They break their fast with coffee and dates followed shortly thereafter by a ritual meal, often shared with family and close friends, of elaborate foods heavy in oils and spices. A large percentage of Omanis live in rural areas and many others own land and property in the countryside even though they live and work in the towns.
Population growth is estimated at nearly 4 percent per year. Arabic is the principal language spoken by Omanis, who have spoken it since the immigration of Arab tribes nearly two millennia ago.Both are served to guests with strong, bitter, and often cardamom-scented coffee.During Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, Omanis refrain from eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset.Oman withstood attempts by classical Islamic empires to subdue the country, and the Portuguese invasion of the sixteenth century was confined to coastal ports and was terminated by national Omani resistance in the mid-seventeenth century. Although the dominant cultural group in Oman is Arab and Ibadi/Sunni Muslim, the culture has been very tolerant of other groups.Ethnic, sectarian, or linguistic conflict rarely occurs in Oman although tribal disputes are not unknown.