Lots of people have been asking me about what to wear in Oman. Oman is a Muslim country. Clothing in Oman is very conservative for both men and women and so it’s important to bear that in mind. The locals are extremely hospitable and welcoming to travellers – you do not want to offend them. Today I’m sharing all my knowledge and advice on what to wear in Oman – I hope that it helps you to make the most out of your trip.
How do the Locals dress in Oman?
It’s really a beautiful thing to see the locals in their traditional dress in Oman. The women wear head scarves and quite often the abaya (though it’s not compulsory for women here like it is in Saudi).
Men in Oman wear the ‘dishdasha’ which is an ankle-length collarless robe with long sleeves. It keeps them cool but is also a part of tradition. Many Omani men will also wear a small flat embroidered hat called a Kuma.
What to wear in Oman – A Brief Introduction
Because clothing in Oman is very conservative, both women and men should pack long trousers and long sleeved tops and T-shirts. Long sleeved light linen tops with cotton/linen pants or long walking trousers are perfect for Oman. Jeans can be a little heavy in the heat, but it depends what time of year you go. In the autumn and winter months (September through to March) they will be perfect. I was in Oman in March and wore comfy jeans and leggings most of the time.
What to Wear in Oman as a Woman
If you are visiting Oman as a woman you will need to avoid:
- Strappy dresses
- Vest tops and dresses or tops that expose the shoulders.
- Short skirts or shorts
It is respectful to follow the culture of Oman while you are there, and that means not exposing too much flesh. As it is a country with a hot climate, this means choosing your garments carefully! Light and flowy linen and cotton tops work well.
There are a few essentials that you should definitely pack for Oman:
- Jeans and or leggings
- Long sleeved tops or cotton and linen tops that cover the shoulders
- Dresses with full sleeves and long (you can also choose to wear these with leggings)
- A headscarf
- A pair of comfortable sandals or flip flops
- A sturdy pair of walking boots
Comfortable cotton leggings are perfect for Oman because you can wear them for hiking and also wear them under skirts and dresses so you can wear your nice dresses while still being conservative! I took a pair of black and a pair of navy.
- SUPER STRETCHY LEGGINGS & TROUSERS - The super stretchy design can accommodate to most body shapes, ( One Size = Small-Medium, Plus Size = Large-X-Large and Extra Plus Size = XX-Large ). Don’t worry about the one size leggings, even you have big thighs or a petite figure, these leggings will definitely fit and make you look attractive. These yoga pants would stand up to what your mind imagined is putting lightly.
- SUPER SOFT & OPAQUE MATERIAL - Buttery soft peachskin fabric, not shrink in the dryer. This leggings is super soft, not fade, no pilling and fully breathable and moisture wicking, almost like a second skin. Basic almighty leggings for women follow your every pavement without any restrictions, not too thin or thick fabric for non see-through while squat, bends and twist.
- TUMMY CONTROL & SQUAT-PROOF - These leggings are designed with a soft high waist compression band that flattens your tummy and contours your waistline for an hourglass silhouette. The tummy control leggings perfectly cover your body from waist to ankles while stay breathable; No matter how much you bend and move the pants don’t slide down or fold over, they stay in place.
For women, pack a scarf or shawl that you can wear as a headscarf and maybe some hair grippers to hold it in place. It shouldn’t have pictures of animals or people on it – a plain solid colour is best.
- this is not chiffon* LATEST HIJAB MATERIAL - Medina Silk Touch fabric. Maxi size 190 x 70 cm
- SOFT & COMFORTABLE : due to its close knit weave gives a smooth silk touch finish without shine
- MATT LOOK HIJAB: silk touch finish without gloss and slip
Whilst you won’t be expected to wear it all the time, you will need a headscarf to visit certain places including Sultan Kaboos Mosque.
Walking Boots and Aqua Shoes
Also, there is a lot of trekking and swimming in Oman and so a good pair of walking boots and a pair of swimming shoes are perfect for day trips from Muscat including Wadi Shab.
- Synthetic leather and mesh upper. Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out.
- Kinetic Fit Advanced removable contoured insole with enhanced heel and arch structure and integrated cushion pod for medium support. Molded nylon arch shank.
- Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability. EVA midsole for stability and comfort.
These women’s walking boots are great for trekking in the Jebel Shams and other hikes – Oman is very mountainous and it’s a popular hiking destination. Go for ones that are Goretex as it is breathable.
- Go wild in the water with these super-comfortable and lightweight aquasport swim shoes - ideal for water sports or days exploring the beach, sea, rivers or lakes
- Made from flexible, quick-drying four-way stretch neoprene
- Mesh panels for water drainage and breathability
You can pick up a cheap pair of Aqua shoes for just over £10 on Amazon. Take them to Wadi Shab, Tiwi and Wadi beni Khalid. Particularly on Wadi Shab, if you want to make it inside the cave, aqua shoes are essential, otherwise treading on all the pebbles in bare fit will be agony! (Trust me – I’ve done it!)
Full covering swimming costumes
Even when you go swimming you will need to be conservative. Bikinis are an absolute no-no. I’ve seen some Western tourists wearing them, but this is offensive to the locals. Go for a full swimming costume, or even better a shoulder covering surfing swim suit with built in shorts. Something like this would be perfect for swimming in Oman:
- High flexibility of this swimsuit provides great freedom of movement. Made by 82% Nylon and 18% Spandex. Suit: Holiday, surfing, beach, swimming pool
- Removable padding cups. Long front zipper. Simple and conservative fashion design makes this beachwear popular among modern women
- Please choose your size according to your H/Height and W/Weight. S(H: 155-162cm, W: 42.5-47.5kg), M(H: 160-168, W: 47.5-55), L(H: 170-175, W: 55-65), XL(H: 172-178, W: 65-75), 2XL(H: 178-188, W: 74-95)
What to Wear in Oman as a Man
As a male tourist in Oman, T-shirts and shorts would be okay, but long sleeved T-shirts and long cotton walking trousers are preferred.
Men’s Walking trousers
Men’s proper cotton walking trousers are great for trekking in Oman and also they usually have pockets to store things like your phone and tissues. Jeans are fine for Oman but some people get too hot in them in the warmer months.
- Closure: zipper, the waist with design to adjust waist, easy to wear and fit your size better.
- Quick dry, flimsy, lightweight, breathable and stretchy, keep you comfortable and make your actions easier in outdoor activities.
- Practical pockets: 2 zipper side pockets, 1 zipper leg pocket and 1 rear pocket can offer safe storage space for your mobile phone, keys, wallet and etc, protect your things from falling out while outdoor activities.
Choose some light walking trousers with an elasticated waist as these are the most comfortable.
Long Sleeved T-Shirts
Long sleeved T-shirts will be seen as respectful by the locals and they have a practical advantage of protecting you from sunburn. 3 quarter length T-shirts are also suitable and comfortable for travel in Oman.
- Unisex Raglan T-shirt with Contrasting Sleeves
- Soft material ideal for every day wear
- Casual Comfort Fit
Wear a Kuma and Dishadasha if you like!
Foreign men are welcome to wear a Dishadasha and Kuma, but you are not expected to and certainly don’t have to.
Most Western men who are expats in Oman or tourists don’t wear traditional Omani dress, they wear their Western clothing. You can buy a dishadasha online on Amazon if you really want to!
- Desert Dress Thobe
- Two side pockets & a top pocket for your handkerchief
- Very comfortable and of the most excellent quality
Again, the Omani Kuma is not necessary for you to wear, but many people like to buy one as a souvenir.
Extras that you need to Pack for Oman
As well as the usual passport, money and clothing, there are some specific things that I’d recommend that you pack for Oman. If you would like to take pictures in the pools and caves on treks then you might like to pack a waterproof phone case. This is a great one and can even be used underwater:
- [Excellent IPX8 Certified Waterproof] Every waterproof case has been tested under water at 30 meters depth for half an hour before delivery. Tips: Pouch was made of plastic so please do a waterproof test every time before using this is very important to protect your phone.
- [Highly Sensitive Touch] High-quality PVC material brings you a highly responsive screen-touch, just feel free to take pictures, video and send or read messages. Tips: It's normal that you can't use the touch screen under water because of the water pressure at certain water depths. But you can use the volume button to take photos and videos.
- [Newest Double Seal Tech] The whole new snap-and-lock seal clip and fully enclosed black edge help YOSH waterproof case constantly protect your cell phone from water invader well. The maximum waterproof protection is up to a water depth of 30 meters(100ft).
Make sure that you also take sunglasses and a good water bottle. I recommend the SIGG water bottles as they are quite sturdy and keep your water cool.
- Ideal Travel Bottle – The SIGG water flask in striking mustard yellow can be carried with one finger thanks to the special lid, so it is ideal for on the go.
- Leak-Proof – With the hygienic and practical screw cap, this metal flask water bottle is entirely leak-proof, even when used to carry carbonated drinks.
- Safe Drinking – All materials used in the manufacture of the sports bottle are free of BPA and pollutants such as oestrogenic substances and phthalates.
I’ve used SIGG water bottles in Sharqiya Sands (Oman) and also in the Sahara Desert of Morocco!
Further Reading on Oman
If you are interested in reading more about visiting Oman, check out these fabulous articles from templeseeker:
- Wadi Shab – My favourite Hike in Oman
- Sharqiya Sands – The Best place to see the Desert of Oman
- 20 Oman Travel Tips – Know before you Go!
- Oman Air Review – My new favourite Airline!
If you have any comments or questions about what to wear in Oman, please drop a comment on my blog below and I would be happy to help.