The Centre for Omani Dress (COD) is firmly committed to the conservation, preservation and study of the dress identity of Oman, an identity which is changing at a rate faster than ever before. The COD is a leading authority on the dress identity of Oman. The research effort of the COD for Omani dress is unprecedented, extending across the whole of Oman, as is its willingness to share this knowledge through exhibitions, seminars, workshops, publications and educational projects.
Before His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said came to the throne in 1970, a variety of dress styles were worn by both men and women. The main reason for this variation was the ever-changing borders between Oman and its neighbours as well as their nomadic people. Within the current national and regional borders of Oman, dress styles often overlap these borders. As a result, more than one region can share a number of dress styles.
Since 1970, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has initiated a number of changes in Oman in order to unify the people and modernize the country. One of his earliest directives was on the subject of Omani dress where a new national dress for men and women was declared. This initiative was not intended to replace the existing regional styles but to choose just one style that would become the nation’s dress identity for the first time ever in the Sultanate of Oman.