If you are planning to be in the Sultanate over the Holy Month, keep these tips concerning clothes in mind.
18 April 2017| Last updated on 11 December 2017
We are now approaching the Holy Month of Ramadan. During this time, Muslims adopt a more humble lifestyle and look inwards as they reflect on their religious beliefs. It is especially important for visitors to the Sultanate to respect this important time in the Muslim religious calendar.
As Muslims fast for the duration of the daylight hours, the consumption of food or drink in public spaces is forbidden by law throughout the day. Smoking is also prohibited.
The most important thing for expatriate women to remember is the way they dress. It is inappropriate to wear short, clingy sleeveless dresses which show the outline of your underwear. Neither is it acceptable to wear shorts, semi transparent tops or dresses, or dresses with long slits. This is extremely offensive to our hosts in this country. Purchasing a slim fitting abaya is an easy way to ensure that you don’t give inadvertent offence.
If you must wear short dresses, pair them with non-transparent leggings which are much in vogue now. Remember the dress should cover your hips. Tight t-shirts should preferably be left at home but if you wear them, try adding a fashionable loose top as well. It is important to cover your elbows and your legs and avoid plunging necklines.
Tunic tops which cover your hips are also recommended when you are wearing jeans. The best option, when out, is to wear loose fitting clothes over tighter clothes which can be discarded while at the homes of non-Muslim friends. Kaftans, ponchos and wide linen pants are the most appropriate attire at this time.
SEE ALSO: The Do's & Don'ts of Ramadan
If you travel out of the Muscat area, remember that some areas of the Sultanate are much more conservative than the inner city. Visitors to Nizwah, Sur and Rustaq or anywhere beyond Burj al Sahwa and Maabela or other rural areas away from Muscat should take special care not to be seen eating, drinking or smoking in public and to remain adequately covered to avoid offending the local people.
Please remember these Omanis are not used to western dress standards and will be particularly offended by scanty clothing during Ramadan. The Omani people are friendly, welcoming and tolerant and they deserve our adherence to the mores of their society, especially during Ramadan.
About the Author
Marilyn Lehmann is an Australian who has lived in numerous places in the Middle East over many years. She is passionate about the culture and the life style and takes special pleasure in finding unusual places to explore and share with friends. Her other passions include all things French. Country, language, food and wine!