Omani Arab in Djibouti

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Omani Arabs represent a small percent of Djibouti's total population. It is believed that they immigrated to Djibouti from Oman during the nineteenth century. The Omani are set apart from other peoples in Djibouti by their unique use of the Arabic language and by their culture. Arabs have inhabited the territory that is now Oman for thousands of years. Omanis at one time had influence along the East African coast including what is now Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. Large numbers of Omanis migrated to Zanzibar and the Swahili coast of East Africa during a time when that was seen by them as a land of opportunity. They prospered there until a bloody revolution forced most of them to return to Oman. For the most part, Oman has a relatively strong economy and a stable government, but some Omanis leave to find work in other countries including Djibouti.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Wherever they live Omani Arabs live in extended family units of three generations. Their society is patriarchal, or male-dominated. The men seldom abuse this authority because they want obedience to be based on respect rather than fear. Marriages are usually pre-arranged by the parents. Omanis prefer to marry their cousins. Love marriages are rare. Children are a considered the family's greatest asset because they provide the parents with additional laborers and social security. Young Omani children are taught to look to their older siblings to learn how to behave. By age two they are expected to begin to act like miniature adults, especially in regards to providing hospitality.
Even the children are given gender-specific duties; there are clearly defined roles for both sexes. Men and women often eat separately and never pray together. While men worship at mosques, women attend ceremonies conducted at home by female religious leaders. Oman Arab standard is to accept others on their terms. For example, they view anything less than excessive generosity as rudeness.  They have a reputation for being excessively generous and polite, while still remaining impersonal.
An Omani will prefer medical treatment for illnesses, but if that fails they will look to traditional practices like exorcists and herbalists. They might look to the "cold" and "hot" properties of food to cure illnesses.

Omani Arabs were among the first people in the middle east to accept Islam.
What Are Their Beliefs?

Omanis were among the very first Muslims. They are overwhelmingly Ibadi Muslims, a branch that is similar to Sunni Islam. The Ibadis favor the selection of their imams through consensus not heritage. In that way they differ from the dominant Sunni sector of Islam. Some would describe the Ibadi sector of Islam as moderately conservative. As far as we know there are almost no followers of Christ among the Omani Arabs and no fellowships of believers.

What Are Their Needs?

Omani Arabs need the chance to flourish economically so they don't have to migrate to other countries like Djibouti. They also need the chance to hear and respond to the claims of Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life He offers those who follow Him.

Prayer Points

Pray for persons of peace among Omani Arabs to open the door to the gospel among their communities and family members.
Pray for Omani Arabs in Djibouti to have open hearts to the One who offers life to the full.
Pray for a massive movement to Christ among the Omani Arabs no matter where they live.
Pray for Christ's ambassadors to go to them.

Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Omani in Djibouti.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Arab, Omani
People Name in Country Arab, Omani
Natural Name Omani Arab
Pronunciation oh-MAH-nee AE-rub
Alternate Names Arabic, Omani Spoken; Omani Arab
Population this Country 91,000
Population all Countries 2,823,000
Total Countries 10
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 10378
ROP3 Code 100431
ROP25 Code 300414
ROP25 Name Arab, Omani

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.60 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
97.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Omani (91,000 speakers)
Language Code acx   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Omani (91,000 speakers)
Language Code acx   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Omani

Primary Language:  Arabic, Omani

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Arabic Bible Online Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source CharlesFred - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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