose just one style that would become the nation’s dress identity for the first time ever in the Sultanate of Oman.






Male Attire


The male attire reflects modesty and in the same time the pride of the people

of Oman, the features of this suit, related to environmental conditions, comfort

and tradition, make it different from the costumes used in other Gulf countries.

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The most valuable headdress in the Middle East


The Omani headdress is the most distinctive of the traditional head covers in the Gulf countries and is the most delicate to produce. It consist of two parts: the turban called mussar and inside it the cap called kummah. This national symbol of identity fully reflects the unique, simple and traditional spirit of the people of Oman.


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The Dishdasha

The cloth of modesty


The Dishdasha (or sometimes referred to as Kandura) is a piece of cloth extending from the shoulder to the ankle, which makes  up men’s natural dress in Gulf countries.  The Omani variation has some unique features and innovations with regard to its tradition and the environment factor.

The Khanjar

A ceremonial dagger


A symbol of heritage, identity, manhood, and pride.

In ancient times, the khanjar was used as a weapon against attack from wild beasts or enemies in the desert. It then became a symbolic weapon worn by men reaching adulthood.


The walking stick


Made from bamboo or from Khaiseran and Meez, two hard woods coming from Musandam mountains or Jebel Akhdar.


It is used as walking stick by a riding staff when astriding a camel or a horse and by a shepherd’s staff when herding their goats or sheeps. It is also a device to scratch your back or to knock on someone’s door. Also, as an accessory to some traditional dances.

Female Attire


The traditional dress identifies women belonging from one community to another. The distinctions could be as simple as  the length of the dress or colour of the head covering to  the type of embroidery.



There are numerous names for various forms of head covering. Its function is to cover the hair, the head and the neck, or even to wrap around the face.


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Its origin comes from the Ancient Egypt. Worn by queens and noble women, it is used as eye protection against harsh radiation from the sun.




Oman has a very rich and distinctive tradition in jewellery. Due to the nation’s long history of seafaring and trade, many influences of other cultures can be seen in local jewellery. Ancient trading partners like India have visible influence until today. From head to feet, the female attire includes silverworks, especially among Bedouins. It traditionally represents the family’s savings account. If a family needs money, the woman can decide to sell some pieces.

Diverse Attire


Several styles of traditional dresses are found throughout the Sultanate with each region having unique characteristics. Distinctions are determined by the details of embellishment, size or length, ornamentation, type of thread, fabrics, and fashion.



A temporary tattoo applied to the skin in diverse patterns. The paste is prepared using henna leaves powder.



In the past, women who could not afford jewellery started to adorn their hands and other body parts with henna ink to replicate the shapes of bracelets and hanging jewels. According to body parts and the thickness of the skin, henna stain shows different results of permanence.


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This 45th Oman National Day

presentation has been brought to you by

Art Direction & Editing: Adonis Durado, Antonio Farach / Design & Research: Marcelo Duhalde / Illustration: Lucille Umali, Winie Ariany, Isidore Vic Carloman / Cross-media Integration: Jerrard Cedro, Kristoffer Villarino, Muthita Torteeka




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