أم درمان
Omdurman Market
Omdurman Market
Omdurman is located in Sudan
Coordinates: 15°39′N 32°29′E / 15.650°N 32.483°E / 15.650; 32.483Coordinates: 15°39′N 32°29′E / 15.650°N 32.483°E / 15.650; 32.483
Country  Sudan
State Khartoum State
 • Total 614.9 km2 (237.4 sq mi)
178 m (584 ft)
 • Total 2,395,159
Time zone UTC+2 (Central Africa Time)

Omdurman (standard Arabic: أم درمانUmm Durmān) is the most populated city in Sudan and Khartoum State, lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum.


The name Omdurman (Umm Durmān) literally translates as "Mother of Durmān", but who she was or might have been is not known.[1]


The Battle of Omdurman in 1898
A sketch map of Omdurman with Khartoum and Bahri. The White Nile flowing from the south is joined by the Blue Nile flowing from the east.
Bridge over the White Nile which connects the city to Khartoum

After the siege of Khartoum, followed by the building there of the tomb of the Mahdi after his death from typhus, the city grew rapidly. However, in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 (which actually took place in the nearby village of Kerreri), Lord Kitchener decisively defeated the Mahdist forces. The following year British forces killed Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, the Khalifa, ensuring British control over the Sudan.

In September 1898 the British army of twenty thousand well drilled men equipped with the latest arms, Maxim guns and Martini-Henry rifles under the command of General Horatio Herbert Kitchener invaded Sudan. In the battle of Omdurman, the British Army faced Sudanese defenders consisting of over 52,000 poorly armed desert tribesmen dervishes; in the space of five hours the battle was over. The Sudanese defenders suffered many casualties, with at least 10,000 killed. By contrast there were fewer than four hundred casualties on the British side with forty-eight British soldiers losing their lives. Then, General Kitchener proceeded to order the desecration of the Mahdi's tomb and in the words of Winston Churchill, "carried off the Mahdi's head in a kerosene can as a trophy".[2]

Kitchener restored Khartoum as the capital and, from 1899 until 1956 Sudan was jointly governed by Great Britain and Egypt. Although most of the city was destroyed in the battle, the Mahdi's tomb was restored and refurbished.

On 10 May 2008 the Darfur rebel group of the Justice and Equality Movement moved into the city where they engaged in heavy fighting with Sudanese government forces. Their goal was to topple Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government.[3][4][5]


Omdurman features a hot arid climate, with only the summer months seeing noticeable precipitation. The city averages a little over 155 millimetres (6.1 in) of precipitation per year. Based on annual mean temperatures, the city is one of the hottest major cities in the world. Temperatures routinely exceeds 40 °C (104 °F) in mid-summer.

Its average annual high temperature is 37.1 °C (99 °F), with six months of the year seeing an average monthly high temperature of at least 38 °C (100 °F). Furthermore, throughout the year, none of its monthly average high temperatures falls below 30 °C (86 °F). During the months of January and February, while daytime temperatures are generally very warm, nights are relatively cool, with average low temperatures just above 15 °C (59 °F).


Omdurman is on the western side of the Nile river, opposite Khartoum.
Sufi dervishes in Omdurman
Year Population
1909 (Census)[8] 42,779
1941 116,196
1956 113,600
1973 299,399
1983 526,284
1993 1,271,403
2007 Estimate 2,127,802
2008 2,395,159[citation needed]
2010 2,577,780[citation needed]


Public universities are:[9]

Private universities are:[10]


Halfaya Bridge on the Nile linking Omdurman and Khartoum North

Khartoum Airport serves Omdurman.

According to Sudanese officials, a new airport facility has been proposed 30 miles (50 km) south of Omdurman. Arguably speaking to be within the non-defined boundaries of Omdurman, the project was estimated to be completed by 2012 with an estimated budget of $530 million.[11] [12]

See also


  1. ^ Robert S. Kramer; Richard A. Lobban Jr.; Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban (2013). Historical Dictionary of the Sudan. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-8108-7940-9.
  2. ^ Ferguson, Niall (2003). EMPIRE, How Britain Made the Modern World. London England: Penguin Books. pp. 267–272. ISBN 978-0-141-00754-0.
  3. ^ Curfew in capital as Sudanese army clash near Khartoum with Darfur rebels - Sudan Tribune 2008-05-10
  4. ^ Sudanese rebels 'reach Khartoum' - BBC News 2008-05-10
  5. ^ PHOTOS: Sudan capital after today's attack from Darfur JEM - Sudan Tribune 2008-05-10
  6. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Omdurman". UN. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Average Conditions Omdurman, Sudan". BBC Weather. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  8. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  9. ^ "Sudanese higher education". Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Universities of Sudan". Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  11. ^ Arab Times, Khartoum New Airport
  12. ^

External links