It's difficult to describe a national culture of Oman. Oman, which is unique in the Middle East, shares many of the cultural characteristics of its Arab neighbours. Due to its geography and history as well as culture and economics, Oman is distinct from other Arab States of the Persian Gulf. Oman's cultural diversity is greater than its Arab neighbours, given its historical expansion to the Swahili Coast and the Indian Ocean.
Steeped in the religion of Islam, the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, and other Islamic festivities are very important events in the Omani culture. Oman also has developed its own subsect of Islam, known as Ibadhism, however other strands of Islam such as Sunni and Shi'a are also practiced.
The national dress for Omani men is an ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves, called a dishdasha, which usually is white. The khanjar, described as "an important symbol of male elegance", is a traditional dagger of Oman worn during formal occasions. The national dress for Omani women includes a dress worn over trousers (sirwal) and a headdress (lihaf).