Khaliji Twerking: Maalaya of Oman and the UAE



Mark Balahadia



Original Date

August 28, 2016


Ma3laya is a music and dance style from Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates (northern areas like Sharjah and Ras el Khaimah) with possible roots going back to the 18th and 19th century when the Sultanate of Oman controlled the Swahili Coast, including Zanzibar and parts of what is now Tanzania. The dance bears similarities to other dances involving the movements of the buttocks including “twerking” in the United States. The music, which is often the case of Arabian Gulf music in general, a mix of African, Arab, subcontinent and southern Iranian influences.

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