OMAN

Date of establishment: 1971

Brief history:

  • Early history: The territory of present-day Oman was already inhabited in prehistoric times. Oman played an important role in trade and navigation in the Indian Ocean.
  • Islam and expansion: In the 7th century, Oman was converted to Islam. During the Islamic expansion, Oman played an important role as a center for trade and sea routes.
  • Portuguese rule: In the 16th century, Oman became the target of Portuguese expansion. It took several centuries for the Portuguese to be pushed out.
  • Sultanate of Oman: In the 17th century, the Sultanate of Oman was established, and the Sultanate gained independence from Portugal. This happened in 1650.
  • Changes of power: During the 18th and 19th centuries, several rebellions and changes of power took place in Oman. This led to political and territorial changes in the country.
  • Modernization and changes in the 20th century: In the 20th century, the Sultanate of Oman modernized under the leadership of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who took over in 1970. The country underwent social and economic reforms, which led to economic development and improved living conditions for the population.

 

International abbreviation: OM

 

Currency: Omani rial (OMR)

The Omani rial is divided into 1 000 baisa. Omani Rial banknotes and coins are commonly used for payments in the country. It is common in the country for prices to be expressed in rupees, which have the same value as the Omani rial (1 rupee = 1 Omani rial).

 

Internet domain: .om

 

Dialing code: +968

 

Time zone: GMT +4

 

Geography:

The Hajar Mountains, also known as Jabal Al-Hajar, are located mainly in the northeast of the country and extend inland. This mountain range is known for its dramatic rocky landscapes and high peaks. The Rub al-Khali, also called the Great Desert or the Empty Quarter, occupies most of the south. It is one of the largest deserts in the world and is characterized by vast dunes and extreme temperatures. It has extensive coastal regions, including the east coast, which lies on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

There are many wadis, which are dry river valleys that are not irrigated for most of the year. In some wadis, however, there are oases where fruits and vegetables are grown.

Dhofar, located in the south, is known for its monsoon season, which brings rainfall and creates green landscapes in contrast to the surrounding desert.

The Gulf of Oman is an important geographical feature that separates Oman from the neighboring United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Several archipelagos, including the islands of Al Fahal, Masirah and others. These islands have their own natural beauty and are popular places for recreation and vacation.

 

Highest peak: Jabal al-Sham 2 980 m (9 777 feet) above see level.

It is located in the Hajar Mountains in the northeast of the country.

This peak is also often called the “Mountain of the Sun” and offers spectacular views of the rocky canyons and dramatic landscape around.

 

Climate:

Coastal areas, especially on the east coast of the Gulf of Oman, have hot and humid summers. Temperatures here routinely exceed 40°C (104°F) during the summer season, including high humidity. Winters are milder with temperatures around 20-25°C (68-77°F). Rainfall is rare, but can be abundant during the monsoon season.

The climate is milder and cooler in the Hajar Mountains than on the coast. The mountain peaks can be covered in snow during the winter months, and temperatures in the summer are milder due to the altitude. In the vast Rub al-Khali Desert in the south, temperatures are extremely high, especially in summer, when they can hover around 50°C (122°F).

In the south, in the Dhofar region, the Omani coast has a completely different climate. Thanks to the monsoon winds, precipitation occurs here in the summer and creates a green landscape with rich vegetation. Temperatures are milder during this period.

 

Fauna and flora:

Acacias are one of the most common trees in the country and survive in dry and hot environments.

It is known as the birthplace of frankincense. Frankincense trees grow in the south of the country and are an essential part of Oman’s cultural heritage.

Date palms are widespread throughout the territory and are of great importance in traditional Omani cuisine. The date palm is also the national tree of Oman.

In the Rub al-Khali desert, saxaul trees grow, which are adapted to dry conditions and are an important source of wood for the local population.

The Arabian ibex is a species found in the Hajar Mountains in the northeast and is endangered.

Oman is one of the few countries where the Arabian leopard survives. However, these felines are still endangered and their numbers are declining.

The Arabian oryx is a typical inhabitant of the Rub al-Khali desert and is protected.

In the Gulf of Oman and around the coast of Oman, you will find abundant underwater life, including corals, fish, and other sea creatures.

In Dhofar, in the south, there is a reserve where Nile crocodiles live, an unusual species for an arid region.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops include dates, coffee, lemons, pomegranates, figs, grapes, and vegetables. Dates are one of the most important products of Omani agriculture and enable the country to export dates to other countries. With low rainfall in many parts of the country, irrigation is essential to sustaining agricultural production. Oman has invested in the development of irrigation systems and water reservoirs, which enables the efficient use of available water resources for agricultural purposes.

Agricultural activities are concentrated in oases and valleys where available water supplies are used. Agricultural fields and orchards are located in these areas.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

The country is a major producer of oil and natural gas. These raw materials form a key part of the Omani economy and bring in significant export earnings.

Copper is mined there. The largest copper mine in the country is Sadiq, located in the Dhofar region.

The country is also one of the world’s major producers of chromite, which is mainly used in the metallurgical industry and for the production of stainless steel.

There is quarrying of limestone, which is used in various industries, including construction and cement production.

It is also known for its marble quarries and is a major producer of quality marble used in construction and sculpture.

 

Industry:

Despite efforts to diversify, oil is still a key product of Omani industry. The Sultanate of Oman has refineries that process crude oil into various products, including gasoline, diesel, and petrochemicals. It develops industrial production, including the food industry, electronics, chemicals industry, and construction material production.

The country is investing in renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind power, to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

It has significant reserves of copper, chromite, limestone, and other minerals that are mined and processed in industrial facilities.

 

Services and other sectors of the economy: telecommunications and banking

 

Natural and historical attractions: Muscat, Wahla Fort, the Wahib Desert, and Jebel Akhdar Mountain

Oman is known for its picturesque landscape, which includes the Hajar Mountains with breathtaking rock canyons, the vast Rub al-Khali desert, mountain lakes and beautiful beaches on the coast of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

The country has a rich cultural heritage with historic cities, traditional markets (sooks), ancient forts and archaeological sites. The city of Nizwa is one of the major cultural centers, and the Omani forts are popular tourist attractions. It has many historical monuments such as the Sultanate Palace in Muscat and the ancient city of Bat.

It has a beautiful coast with clean beaches and a crystal-clear sea. It attracts sun lovers and offers water sports such as diving, snorkeling, surfing, and fishing.

 

Waterparks in Oman:

 

Form of government: absolute monarchy

The Sultanate of Oman is a constitutional monarchy with an absolutist form of government. The state establishment of Oman is built on the constitution, which was adopted in 1996 and significantly strengthened the powers of the Sultan.

The Sultan of Oman has broad powers and responsibilities in the country to lead the state. This includes, for example, passing laws, appointing the government, and conducting foreign policy. The Sultan also has the power to dissolve the assembly in case the interests of the country are threatened.

It is divided into 11 governorates, which are further divided into regions and cities. Each governorate has its own governor, who is appointed by the Sultan and has authority over the its administration.

 

Capital city: Muscat

It is located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman in the northeastern part of Oman.

Muscat has a rich history, although many of its historical monuments have been modernized and renovated over the years. The city played a significant role in trade and maritime activities in the Persian Gulf and was an important center for trade in spices, textiles, and other goods.

 

Area: 309 501 km2 (119 499 square miles)

 

Population: 5 100 000 (2022)

The inhabitants are mainly of Omani origin. However, Omani society also includes smaller ethnic and cultural minorities such as the Baloch, Afrikaners, and Iraqi and Iranian immigrants, and other expatriates.

Arabic is the official language, but English is widely used in government, education, and business.

Islam is the main religion, and the majority of the population professes the Islamic faith. The Sultanate of Oman is an Islamic monarchy and Islam plays an important role in the daily lives of the residents.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 5

 

  1. Bahla Fort (1987) – Oasis and remains of a 12th to 15th century fort.
  2. Archaeological sites of Bat, al-Khutm and al-Ajnu (1988) – Settlements, towers and necropolises of the 3rd millennium BC.
  3. The Land of Incense (2000) – Censers at Wadi Dawkah, the remains of the caravan oasis of Shisr and the ports of Khor Rori and al-Balid.
  4. Aflaj Irrigation Systems (2006) – Irrigation systems existed in the area as early as 2500 BC Five typical irrigation systems are preserved. In Oman, 3 000 similar facilities are still in operation.
  5. Ancient City of Qalhat (2018) – Remains of a trading city that flourished mainly between the 11th and 15th centuries.

 

National parks: 1

 

1. Al Saleel National Park