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Oman: forts, natural landscapes and traditions

Oman (Saltanat ‘Omān) is a sultanate situated in the south-east of the Arabian peninsula with as capital Muscat, which borders to the north-west with the United Arab Emirates, to the west by Saudi Arabia, and to the south-west with Yemen, is washed from the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, the territory of the state includes the northern end of the Musandam peninsula, overlooking the Straits of Hormuz, territorially separate from the rest of the country, and the exclave of Madha located inside the territory of the United Arab Emirates.

Along the Gulf in Oman is a narrow and fertile coastal plain, al-Batinah, where there are major cities of the country, Muscat ), Matrah and Sur; behind this plain rises the mountains of Jabal Al Akhdar, with the highest mountain in the country, Jabal Ash Sham (3,035 metres). To the south and south-west of this region is a vast desert area plain that covers most of Oman, made up of arid expanses of sand that to the west extend towards depression desert of Rub ‘al Khali. Situated at the south-west, bordering the Yemen, is the mountainous region of Dhofar (or Zufar).

Oman economy is based mainly on the exploitation of oil and natural gas, and to a lesser extent, copper, cromite, gold and silver. Important are fishing (sardines, oysters) and breeding (sheep, goats, cattle and camels), agriculture is practiced in the oasis (date palms, cereals (sorghum, millet, barley), fruit and tobacco).

  • Area: 309,500 sqkm. (Arable 2%, Pastures 5%, Forests and Woodlands 0%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 93%)
  • Population: 3,204,000 (2006 data)
  • State Capital: Muscat (Masqat).
  • Languages: The official language is Arabic.
  • Religion: Muslim 97% (Ibadhi 55%, Sunni 38% Shi’a 4%), Hinduist 2%.
  • Currency: Rial (OMR)
  • Time: UTC +4 hours.

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