Facts: Area= 309,500 KM2 Population=(2005) 2,509,000 including 666,000 expats Language= Arabic(official), English(widely spoken), German and French (staff workers in hotels usually) Capital City= Muscat Natural resource (way of diversifying national income): petroleum, natural gas, copper, fishery, agriculture. Local time GMT +4 Currency Omani rial which equals $2.58.
Brief history: The earliest Stone Age settlement discovered in Oman is the Wattaya district and dates back more than 10,000 years. Babylon and Assyria empire were among the first empires, later the Persian empire expanded The rule of the imams in Oman began in the eighth century CE. Ibn Masoud was elected as the first imam in 751 and his reign lasted 4 centuries The Oman of the imams was in the Nabhan period. The Portuguese possessions in India suffered tremendously from the Omani strikes. Portuguese and Omanis engaged in bloody battles for the control of east Africa Mozambique was the only country that resisted the Omani Arab fleet, and it stayed under Portuguese control until the 20th century
Geography: Lies between latitudes 16o 40o and 26o 20o north, and longitudes 51o 50o and 59o 40oeast The total area is approximately 309,500 km2 Third largest country in the Arabian Peninsula It shares 3 seas: Arabian gulf, the gulf of Oman, and the Arabian sea The sultanate borders the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the west, the United Arab Emirates in the northeast, the republic of Yemen in the southwest, the strait of Hormuz in the north and the Arabian sea in the east Oman possesses a rich diverse landscape that divides the country naturally into 3 distinct regions, each with its own identity
Climate: The varied geography of Oman has resulted in a wide variety of climate conditions. During the winter it is cool and pleasant, but summer on the coast is hot and humid. The interior remains hot and dry The mountains have temperatures that can drop drastically at night The hottest months are June and August Rainfall varies but in general remains sparse and irregular. In the south most of the year’s rainfall occurs during the summer monsoon months. In the north, the opposite occurs.
Regions: The sultanate is administratively divided into 4 governorates and 5 regions. Governorates: Governorate of Muscat Governorate of Dhofar Governorate of Musandam Governorate of Al Buraimi Regions Al Batinah Region Al Dakhiliya Region Al Sharquiya region Al Dhahira region Al Wusta region Each governorate/region is formed into wilayats totaling 61 which are further divided into niyabats additionally each region has 1 or more regional centers totaling 12 overall.
Muscat: Muscat is the heart of the sultanate, the center of tourism and commercial activities It was known as the Governorate of the capital from 1960-1970 The governorate, which is the most populous in the sultanate is situated between the gulf of Oman and the eastern Hajar mountains Since the late 18th century Muscat has been the uncontested capital of Oman. Modern Muscat is home to a range of luxury hotels, up market restaurants and a multitude of service companies.
Dhufar: The governorate of Dhufar lies in the farthest southern part of the sultanate. The governorate occupies one third of the sultanate’s area and accommodates about 9.4% of the population. They have a hugely different climate Throughout the ages Dhofar has been characterized by its strategic location and prosperous commercial activities, being the chief source of frankincense, incense and myrrh. Dhofar is currently undergoing tremendous development, aiming to strengthen its economic role in the country and future significance as a free trade zone, its also developing a major tourist attraction.
Musandam Musandam is the smallest and most northerly region of Oman Covering an area of around 3,0002km Its rocky headland juts out into the Strait of Hormuz, giving it strategic dominion over one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The entire interior is basically mountains. Musandam has a population of about 30,000. The people earn their living mainly through fishing, boat building and a number of traditional handicrafts.
Al Buraimi Wilayat Al Buraimi lies in the north-western corner of the sultanate. Considered an exemplary model of a strategic defense system. Farming is the main profession here relying heavily on water from wells and Aflaj for irrigation.
Al Batinah Al Batinah region is a fertile coastal plain. Covering an area of 270km by 25km It compromises 12 wilayats Al Batinah is home to approximately 660,000 inhabitants and is the second most densely populated are in the nation after the governorate of Muscat. The region is also noted for its fertile wadis It is also famous for its traditional crafts. Al Batinah is well known for horse and camel racing, and bull fighting.
Adh-Dhahirah Adh-Dhahirah region is mainly a semi-desert plain It is divided into 3 wilayats and is home to about 205 thousand inhabitants Their people of that region are known for their regular performances of traditional dances and songs. They are also artisans, producing leather work.
Al Dakhiliya It forms the strategic interior of the sultanate The region occupies the central plateau 8 wilayats form the region, contributing 11.3% of the total population in Oman, with Nizwa being the regional centre. It played an important role in Oman’s history, particularly in spreading Islam It has also been of great importance in linking the coast with the interior through crucial caravan routes and vital transit stations. Is one of the major agriculture areas
Al-Sharquiya Is made up of sandy plains and wadis flowing from the interior slopes The region has the largest and longest coastline in Oman The region accounts for 13.2% of the total population of the country and compromises 11 Wilayat.
Al-Wusta It is the second largest region geographically after dohar, but the smallest demographically, with the population of only 23,000. Al-Wusta people are semi-nomadic Bedouin who practice fishing, rearing and keeping livestock for a living.