Ministry: Don’t meddle with Omani dress


Some traders have been altering the traditional ‘dishdasha’ and ‘mussars’ by putting some non-Omani elements into the designs. The ministry has directed to put an end to such practices. Photo - File

Muscat: Taking strong exception to what it termed as "harming the traditional dress of Oman and the local fashion," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has warned the companies against certain sartorial practices saying it would confiscate such items and take legal action against them.

In its Order Number 30/3013 announced on Sunday, the ministry said it has come to know that some companies and commercial institutions were harming the Omani traditional attire and merchandise, imported or locally produced. They are either putting external elements on these dresses or mixing the designs which are originally distinct to each dress. The ministry has asked for putting an end to such a practice saying this was an incursion into the traditional Omani dress designs.

The ministry has asked the companies not to trade in or import such items.

Elaborating on the issue, the ministry said it has found that some of the companies were modifying or disfiguring the traditional 'Kumma' or the cap, the 'Mussar', traditional turban, men's dresses, and women's 'Abayah' during stitching and putting certain emblems or signs of some of the international clubs on it.

The ministry said some of the companies were also putting some caricatures or graphics, which is against public taste. They are also merging the designs which are distinguished with 'Kumma' with the design of 'Mussar', or with the 'Abayah' of women.

Some of the traders, who did not want to be named, said that customers come to them and ask for particular designs in men's traditional wear, including 'dishdasha', which they refuse to do as they have already been warned against indulging in or encouraging such a practice in the past.

"At that time, some of the shops were altering the traditional 'dishdasha' and putting some non-Omani elements into the design. This was against the local traditions as the local Omani 'dishdasha' is completely different from 'dishdashas' of other Gulf countries," they said.

"Though we do not know if there were standards defined for any traditional Omani dress designs, we have learnt it all through interaction with the customers. Even certain embroidery on 'Kumma' or 'Mussar' is not acceptable as it is against the local culture," said an Omani dress shop owner.

An owner of a shop selling 'Abayahs' said that these days young Omani women ask the traders to add some decorative elements in the form of embroidery on the 'Abayah', the long black garment which Omani women wear over their clothes.

"Normally, we refuse to do so as in many cases we find this against the local cultural ethos. But still we see these elements in some of the 'Abayas'. Now with the new order, we will be able to tell our customers that this demand is against the law," he said.

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