The traditional architecture of Oman is characterized by the few naturally-occurring building materials and a formal simplicity. Ostentatious displays of wealth and power are considered unfitting by the Ibadhis.
Omanis did not have a wide variety of building materials. The coastal dwellers and the inhabitants of the Wahiba desert built airy huts made of palm leafs, barasti, which used the sea breezes for cooling.
In contrast the houses in the mountainous regions stood on a foundation of stone to protect them from effluent rainwater. The walls were made of dried clay bricks.
Only for the massive walls of the forts and mosques, several metres thick, were stones integrated for stabilization. A mix of loam, sand and lime, sarooj, was used as plaster.
In modern architecture Omanis try to retain characteristic stylistic elements of the traditional building construction.