Arab, Dhofari in Oman

Joshua Project has identified the Arab, Dhofari only in Oman





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Dhofar region is subdivided into 9 wilayats. Its climate is dramatically different to the rest of Oman due to the effects of the monsoon rains (khareef) which arrive during the summer months, creating humidity and moderate temperatures of around 300C. As a consequence, the area becomes lush and green, with waterfalls and rivers feeding the surrounding pastures. The mountain ridge, which receives the most rain, stretches for 400km from east to west. During the khareef, springs gush forth and provide plentiful water supplies for much of the rest of the year. The fresh greenery is ideal for cattle grazing and livestock rearing is an important occupation in the area.

One of the most popular crafts is making majmars, the Dhofari-style incense burners, which are decorated in yellow, green, blue and red geometric designs.

The Dhofari people started large scale exploitation of frankincense 8000 years ago. Dhofari frankincense has played a very important role in commercial enterprises between the Arab regions and the Asian and African civilisations. Ancient Sumerian inscriptions refer to bokhur (incense) and it is thought that this incense travelled by ship from Oman to Sumer, Bahrain and parts of Iraq.

At the beginning of April each year, labourers harvest the crop of frankincense by making incisions in the olibanum (frankincense) tree. A sticky, milky white resin congeals on the trunk of the tree, which is harvested 14 days later. A second harvest will then be gathered, but this is generally of a lower standard to the initial batch. A third harvest releases a 'prime quality' frankincense which is yellow. One tree can yield between 10 - 20 kg of frankincense per season. The annual harvest of Dhofari frankincense can be as much as 7,000 tonnes which is worth around RO 3 million. Incense is used at Arabic wedding and birth ceremonies, as well as by the Vatican and Roman Catholic churches across the world.

Frankincense is not only used as incense, it also has certain medical properties. The people of Dhofar will add a few lumps of olibanum to their drinking water, which they believe acts as a diuretic and cleanses the kidneys. It is used to staunch internal and external bleeding, to aid in fat elimination and to cure forgetfulness. Aromatherapists use frankincense oil as an aid to depression and in Salalah, it is customary to waft the incense around the home before the household awakes in order to bring harmony to the inhabitants through the day. Frankincense also provides the added bonus of being an insect repellent.

Profile Source:   Etnopedia  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-12-18
People Name General Arab, Dhofari
People Name in Country Arab, Dhofari
Population in Oman 97,000
World Population 97,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dhofari, Dhofari Arab, Zemba, Zofari
Affinity Bloc Arab World
People Cluster Arab, Arabian
People Name General Arab, Dhofari
Ethnic Code CMT30
People ID 11546
Country Oman
Region Middle East and North Africa
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 39  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country In Salala and nearby coastal regions.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arabic, Dhofari Spoken (97,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Arabic, Dhofari Spoken 97,000
For Primary Language: Arabic, Dhofari Spoken

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Arabic Bibles Online Audio Recordings
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Four Spiritual Laws General
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.40 %)
1.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
98.84 %
0.16 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
20.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
20.0 %
Roman Catholic
60.0 %
Photo Source: Galen Frysinger  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Etnopedia  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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