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Oman


Sunrise on Jebel Akhdar, Al Hajar mountain range in Oman
Sunrise on Jebel Akhdar. The high plateau's amazing landscape features a labyrinth of wadis (valleys) and is part of Oman's coastal Hajar mountain range (Oman Mountains).
Image: Robert Haandrikman

 
Location map of Oman. Where in the world is Oman?
Location map of Oman


National Flag of Oman
Flag of Oman

Oman in brief

Destination Oman, a Nations Online country profile of the Sultanate in the Middle East.

Oman is located on the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman; at the Musandam Peninsula in the north of the country, it borders the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. Oman shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, and it shares maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan.

The oldest independent state in the Arab world was a sultanate known as Muscat and Oman until 1970. The country was the most influential power in the region during the 19th century; it controlled Zanzibar and other territories. Since the late 19th century, it has had strong links with Britain.

Oman covers an area of 309,500 km², making it slightly smaller than Poland, or about twice the size of the US state of Georgia.

The country offers a variety of beautiful topographical features. There are valleys between rugged mountain ranges with terraced orchards where pomegranates, apricots, and roses grow, and extensive stretches of a vast plain with gravel desert interspersed with wadis and large pools of water in the middle. Oman's main cities line up neatly along the coast.

Today, the country has a population of 4.45 million people (in 2020), of whom 61% (2.7 million) are Omanis. The capital and largest city is Muscat (pop. 300,000). Spoken language is Arabic (official). The majority of Oman's population is (Ibadi) Muslim.

 

What is Oman known for?

Oman is known for Arabian horses, dromedaries, wild asses, green turtles, the Oryx antelope (the national animal), frankincense trees, and date palms.
Oman is famous for its ancient aflaj oases irrigation system, terraced orchards (Jebel Akhdar), adobe fortresses, lots of mosques, wadis (stream valleys), dhows (traditional Arabian sailing ships), meteorites, and Al Said, the world's third-largest yacht, owned by the Sultan.
The country's staple food is chicken, fish, and lamb (no pork, please) and coffee.

 
Sultanate of Oman | Saltanat Uman |


Background:

Oman lies at the eastern corner of the Arabian peninsula. The Emirates of Sharjah and Fujairah (UAE) separate the main part of Oman from the northernmost part of the state, a peninsula (Musandam) extending into the Strait of Hormuz.

Historically Omanis were seafarers and traders who dominated regional commodity trading in the Indian Ocean, East Africa, and the Arabian Gulf. There were thus a succession of migrations which saw the growth of settlements along some parts of the East African coast.

In 1970 QABOOS bin Said Al Said overthrew his father and ruled as Sultan until his death in 2020. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world and has preserved a long-standing political and military relationship with the United Kingdom.

Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries. Oman became the main transit gateway to Qatar after several Persian Gulf countries cut sea routes to Qatar during the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis.

(Source: Ministry of Information, Sultanate of Oman and CIA World Factbook)

Oman is a member state of the League of Arab States

Other Gulf States: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar

Related countries: Portugal, United Kingdom
 

 



Country Profile



Official Name:
Saltanat Uman
short form: Arabic: عمان ʻUmān
int'l long form: Sultanate of Oman
int'l short form: Oman
former: Muscat and Oman

ISO Country Code: om, OMN

Actual Time: Wed-Dec-1  23:31
Local Time = UTC +4h

Country Calling Code: +968

Capital City: Muscat (pop. over 400 000)

Other Cities:
Dhofar, Salalah, Nizwa, Sohar, Sur.

...show more



 


Official Sites of Oman


Omani Royal Palace Qasr al-Alam in Muscat
Entrance to the Royal Palace Qasr al-Alam in Muscat.
Image: Edgar El


Political system
The system of government in Oman is a sultanate, an absolute Arab monarchy in which all legislative, executive, and judicial power is in the hands of the Sultan. The head of state and head of government is therefore the Sultan, who also acts as prime minister, head of the ministries of defense and finance and is chairman of the central bank. Judges are nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council and appointed by the Sultan.


Government

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

State Council - Sultanate of Oman
The State Council is the upper house of the Council of Oman.

Omanuna
The official Oman eGovernment Services Portal.

Ministry of Information
Portal site and official source of information on the Sultanate of Oman.

Ministry of Heritage and Tourism
Official site of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Official site of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Sultanate's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomatic Missions
Cultural Office of the Embassy of Oman
The Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Washington D.C.
Oman Embassies
Oman Embassies abroad.
Foreign Missions in Oman
Find foreign embassies in Oman.

Statistics
National Centre for Statistics and Information
National Statistical Office of Oman.
Oman Data Portal
Oman by numbers.

Oman in Figures
Oman key statistical data.

Weather
Oman Meteorological Department
Oman weather conditions and forecasts.


Pompeo Visit to HH Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Muscat, Oman
Pompeo Visit to HM Sultan Haitham bin Tariq at Al Barakah Palace in Seeb, Muscat, Oman.
Image: ONA

 

 


 


Maps of Oman



Oman Map
Map of Oman (click map to enlarge)
Image: © nationsonline.org


Maps


Map of Oman
Political Map of Oman.
Google Earth Google Earth: Oman
Searchable map/satellite view of Oman.
Google Earth Google Earth: Muscat
Searchable map/satellite view of Oman.

Map of the Arabian Peninsula 
Political Map of the Arabian Peninsula.
Map of the Persian Gulf
Political Map of the Persian Gulf.
profile Map of Countries of Western Asia
Political map of countries of Western Asia and the Middle East.
profile Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.
 

 


News from Oman



Omani Newspapers

News from Oman


According to Reporters Without Borders, censorship is still ubiquitous in this country ruled now by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq since his cousin's death, Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, who run the country for 45 years. Freedom House states that the country's ruling on media is one of the most restrictive press and publications laws in the Arab world, ensures that the media remains censored and subdued.


Omani News Online

Al-Watan (Oman)
Local News (Arabic)

Al Shabiba
Arabic daily.

Muscat Daily
Omani English daily.

Oman Arabic Daily
Oman News (in Arabic)

Oman News Agency (ONA)
Government news in English and Arabic.

Oman Observer
Oman's largest circulated English Newspaper.

Times of Oman
National and Middle East news.

TV/Radio
Public Authority for Radio and TV (PART)
Sultanate of Oman TV and Radio in Arabic and English.

International News sources
Al Jazeera
Oman related news.

The Guardian (UK)
Bahrain related news.
 

 


Arts & Culture of Oman



The landscaped gardens at the Royal Opera House in Muscat. The complex consists of a concert theater, an auditorium, and an art center.
Image: Khalid AlBusaidi


Arts & Culture

Museums in Oman
Information about the Oman Museum, National Museum, Omani - French Museum, and some other Omani museums.

Royal Opera House Muscat
Oman's premium address for musical art and culture.

Muscat Festival
The annual Muscat Festival is the country's largest cultural event, a showcase of Oman's Arabian art, culture, and tradition. The festival takes place from mid-January to mid-February.

Traditional handicraft Oman
Shipbuilding, pottery, jewelry, and other traditional Omani crafts.

FACES
FACES is Oman's monthly lifestyle magazine.
 

 


 


Business & Economy of Oman


Redevelopment of the port of Muscat, Oman
The redevelopment of Muscat's port will transform Port Sultan Qaboos to Oman's first address on the waterfront. The new port facilities are designed to support the government's efforts to diversify the economy by creating up to 5,000 direct jobs and accommodating up to 10,000 visitors per day.
Image: Atkins


Economy of Oman
Oman's economy is primarily based on agriculture. Since the 1960s, the production and export of oil has been an essential income source for the country. In response to fluctuating oil prices, the government is trying to develop new income sources such as tourism, shipping and logistics, mining, manufacturing, and aquaculture.


Notable companies of Oman

Central Bank of Oman
The principal currency authority in Oman (state-owned).

National Bank of Oman
NBO was the first local bank in Oman.

Muscat Securities Market
Oman's only stock exchange (state-owned).

Bank Muscat
Financial services company with the largest network in Oman with over 150 branches.

Oman Arab Bank
Commercial bank.

Oman LNG
Liquefied natural gas.

OQ
OQ is a state-owned oil, gas, oxo chemicals, and plastic concern.

Omantel
Omantel is Oman's leading telecommunications company.

Ooredoo Oman
An Omani telecommunications company.

Oman Oil Marketing Company
OOMCO gas stations with shops.

Petroleum Development Oman
State-owned PDO is the leading oil and gas exploration and production company in the country.

Shaksy Group
An Omani-based privately owned holding company.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The OCCI represents the country's private economic sector.


Transportation
Air
Oman Air
The Omani national airline is based at Muscat International Airport in Seeb.

Muscat International Airport

Muscat International Airport (IATA: MCT) is Oman's main international airport, located about 11 km west of the capital.

Ports
Port of Salalah
The Port of Salalah is Oman's chief port.

Sohar Port
The port of Sohar in the governorate of Al Batinah North is a deep seaport with an adjacent free trade zone.

National Ferries Company
NFC operates trips from all the major ports in the Sultanate.

Road
Oman National Transport Company
MWASALAT is the leading public transport company in the Sultanate of Oman.


Pompeo Visit to HH Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Muscat, Oman
An Oman Air Boeing 737 heading for Muscat International Airport.
Image: Kurush Pawar
 

 


 


Tourism in Oman



Muttrah Corniche in Muscat at dusk
Muttrah Corniche in Muscat at dusk. Muttrah's long arched beach promenade is the country's old commercial center.
Image: Andrew Moore


Destination Oman - Travel and Tour Guides



Advertisement

Discover Oman:
Al Mansur Castle, Bahla Fort, Barka Castle, Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn, Al Jalali Fort, Muscat, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Gulf of Oman, Wahiba Sands (Sharqiya), Ibra, Muttrah Corniche, Khareef Festival in Salalah, Muscat Festival, Misfat Al Abriyeen village, Jebal Shams mountain, Musandam peninsula, Sohar, Buraimi, Dhofar, Khasab fjords, Nizwa, Sur, Al-Hajar Mountains, Jabal al-Akhdar.


Sultanate of Oman
Comprehensive Oman travel and visitors information by the Ministry of Tourism.

Oman Tourism
Oman images by the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate at Flickr.

Oman Magazine
Persian Gulf lifestyle magazine.

Omani woman in desert
Omani woman in the desert.
Image: E Eche

Arabia Felix
Comprehensive information about Yemen and Oman (German and English)

Wikivoyage Logo Wikivoyage Oman
Travel guide page from Wikivoyage about Oman.


Hotels
Al Bustan Palace
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton 5-star hotel in Muscat.
Grand Hyatt Muscat
5-star hotel and resort in Muscat on the beach of Shatti al Qurum.
Oman Resorts - Alila Jabal Akhdar
Hotel in the Al Hajar Mountains 2000 m above sea level.

City Guides
Muscat
The City of Muscat.
Dhofar
Dhofar Municipality.
Nizwa Net
A guide to Oman and the oasis city of Nizwa.


Al Jalali Fort in the harbor of Old Muscat, Oman
The Portuguese built Al Jalali Fort in the harbor of Old Muscat. The fort was built in the 1580s to protect the port after Ottoman troops had already sacked Muscat twice.
Image: Andries Oudshoorn

 

 


 


UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Fort Bahla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the town of Bahla in Oman.
Fort Bahla is one of several historic forts at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar highlands in Oman. Today Fort Bahla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important cultural sights in the country.
Image: Federico Lukkini
 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Oman
There are five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Oman, and six sites are on the Tentative List (see the List)

World Heritage Site Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman
"Aflaj" or "Falaj" irrigation systems are an arrangement of waterways to irrigate homes, fields, and cropland. The site includes five ancient Aflaj irrigation systems and is representative of approximately 3,000 such systems still in operation in Oman.

World Heritage Site Ancient City of Qalhat
The ancient city of Qalhat was an Arabian port city on the Gulf of Oman. Between the 11th and 16th centuries AD, the urban settlement was an important trading hub in the wider Indian Ocean trade network, which throughout history played a vital role in the East-West exchange of goods, people, and knowledge.

World Heritage Site Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn
The sites of Bat, Al-Khutm, and Al-Ayn in the Al Dhahira region represent a unique ensemble of 4000 to 5000-year-old tomb monuments, towers, and settlement remains on the Arabian Peninsula.

World Heritage Site Bahla Fort
The fort and settlement of Bahla, an oasis surrounded by mud walls in the Omani desert at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar highlands, owes its prosperity to the Bani Nabhan (Nabahina) tribe, who ruled the central region of Oman and made Bahla their capital from the 12th to the end of the 15th century.

World Heritage Site Land of Frankincense
The frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah, the remains of the caravan oasis of Shisr/Wubar, and the affiliated ports of Khor Rori (Sumhuram) and Al-Baleed illustrate the importance of the frankincense trade that flourished in this region over many centuries.


A plaque in Khor Rori (Sumhuram), Oman, informs about the production and trade of frankincense.
A plaque in Khor Rori (Sumhuram), Dhofar Governorate of Oman, informs about the production and trade of frankincense.
Image: Juozas Šalna
 

 


Education in Oman



Sultan Qaboos University Mosque, Muscat
Sultan Qaboos University Mosque.
Image: Sultan Qaboos University


Universities in Oman


Dhofar University
Dhofar University is a non-profit private higher education institution established in 2004.

Nizwa University
UoN was founded in 2004 in the country's historic former capital Nizwa as a faculty-managed non-profit private university.

Sohar University
Homepage of the first private university in the Sultanate, established in 2001 in Sohar, the capital and largest city of the Al Batinah North Governorate.

Sultan Qaboos University
SQU, located in Al Khoudh, Muscat, was the first university in Oman; it is the only public university in the Sultanate.

German University of Technology
GUtech is a private university in Halban (neer Seeb) in affiliation with RWTH Aachen University, Germany. 
 
 

 


Environment & Nature



Wahiba Sands desert (Sharqiya Sands)
Sharqiya Sands, also known as Wahiba Sands, is a desert and the original homeland of the Bedouins in Oman.
Image: Andries Oudshoorn


Ministry of Regional Municipalities & Water Resources
The Sultanate is striving for the enhancement of protection of the environment and conservation of its natural resources through control of development projects and preservation of biodiversity and many protection projects such as mangrove cultivation project, wild trees growing project, gazelle tagging project, coastal management projects, preparation of Oman's national conservation strategy and restrictions to visit nature reserves and protection of the environment in general.

Environment Authority of Oman
The authority strives to protect the environment and to conserve the country's natural resources.

Environment Society of Oman
The official website of the society for education and environmental awareness provides information about Oman's environmental problems and projects.

Geological Society of Oman
The society aims to promote the geological sciences in Oman and the development of its members through seminars, workshops, and excursions.

Oman Water Society
The goal of the Oman Water Society is to create awareness for the best water consumption.
 
SustainableOman
SustainableOman supports the Sustainable Development Goals of Oman.


Wadi Bani Khalid in Ash Sharqiyah North Governorate
Wadi Bani Khalid in the Ash Sharqiyah North Governorate.
Image: hey tiffany!
 

 


Oman History



View of Maskatae (Muscat) in Arabien Engraving
Illustration of Maskatae (Muscat) in Arabien.
Engraving: Peeters Jacob, Flemish engraver (1637-1695)


A kaleidoscope of history and legends
A short introduction into the history of the country by the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.

Wikipedia W History of Oman
Wikipedia: History of Oman.

Encyclopædia Britannica Oman - The early period - Britannica
Article in the Encyclopædia Britannica about different periods in the history of Oman.

Oman profile - Timeline
Historical timeline of Oman by the BBC.

WWW-VL History Index - Oman History
Index of various resources related to Oman's history.
 

 


Additional Information


Selected country profiles of Oman published by international organizations.


Advertisement

Amnesty International: Oman
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights.

BBC Country Profile: Oman
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

BTI Transformation Index
Oman Country Report 2020 by Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Freedom House: Oman
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide.

GlobalEDGE: Oman
Oman ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: Oman
The Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.

Human Rights Watch: Oman
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

OEC: Oman
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the latest international trade data.

Reporters Without Borders: Oman
RSF (Reporters sans frontières) is an international NGO that defends and promotes media freedom.

Wikipedia: Oman
Wikipedia Oman page in many languages.

Worldbank Data: Oman
World Development Indicators database.

The CIA World Factbook -- Oman
CIA World Factbook Oman Page. 
 

 



 
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