If you are a Westerner, when you hear the word "burka/burqa" you likely envision the indigo blue Afghani mesh full body blanket enforced by the Taliban, or the black fabric face veil associated with Saudi women. Bur8aa/burqa/burka [and sometimes called Batula] is none of those things. Burqa is a mask of varying design, usually denoting a beduoin heritage. Usually black, or traditionally stained blue with indigo, or appearing golden, it is light, breathable, and protects the face from dust and sun. It also mimics the features of a falcon. In Oman, it is predominantly worn by Beduoin women, but there are also traditional Baluchi, Dhofari, and Muscat Burqaa, though they are rarely worn these days so I couldn't find any pictures of them for you to see. In our Northern region of Buraimi, and the Musandam pennisula, thin, flat gold coloured Burqa as pictured above are traditional to those of Beduoin families (even if they're completely modern these days). They look entirely the same as the Emirati styles. Traditionally they were donned when a girl hit puberty, and she wore the thinner style [thin at the lip] until marriage when she started to wear a slightly thicker design.In the Ashaqiyah region of Oman in the Wahiba Sands, (also, in Sinaw) a much thicker version of the gold Burqa is worn, and it has a ridged beak in the middle, and is not flat like the Northern style. It is also traditionally tied at the back with a very long tasselled string.In al Wusta and Al Dhahirah a thick black ridged burqa is worn, and is usually donned after marriage, to denote the status of the woman as a wife.Nowadays though, as Oman comes together in Muscat, and many traditions are exchanged, the burqa is becomming an object of fashion and isn't just reserved for Beduoin girls on their wedding nights. For example, my interior Omani inlaws sometimes wear Dhofari or Baluchi dress for weddings, and alot of Omani girls have started to wear these fashion burqaa for their melka/engagement ceremony, such as the Zanzibari Muscat bride pictured above. (I wore a Burqa for my own wedding, designed by Aseel).For crystalized Burqa like the ones pictured above, booths at the Seeb Exhibition center carry them, as well as the costume jewelry store in Al Bahja mall.
For embellished fabric ones, Al Aseel in Qu'rum's little mall across from the Nando's and McDonald's upstairs from the kids rides (I forget its new name) sells and rents them.If you want an imitation of the traditional burqa styles, in Mutrah souq you take the first right turn as you enter the souq and you will find the above display hanging from a shop on the left side a few minutes in. To get the real ones you can purchase them from Beduoin women at the Mutrah festival on now, or from the Omani Handicrafts shop across from the Saabco mall in Al Qurum.