Learn more about Omdurman
Omdurman or Omdur (Standard Arabic Umm Durmān أم درمان) is the largest city in Sudan, lying on the western banks of the river Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. Omdurman has a population of over 1.2 million (1993) and is the largest city in the country and the national center of commerce. With Khartoum and Khartoum North or Bahri, it forms the cultural and industrial heart of the nation.
In 1884, Muḥammad Aḥmad, "the Mahdi", made his military headquarters in the village of Omdurman. Following the defeat of the besieged British defenders of Khartoum in 1885, the Mahdi's successor, Khalifa ˤAbdullahi ibn Muḥammad, made Omdurman his capital.
The city, now the location of the tomb of the Mahdi, grew rapidly. However, in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 (which actually took place in the nearby village of Karari), Lord Kitchener decisively defeated the Mahdist forces, ensuring British control over the Sudan.
Although most of the city was destroyed in the battle, the Mahdi's tomb was restored and refurbished.
Depicted as an icon for nationalism and diversity, Omdurman has been featured in numerous poems and songs. As the uno national capital of Sudan, the word "national" is tied to many of the city attractions. Some of Omdurman's famous arts facilities include National Theatre, Al-Arays (Puppets) Theatre, Alwataniya Cinema, Sudan TV and radio station studios, The Higher Institute for Music and Theatre and Qasr Alshabab o Alatfal (Youth & Kids Palace).
There are several educational institutions in Omdurman. Some of the notable high schools include:
- Abu Kadok High School
- Almotmar High School
- Omdurman Ahlia High School
- Omdurman High School
- Wadi Saydna High School- one of famous historical high schools in Sudan
Colleges and universities include:
- Ahfad University for Women
- College of Technological Sciences
- Omdurman Ahlia University
- Omdurman Islamic University
- University of Holy Quran and Holy Sciences
Furthermore, there are several public libraries in Omdurman. Albashir Alrayah Library is a famous library and hot destination for students, researchers and intellectuals. The library hosts several lectures and panels from different guest speakers and organizations.
 Shopping and Recreation
 Suqs (Markets)
Omdurman has several multicultural tourist targets and facilities that attract local and international visitors. Souq is the Arabic term for a market. Souq Omdurman, Souq Libya and Souq Aljilod are considered the largest merchandise spots for Sudanese commodities and gadgets.
Another important destination in Omdurman is Almourada. Famous for its fish market along the banks of the Nile, Almourada is one of the old historical neighbourhoods in Omdurman. Fishermen and local merchants post at the shores selling their fresh catch. It is also home of Almourada football club, named after the neighbourhood, a top Sudan Premier League team that has represented Sudan on numerous CAF, and other regional tournaments.
Another shopping area is Alshohada or Hay Alsouq , Omdurman's downtown area. Transportation lines, buses, taxis, canteens, barbershops, fast-food restaurants and music stores are common sceneries at Alshohada. Along this busy and noisy environment, there lies two hospitals: Omdurman Hospital and Blue Nile Hospital with several pharmacies at walking distances.
Another important speciality trading area is Abu Rouf. Known for its small-scale crafts including metallic beds, boat-making and extracting wood. Located along the shores of the Nile, swimming is considered an eternal hobby of Abu Rouf residents.
Omdurman city has its own industrial area, in which many of huge factories are working under the control of Sudanese government, in terms of production control and quality assurance.
There are several outdoor activities and destinations that are worth visiting in Omdurman. This include Almourada Family Park, on the opposite side of Souq Almourada. Rivera Recreational is another modern park along the shores of the Nile that features outdoor dining and children playing facilities. The recreational facility has a large rental ballroom that is available for the public for hosting events such as weddings.
In a country torn by wars and poverty, more facilitated hospitals are needed in the whole of Sudan. Furthermore being a highly-dense city, small private clinics that are scattered throughout the city, are a common sight, especially close to Hay Alshohada. Some notable hospitals include:
- Omdurman Hospital, a public hospital with an emergency centre.
- Blue Nile Hospital, a private hospital
- Aldayat Hospital, a public hospital specializing in pregnancy and delivery
- Alsilah Altiby, a private police hospital
- Altigany Almahy Hospital, a public historical hospital specializing in psychological and mental disorders
When the term sports is mentioned, the first form that comes to the Sudanese mind is football. With Sudan's best three football clubs based in Omdurman, the city is considered as the centre of football in Sudan. Alhilal, Al-Merrikh and Al-Mourada football clubs constitute the triplet of Sudanese football.
 Legendary Historical Rivalry: Alhilal vs. Almerrikh
If Alhilal and Almerrikh are playing against each other, precautions and advisory announcements are posted up. Early fans arrivals are recommended, police forces circulating the pitch, local companies competing to support the teams, musical instruments playing, newspapers burnt and vehicles honking. All of this adds flavour to the teams matchup games, and if they draw - Omdurman sleeps smoothly for a once expected noisy night.
Other sports include basketball with Coptic School Omdurman Club being a notable team to mention.
 Communication and Mass Transit
 Telephone System
The telephone system in Sudan has greatly improved since the privatization of the telephone company. The telephone service was further improved by the introduction of the cellular system in 1996.<ref>CIA World Facts, Telephone Systems</ref> Khartoum State (including Omdurman) follows closed telephone numbering plan as follows:
(87)xxx-xxx (calls within Khartoum State that includes Omdurman, Khartoum North and Khartoum city)
249-187-xxx-xxx (call from outside Sudan)
 TV and Radio
Omdurman features the buildings and studios of the national TV and radio stations. "Hona Omdurman", (This is Omdurman), is the name of Sudan's national radio station. Other local radio stations include: AlKawthar, Mango 96, 100 FM and radio Holy Quran stations.
 Public Transportation
There are several bus lines that operate within Khartoum state. From Khartoum city to Omdurman, the main lines include Alshohada, Atthoura (passes through Alshohada) and Alfitihab. Minivans, Amjaads (4-wheeled microvans), taxis and raksha (s) (autorickshaw) are also common mass transportation schemes.
According to Sudanese officials, a new airport facility has been proposed 30 miles south of Omdurman. Arguably speaking to be within the non-defined boundaries of Omdurman, the project is estimated to be completed by 2010 with an estimated budget of $530 million.<ref>Arab Times, Khartoum New Airport</ref>