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Inside foreign-oriented tourist hotels more Western standards prevail, although it’s still polite not to wander around in a bikini away from the pool or beach. Expressions of overt anger and any raising of the voice should be strictly avoided, whatever the situation.It’s also worth knowing that even innocuous hand gestures are punishable under Omani law, if deemed offensive.Away from the main tourist centres, foreigners remain a source of considerable interest – often occasioning a certain amount of benign curiosity and clandestine staring.
Foreigners are generally made to feel very welcome in Oman, although in return you’ll be expected to abide scrupulously by Omani cultural norms.
This remains a deeply traditional – and in many ways very conservative – country, and despite its sometimes superficially westernized appearance and growing openness to tourists, old attitudes run extremely deep.
For both men and women, it helps to dress conservatively, especially in rural areas.
Ripped jeans, combat fatigues, dodgy T-shirts with inappropriate slogans or images and elaborate piercings are unlikely to play well in a rural village in deepest Sharqiya.
As Oman is becoming more tolerant and flexible regarding educated and working women, a balance can now be achieved between home and work with the Omani woman. Most Omani women modestly cover their hair but they also wear magnificent dresses of vivid coloring that are designed with intricate patterns.