Kumzar, a Remote Village Known as the ‘Norway of Arabia’

Kumzar, The Remote Village Hides Behind Fjord

Kumzar is a village located in the northernmost province of Oman, in the Strait of Hormuz, which divides Iran and is also known as Musandam or the ‘Norway of Arabia.’

This village can only be accessed by a one-hour speedboat ride or a 2.5-hour journey by sailboat from the nearest town, Khasab.

Kumzar has earned the nickname “Norway of Arabia” due to its striking resemblance to the landscapes of Norway.

This comparison stems from the village’s unique geographical features, including dramatic steep limestone cliffs, rugged mountains, and deep blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

The village is surrounded by steep limestone cliffs that rise majestically from the sea, creating a breathtaking coastal scenery reminiscent of Norway’s famous fjords.

The beauty of the very steep coastline and the rocky inlets were not formed by glacier melt but by a stack of tectonic plates.

Moreover, Kumzar’s climate, characterized by cooler temperatures and occasional misty conditions, further enhances its resemblance to the Nordic country.

The village’s isolation and challenging access, similar to remote settlements in Norway, contribute to its mystique and allure.

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Kumzar With Its Unique Geography

Kumzar, a hidden village nestled in narrow gaps, forms a bay in Oman’s north, known as ‘fjords.’

Situated between mountains and sea in a quiet bay, Kumzar experiences changing weather.

Furthermore, residents catch fish in this village during fall, winter, and spring. In summer, they harvest dates in 50 °C heat in Khasab.

Despite the hot and dry climate between high hills and the coast, Kumzar has densely populated settlements.

The houses in Kumzar are built with stone, and the roofs are made of flat stones with gaps that are extremely close to each other.

Water enters Kumzar from the coastline edge to the middle, where daily activities occur.

Rich Traditional Culture in Kumzar For A Hundred Years

The locals in Kumzar are very friendly and proud of their traditional culture. For 700 years, villagers absorbed diverse influences from the strait, a platform for trade and culture.

The Kumzari people have their own language and adhere to their religion. They are known as an Iranian native group with 4,000 residents, and the majority of them are Muslim.

In addition, Kumzari, their mother tongue, mixes ancient Persian, Arabic, Akkadian, Assyrian, Turkish, English, and Hindi.

The Kumzari And Their Livelihood

Kumzar, situated with wells and fresh water, lies strategically between trading centers, such as Basra, Muscat, Zanzibar, India, and surrounding areas.

Kumzari make a living as fishermen, skillfully catching sardines and tuna, thereby shaping and preserving local folk traditions.

Men engage in various tasks: building houses, slaughtering animals, and collecting honey. Simultaneously, women contribute by making butter, cheese, and tending to animals.

Furthermore, they diversify their roles, working as businessmen, doctors, teachers, engineers, and more, with some even venturing into the challenging domain of oil fields.

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The New Generation Of Kumzari

Over the last 10 years, there have been major changes in Kumzar, but the future still requires struggle.

The locals now have new facilities such as the internet, electricity, satellite television, schools, hospitals, and more.

The population is increasing, and new houses are being built in the mountains above Kumzar. The younger generation prioritizes education, often moving to Muscat for studies and seeking jobs in the UAE post-graduation.