The Sultanate of Oman is an Islamic state – even if Oman is one of the most moderate Islamic states in the world, the basic viewpoints, ways of thinking and practices that are taught in the Islamic faith are held here nonetheless. This also includes a different view of morality and appearance in the public than what is common in Western countries. Over time, Oman has taken a big step towards accommodating the needs and customs of tourists, and yet, there a few things that should be considered when traveling in Oman.
When thinking about the topic of clothing style for tourists in Oman, one should also think about what women there can wear by the pool or by the sea without negatively attracting attention. Generally, there are no restrictions regarding clothing at these locations – provided that there is clothing of some sort. Going “topless” is generally inappropriate for women in an Islamic country. In addition, you should make sure that swimwear is worn only by the pool and directly on the beach. For example, if you take a long beach walk, walk through your hotel grounds, or even go to one of the nearby villages, you should wear appropriate clothing. Otherwise, whether at the pool or on the beach, wearing a bikini is nothing to be concerned about.
Unlike other Arab countries, Oman does not have strict rules on how women should dress in the streets. For example, no one would expect a woman to wear a headscarf while strolling through the streets of an Omani village or town. However, tight or cropped T-shirts, low necklines or miniskirts are not only considered to be inappropriate but also impolite. However, this is not just true for women – even men should reserve shorts and muscle shirts specifically for the beach. It makes sense to cover as much skin as possible. This shows respect for the locals and also protects against biting mosquitoes. It is advisable to wear a pair of pants, a skirt or a dress that completely falls below the knees and a top with an unobtrusive neckline and sleeves that completely cover the shoulders.
Mosques: they are definitely among the most interesting sights in the country and are often visited by men and women traveling in Oman. Anyone wishing to visit such a mosque, such as the “Great Mosque” in Muscat, should know that strict clothing regulations absolutely apply there. During their visit, women must wear clothes that completely cover their hands and ankles. In addition, they must wear a headscarf that also covers the neckline. Only actual headscarves or scarves are accepted – another piece of clothing such as a T-shirt or a jacket as a substitute will not be allowed.