Language and Religion of Oman


The official language is Arabic. Urdu, Baluchi, and several Indian dialects are also spoken, especially in the cities of Muscat and Matrah. English is taught as a second language.


The state religion is Islam, with most of the population adhering to the Ibadhi or Sunni sects. Tribes in the north are mainly Sunni Muslims of the Hanbali, Shafai, and Wahhabi rites. A minority of the population is Shia Muslim. There is a small community of Indian Hindu citizens and there is reportedly a very small number of Christians. Non-Muslims, the majority of whom are noncitizen immigrant workers from South Asia, are free to worship at churches and temples, some of which are built on land donated by the Sultan.

The Basic Statute of the State allows for the freedom to practice religious rites as long as these rites do not breach public order. In practice, the government has reserved the right to place some restrictions on non-Muslim faiths. Non-Muslims may not proselytize to Muslims and non-Muslim groups may not publish religious materials within the country. Certain Muslim holidays are celebrated as national holidays.