Village of Kumzar

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requires special permission to visit

Nestled in an isolated bay close to the Strait of Hormuz, this village is only accessible by boat. Locals speak their own language known as Kumzari but, given its remote location, the village is surprisingly modern.

One of the most inaccessible settlements in Oman, the famously remote town of KUMZAR sits perched in solitary splendour at the northernmost edge of Musandam, hemmed in by sheer mountains and accessible only by boat. A “visit” to the town therefore involves sitting in your boat in the harbour about 100m offshore and seeing what you can, although it’s still well worth making the trip out here for the magnificent coastal scenery en route, as well as for the tantalizing glimpse of Oman’s most reclusive town at the end of it. Many of Musandam’s best diving spots are also located in the waters around Kumzar for more details.

The town overlooks the Straits of Hormuz, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, a fact reflected in the unique language spoken by its inhabitants, Kumzari. The village is said to be around seven hundred years old, its inhabitants including a hotchpotch of ethnic groups ranging from Yemeni to Zanzibari – the colourful theory that sailors shipwrecked off the nearby coast were also integrated into the population is backed up by the remarkable number of European and Hindi loan words found in Kumzari. The town’s population currently stands at around five thousand, with its own school, hospital, power station and desalination plant. The inhabitants live largely by fishing for nine months of the year, netting barracuda, tuna, kingfish and hammour .