Thursday, December 15, 2011

Omani pastimes: Cow fighting, Car drifting, Soap football, and Camel racing (Oh, what fun!)

Cow Fighting in Oman
Cow fighting is a popular recreational activity in Oman where two bulls are pitted together until the loser bull flees. Men bring their bulls to the place of engagement such as in an arena or a field. The cows arrive by pick-up truck and are led by rope to their fight. Two bulls start the round by pushing with body weight and using their horns. The first bull to quit is the loser.

Some winning cows can demand prices into the thouasands of Omani Riyals. Bull fights normally take place on Fridays and is normally an all male event. A famous arena is in Barka just outside of Muscat. Smaller localities also have fighting venues.

Auto Drifting
Car Drifting has become a mainstream past time in Oman for the youth. The 'shabab' meet at a planned destination with their vehicles and partake in high speed, controlled maneuvering while the wheels are torqued in the opposite direction throughout the motion resulting in the awesome drift effect.

Although exciting, drifting has inherent safety risks for the vehicles' motorists, as well as, the spectators. To drift one engages the emergency break while sharply turning the wheel to create the sliding effect. There is a 'drifting range' near Shinas. It is illegal to drift on main roads and one could be jailed or fined (around 150 OMR) if ROP were to enforce the law.

In addition, sand sporting or dune bashing is similarly enjoyed. Near Bidiyah (just outside of Wahibi Sands), there is a sand challenge sports site set up. If you don't own your own 4X4 SUV, it is possible to rent one and take a 'dune bashing' tour.

Sabone Footall (Soap Soccer)
Popular with teenagers, sabone football is played in a float made from strong vinyl. The floor is soaped down with a detergent like slipperiness. The players enjoy sliding while chasing the ball. Many youth seem to really have a blast with it.

Camel Races
Sometimes taking place on Friday mornings or on holidays such as in honour of National Day, camel races are a traditional occasion in Oman. Getting a camel ready for racing takes great care and training, as well as, good breeding. Several camel race festivals have been held in Oman each year.

Sometimes camels are raced grouped by their ages as camels start training for racing around age two. The coat color of a camel is known to be determined by the color of its surroundings; hence darker sand 'brings out' darker haired camels. I hope you may enjoy watching a camel race.


  1. can i know where is the soap football in oman located

  2. even i wanna know where soap football is located