November 18 is the most special date in Oman’s calendar. It is the birth date of our beloved leader, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and also the day that portrays Oman’s glory, pride, and progression. Every year this day is celebrated with utmost joy and happiness. This year from fashion and food to car decorations and other celebrations, there is something for everyone to commemorate the day. So let’s show our love and loyalty to Oman and take pride in the achievements as we get ready to celebrate the 47th National Day of the Sultanate.
When it comes to celebrating National Day, our joys and excitement know no bounds. The festivities start days in advance for us to savour each moment during that day. We start shopping for clothes that represent the national flag. While the locals enjoy wearing traditional ensembles that scream loyalty and pride, others enjoy a more edgy approach to their style and opt for pieces that carry red, green, and white colours. After that, we start preparing for the ride. There are many ways that one could decorate their car, though my absolute favourite is the hand-painted one. Then, we get into the spirit of marching and hit the streets of Muscat, chanting and singing glorious songs and anthems with flags up in the air.
This year let’s focus on something different. While we all love the street celebrations and the decorations, we also know that there are many people in town who use their immense creativity to celebrate the day in their own special way. So let’s dive deeper and find out what’s special this year.
Make an Omani Statement
One of my favourite brands in town, Dar Saaf, is known for making interesting collections for National Day, and each of their collections celebrate a particular time or incident that took place in Oman, or a hint of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and his achievements. Previously, the brand celebrated the day by releasing a collection that carry His Majesty’s famous rose, which was received well by many people. This year they’re back with something extra special.
Designed by Ruqaiya Al Harthi, Saaf took their art to another level by releasing a collection of abayas that carry calligraphic sentences and personal touches of the Sultan. In her collection, there’s an abaya that carries His Majesty’s handwriting, printed around the cuffs, an abaya with ‘watani’ written on its back, which translates to ‘my nation’, an abaya with Oman also written on its back; a yellow abaya inspired by Sharqiyah region, and a classic piece back by popular demand.
What grabbed my attention the most was an abaya that had raised dots on its cuffs, and stitched on different levels. I asked the designer about the story behind it. It turned out to be Braille, the language of the blind. Ruqaiya wanted to create something for National Day that can be celebrated by everyone, including the blind, as they are part of the society and deserve to celebrate His Majesty’s glory. So she went to Omar Bin Al Khattab Blind Association and brought this concept to life. The raised dots read the entire national anthem, written on both abaya cuffs.
Ruqaiya used classic colours and hints of metallic for this collection, which represent luxe with cultural vibes. Her ensembles are in stores. Grab yours for the loyalty march.
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+968 2454 5006
Savour It With Pride
When it comes to food, the options maybe limited but I am not talking about your discounts and special offers. I’m talking about brands that go all the way to celebrate Oman and add national touches to their food.
The options mostly come in the form of sweet treats. I’ll highlight three of my absolute favourite. The first one is National Day inspired hard candies at Spun. Ever since that brand opened its doors at Oman Avenues Mall, they have been adding special jars of candies for a variety of occasions and celebrations, and for National Day it’s just lovely. The hard candies are made with touches that represent local touches, and of course, the Omani flag.
If you’re not a fan of hard candies, then maybe you’ll enjoy slices of freshly baked cakes at Shakespeare and Co. On National Day, the place adds an Omani flag frosting on their desserts and cakes, which immerses you into the celebratory atmosphere. Even if you’re not literally marching you feel as if you are part of the celebration. Have it with a cup of Kahwa and you’re good.
Another brand that stands out is Meshan, a homegrown brand, that’s renowned for making delicious Omani date-infused treats. The brand has taken the celebration to a whole new level; they are offering an Omani buffet for National Day, as well as cupcakes adorned with iconic Omani colour palette, and cakes that carry the country’s flag. The brand offers is as per the order, so place your order and celebrate the day with a bunch of sweet-tasting desserts.
+968 9779 2463
This is probably the most exciting part of National Day, where cars are adorned with a bunch of LED lights, balloons, stickers, and paints before hitting the road to the Sultan Qaboos Highway, where the parades take place. On this day, apart from dancing and honking, you’ll notice how creative some folks get when it comes to decorating their vehicles. They literally go all out with their cars in the nation’s colours. It is, without a doubt, a competition of who bedazzled their car better.
As an art lover, my go-to option is the hand-painting art. In Mabella, I had the pleasure of meeting Ahmed Al Jardani, a creative person who turns dull looking cars into artful canvases that has floral designs and interesting drawings that will make you stand out as you march.
Ahmed began his car-painting journey long back as a hobby. Today he is one of the busiest guys in town, on National Day week. As November 18 approaches, his list of cars gets longer. He begins painting at 5pm all the way upto 4am (yes, you read that correctly). He is a real patriotic master who takes his craft seriously. Now, if you want your car to look uber-cool, then you know whom to contact. —[email protected]
Ahmed Al Jardani
+968 9691 6619