Omani people

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Omani  · العُمانيون

Qaboos bin Said

Said Bin Sultan.jpg

Said bin Sultan

Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar.jpg

Barghash bin Said

Majid Bin Saiid2.jpg

Majid bin Said

Négociant musulman de Mascate.jpg

Ahmad bin Majid[citation needed]

Ahmad bin Naaman Al Kaabi.jpg

Ahmad bin Na'aman

Ali Al Habsi News Photo 040408-D-2987S-037.jpg

Yusuf bin Alawi

Ahmed Al Khalili

Total population
3 million Chudeh
Regions with significant populations

 Oman: 2.15 million

Arabic  · Mehri  · Balochi  · Swahili  · Kumzari  · Luwati language · Persian  · Kutchi · Harsusi · Bathari ·
Islam (Ibadi
Minority of both Sunni and Shia Islam)

The Omani people (Arabic: الشعب العماني‎) are the nationals of Oman. Omanis have inhabited the territory that is now Oman for thousands of years. In the eighteenth century, an alliance of traders and rulers transformed Muscat (Oman's capital) into the leading port of the Persian Gulf. Omani people are ethnically diverse, the Omani citizen population consists of many different ethnic groups. The majority of the population consists of Arabs, with many of these Arabs being Swahili language speakers and returnees from the Swahili Coast, particularly Zanzibar. Additionally, there are ethnic Balochis, Lurs, Lawatis, Swahili and Mehri.

Omani citizens make up the majority of Oman's total population. Over one and a half million other Omanis live in other areas of the Middle East and the Swahili Coast.


Most Omanis live in farming villages that are located in either the fertile valleys of Oman's mountainous interior, or along the eastern coast. Interior farmers grow dates, fruits, and grains, while coastal villagers either fish in the Gulf of Oman or work on date palm plantations. Village homes are usually made of concrete blocks, mud stones, or wood and palm thatch. In rural areas, men wear white robes, turbans, and knives in brightly colored sashes.


The Omanis live in modern family units. Their society is patriarchal, or male-dominated.

Omani people in Nizwa


Most Omanis live in cities and towns. Their lifestyle has a wider variety of occupations, weaker family ties and greater freedom for women. They are concerned less with hospitality and more with property, wealth, and education. Most live in older whitewashed houses and are employed as officials, laborers, merchants, and sailors. An increasing number of them are also working in the petroleum industry. In 1970, Oman's new sultan introduced several developmental programs to help modernize the country. These included developing the oil industry; building new roads, hospitals and schools; allowing girls to attend school; and establishing adult literacy programs.[citation needed]

Emigration to the Swahili Coast[edit]

Omani presence in the Swahili Coast can be traced since the Nabhani dynasty.[2] In the late seventeenth century, Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman after Saif bin Sultan, the Imam of Oman, defeated the Portuguese in Mombasa, in what is now Kenya.[3] Large numbers of Omanis settled in the Swahili Coast — especially after 1832, when the Omani Sultan Said bin Sultan moved his court to Zanzibar. To the Omanis, the region became a land of economic opportunity. Omanis who migrated to the Swahili Coast looked forward to a better life. The Omani community in the Swahili Coast grew and became financially successful.[4] Until the mid of 20th century Omanis stopped moving to Zanzibar after a revolution has occurred in Zanzibar in 1964. The Omani descendant Sultan of Zanzibar, Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah was overthrown and thousands of Omanis were killed among many other Arabs.[5] Soon after the revolution, many Omanis fled Zanzibar to avoid persecution and returned to their ancestral homeland Oman, while others chose to remain in the Swahili Coast.


While virtually all Omanis are Muslims, they are divided into three Islamic sects: Ibadi Islam (Oman's state religion), Sunni, and Shiite. Three-fourths of the Omani citizens belong to the Ibadaya sect. The Ibadis live primarily in the mountainous regions of Oman. The Sunnis live in the coastal villages and the few thousand Shiites are located in the cities.[citation needed]

Famous Omanis[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Census 2010 Final results". General Census of Population, Housing & Establishments 2010. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  2. ^ Nabhan, Gary Paul (2008). Arab/American: Landscape, Culture, and Cuisine in Two Great Deserts. The University of Arizona Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8165-2658-1. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Gavin (Nov 1, 2011). The Rough Guide to Oman. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-4053-8935-8. 
  4. ^ "THE OMANI ASCENDANCY". Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  5. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)