Omani Arabic

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Omani Arabic
اللهجة العمانية
Native toOman
RegionHajar mountains and a few coastal towns
Native speakers
(720,000 in Oman cited 1996)[1]
320,000 in UAE (no date),[1] 15,000 in Kenya (1995)[1]
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3acx
Árabe omaní.png

Omani Arabic (also known as Omani Hadari Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken in the Al Hajar Mountains of Oman and in a few neighboring coastal regions. It is the easternmost Arabic dialect. It was formerly spoken by colonists in Kenya and Tanzania, but these days, it mainly remains spoken on the island of Zanzibar.



Labial Interdental Dental/Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
plain emph. plain emph.
Nasal m n
Stop voiceless t t͡ʃ k q ʔ
voiced b d d͡ʒ ɡ
Fricative voiceless f θ s ʃ x ~ χ ħ h
voiced ð ðˤ z ɣ ~ ʁ ʕ
Trill r
Approximant l (ɫ) j w
  • Velar fricatives /x, ɣ/ can be heard as uvular sounds [χ, ʁ], in the Muscat dialect.
  • /k, ɡ/ can also be heard as palatalized sounds [kʲ, ɡʲ] among the Muscat dialect.
  • [ɫ] can be heard as an allophone of /l/, but is rarely phonemic.[2]


Front Back
Close i u
Open a
  • /a/ can be heard as [æ] when preceding /j/ or any non-emphatic consonant. It is heard as back [ɑ] after emphatic sounds, and can then be heard as [ʌ] when shortened. Its long equivalent /aː/, is heard as [ɑː] after emphatic sounds.[3]
  • /i/ can be heard as [ɪ] in medial position and as [ɨ] in shortened positions.
  • Sounds /u, uː/ are often realized as near-close back sounds [ʊ, ʊː]. /u/ can sometimes be heard as [ɔ] or [o] after emphatics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Omani Arabic at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Glover, Bonnie C. (1988). The morphophonology of Muscat Arabic. University of California at Los Angeles.
  3. ^ Grünbichler, Elisabeth (2015). Grammatik und Lexik des arabischen Dialekts von Buraimi (Oman). Universität Wien.