What To Buy In Oman

what to buy in oman
Deanna
Deanna
Updated

The Sultanate of Oman is ancient and beautiful - a safe and secure haven in the Arab peninsula. Oman has a long coastline, and consequently it has some of the most skilled shipbuilders anywhere in the world. They are also known to breed a fine ungulate specimen, the Arabian horse. Oman is one of the oldest independent Arab states. It boasts of having the longest serving leader in the region. Oman offers tourists a rich and enthralling culture, and an interesting selection of souvenir items. Be reasonable; don’t leave the sultanate with nothing more tangible than fond memories. Besides, you will be missing out if you fail to set aside ample time to scour Muscat, nearby cities, and small towns for traditional items and local products to bring back to your home. Read on to learn what to buy in Oman.

1. Bedouin handmade silver jewellery

Omani Silver
Source: Photo by user Riyadh Al Balushi used under CC BY 2.0

Bedouin silver craft is elaborate and mesmerizing. In Oman, a woman’s cache of fine silver jewelry serves as a backup bank account. A bride’s dowry would always include silver items. A good place to find Bedouin handmade silver jewelry is Sinaw, and it’s particularly interesting there on Thursdays. The display of traditional items for sale is unparalleled at Sinaw Thursday Market, so make time for it. Aside from ready-made trinkets, you’ll have the chance to witness silversmiths at work.

2. Amouage perfume

A memorable Amouage fragrance
Source: Pixabay

The deep and dark warmth of Interlude Man makes it a consistent bestseller–the Blue Beast, according to fans and converts who have not looked back once they’ve worn it. Interlude Man is a perfect example of the Amouage brand. It’s perfumes are superbly crafted. If you care for fragrances you’d want one or two bottles of Amouage for your collection. Amouage is available in many stores worldwide, as well as in Duty Free shops, but a bottle is much more expensive in Europe and elsewhere. Buy Amouage fragrances while you are still in Oman!

3. Pottery incense burner

Pottery incense burner
Source: Pixabay

Pottery is mainly decorative in some parts of the world. In Oman, pottery is an essential part of daily life. They use it to store grains and other food items, and store water as well. Another important use of pottery is for burning of incense. Bahla pottery is of high quality. We highly recommend a visit to the area for a wide array of traditional and colored khuroos, brams, and jihals. Bahla is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The clay from the river bed is worked and formed to produce some of the most magnificent incense burners you can bring home from Oman.

4. Wooden mandoos (dowry) chests studded with brass

Omani Chests (Mandoos)
Source: Photo by user Riyadh Al Balushi used under CC BY 2.0

Among tourists, a mandoos/mandus wooden chest in the Bombay style is one of the most popular traditional crafts in Oman. It comes in various dimensions and designs. A standard dowry chest is used to store clothes and other personal items. An authentic Omani mandoos chest is a truly wonderful representation of the sultanate. Consider buying a mandoos (dowry) chest studded with brass tacks while you are in Oman.

5. Frankincense

Another Bag of Frankincense
Source: Photo by user Liz Lawley used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Frankincense, a resinous dry sap that produces aromatic smoke, is derived from a tree. Oman has a treasure trove of Frankincense trees in Dhofar in the southern part of the country. The Boswellia sacra groves produce some of the best quality resin in the world. You can bring home frankincense and burn it on coal to ward off bad omens and discourage insects from entering the house. Frankincense will render the interiors with a pleasant scent. Frankincense is also a great gift idea — a piece of Oman that you can present to a dear friend.

6. Khanjar (dagger)

Oman Khanjar
Source: Photo by user Richard Bartz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Flag of Oman is known as the Khanjar Bo Sayfain (dagger and two swords). Look closely at the upper left corner of the flag, and you will see the dagger. It makes its appearance on the Omani Rial — the banknotes and coins alike. In Oman, you only have to look around to see how the khanjar is used as an emblem in buildings, uniforms, and official documents. A khanjar is an essential souvenir from Oman. Perhaps, seeing the dagger would bring back thoughts of your wonderful experiences there.

7. A miniature replica of dhow

Sur-Dhow (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ji-Elle used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the design peculiarities of the Arabian dhow (boat) is the stitching of teak planks using coconut rope. Before the Europeans came, nails were not used to build boats. The port city of Sur is at the center of shipbuilding in the sultanate. A miniature replica of the Arabian dhow could take an honored place on the mantle of your home—a constant reminder of your travel to Oman.

8. Oman honey and dates

Sweetness overload
Source: Needpix

The Quran mentions dates in many instances, which adds to its significance for the Omani people. You must have tried a date or two and know how delicious they are; and nutritious, too. You cannot say goodbye to Oman without a bagful of dates! Remember to buy a few jars of honey as well. While on the flight home, look for a proper date and honey waffle recipe, and get on it as soon as you arrive.

9. Hand thrown pottery

Pottery in the Sultanate of Oman
Source: Photo by user Muzn alabri used under CC BY 4.0

For 4000 years, red clay from the nearby river bank (wadi) has been used to make pottery for various uses. Today, decorative pieces can be found in Oman’s markets and tourist hotspots. You must find a space in your luggage for exquisite Omani hand-thrown pottery.

10. Traditional woven baskets

Omani baskets
Source: Photo by user Riyadh Al Balushi used under CC BY 2.0

Bahla pottery, Nizwa silver, Sur dhow replica. These are some of the key items on our list of must-have souvenirs. There’s one more item to search for—baskets from Shwaymiya. The region is the pulsing heart of traditional basket-weaving in Oman. Expert weavers utilize palm and date leaves to produce crafts worth bringing back home. You will also find superb traditional woven baskets and mats in Muscat, the capital city of Oman.

11. Mats and Carpets

Medallion of Qom Persian carpet
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dubai Persian car... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

When traveling to a country like Jordan, Persian styled carpets and mats are found everywhere. One of the most iconic touches of bohemian design, Persians mats and carpets are great for home interior and basically accentuates a space with its lavish and intricate prints. Buying mats and carpets from Oman are a must when traveling to this part of the Middle East as it boasts quality products and beautiful designs not just in clothing, but in carpets and even lamps. There’s nothing like a great gift to bring back to your friends and family, Persian mats and carpets are known for their fine detail, stunning design, and eccentric touch, perfect for a great remembrance from your Oman trip.

12. Goats Wool Textiles

Carpet, Spain, probably Cuenca, c. 1500 AD
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Another great piece of Oman to bring home to loved ones are goat wool textiles or better known as “mohair.” This is a traditional piece of clothing material that Omani women customarily make, incorporating years of tradition, as they use a special machine called an “alnoul” to transform the goat hair and camel hair to wool or cotton to make such textiles. Goat wool textiles come in a variety of clothing, from dresses, skirts, to scarves, and hijabs, there’s a ton of this Omani ware even the Sultanate wear boasting a strong sense of heritage and culture in what local Omanis wear.

13. Mosaic Lamps

IMG_9069
Source: Photo by user Brian Jeffery Beg... used under CC BY 2.0

Mosaic lamps are iconic pieces of furniture and display in many Turkish and Middle Eastern homes. When in Oman, go around local markets and haggle for some of these stunning lamps that are ornate and intricate in detail, made up of colors symbolic from the 5,000 years of Ottoman history and culture. Mosaic lamps are stylish and are made up of different pieces of crystals, from varying sizes and forms, making the lampshade technicolor of radiant beauty.

14. Taqiyah Skullcaps

Taqiyah
Source: Photo by user Bernard Gagnon used under CC BY-SA 3.0

When gallivanting the streets of Oman, ever notice the lamp-like hat with fingers and decorative pattern men are wearing on the streets? This is the Taqiyah Skullcaps are symbolic in the Muslim faith and is predominantly worn by Muslim men when participating in the five daily prayers at mosques and temples. These skull caps are traditionally made from wool and come in different colors and patterns, a festive gift to bring home or a great souvenir to keep from your travels to Oman, Jordan.

Set ample time for souvenir shopping

Memories of your travels in Oman will always be with you. The mementos you choose to bring home will keep the vibrant Omani culture close to your heart. Remember to bring a few items of choice for your friends and relatives as well, so that they will have a keepsake to hold (or taste) when you share stories of about your visit to an unforgettable country in the Arabian peninsula.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Deanna is a pediatric physical therapist from the Philippines who's been writing online content since 2012.

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