Area: Oman covers
an area of about 309,500 sq km (about 119,500
sq mi). Until the 1990s Oman had border disputes
with its three neighbors; agreements were reached
with Saudi Arabia in 1990, with Yemen in 1992,
and with the United Arab Emirates in 1993. The
borders with Yemen and Saudi Arabia were demarcated
in 1995; the border with the United Arab Emirates
awaits final demarcation. Oman is largely a desert
land, with five distinct geographical regions.
Note: includes 527,078 non-nationals (July 2001
Population Growth Rate: 3.43% (2001
est.) Population Density: 7.5 per sq km.
Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani,
Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African.
is the official language of Oman. Other languages
spoken are English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects.
Omani Rial (OR) = 1000 baiza. Notes are in denominations
of OR50, 20, 10, 5 and 1, and 500, 250, 200 and
100 baiza. Coins are in denominations of 500,
250, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 baiza.
Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu.
Sultanate of Oman occupies the southeast corner
of the Arabian Peninsula and is located between
latitudes 16° 40' and 26° 20' North and
Longitudes 51° 50' and 59° 40' East. The
coastline extends 1,700km from the Strait of Hormuz
in the north, to the borders of the Republic of
Yemen in the south and overlooks three seas -
the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian
The Sultanate of Oman borders
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the
West; the Republic of Yemen in the South; the
Strait of Hormuz in the North and the Arabian
Sea in the East. The total land area is approximately
309,500km2 and it is the third largest country
in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Sultanate of Oman is divided
into three governorates - Muscat, Dhofar and Musandam
and five regions, i.e. there are eight administrative
regions: A'Dakhliyah; A'Dhahira; Al Batinah; Dhofar;
Al Wusta; Muscat; Musandam; Al Sharqiya. Each
of these is subdivided into smaller districts
called wilayats, which are governed by the wali,
the person responsible for the area who reports
to the Ministry of the Interior.
desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior;
strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September)
in far south.
Most of Oman is desert, yet the history books
rarely recall this unimportant two-thirds of the
country. Unimportant, that is, until a quarter
of a century ago, when suddenly the arrival of
the oil companies made the deserts of paramount
The largest part of Oman's desert, running from
the Dhahira in the north, down through the Jiddat
AI Harasis as far south as Dhofar, does not fulfil
the classic idea of a desert at all. It is simply
barren land, a vast eige-coloured gravel plain,
devoid both of plants and contours. The bedouin
who inhabit this inhospitable land are few and
far between, their camps not marked by the black
tents common in Arabia, but rather consisting
of a rough shelter under an acacia tree.
Sultanate is composed of varying topographic areas
consisting of plains, wadis and mountains. The
most important area is the plain overlooking the
Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea with an area
of about 3% of the total. The mountain ranges
occupy about 15% of the total, the most important
of which are ‘ Hajr ’, extending in
the form of an arch from Ras Musandam in the North
to Ras Al Hadd and Al Qara’ in the South
Western corner of Oman. The remaining area is
mainly sand and desert which includes part of
Ar Rub Al Khali occupying about 82% of the total
government type is monarchy Sultanate of Oman consists of 6 regions
(mintaqat, singular - mintaqah) and 2 governorates*
(muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) Ad Dakhiliyah,
Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah,
Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*; note - the US Embassy
in Oman reports that Masqat is a governorate,
but this has not been confirmed by the US Board
on Geographic Names (BGN).
The administrative system of the State under
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said consists
of the Diwan of Royal Court, the Ministry of Palace
Office, the Cabinet of Ministers and Secretariat
of the Cabinet, the Specialised Councils, the
Governorate of Muscat, the Governorate of Dhofar
and the Council of Oman (Majlis Oman).
The Cabinet of Ministers is the highest executive
authority, deriving its power from His Majesty
the Sultan, to whom it is collectively responsible.
Laws and decrees are authorised by His Majesty.
International treaties, agreements and charters
signed or approved by His Majesty become law from
the date of their publication in the Official
The Sultanate of Oman is divided into eight
dministrative regions, which are further sub-divided
into fifty-nine districts (Wilayats). Each Wiyayat
is governed by a Wali who is responsible to the
Ministry of Interior.
Government: Sultanate since
Head of State and Government:
Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970.
Heritage and Traditions
of Oman: Omanis are justly proud of their
heritage and history, which goes back thousands
of years. In order to safeguard this precious
birthright and the long established traditions
of Omani society. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos directed
that a Ministry of National Heritage and Culture
be established in 1976.
Muscat Arab Tourism Capital 2012 - Video
A Beautiful Video About Muscat, Arab Tourism Capital 2012
Muscat Arab Tourism Capital 2012
Muscat was awarded Arab Tourism Capital in late 2011 by the Arab League's Tourism Ministers. The award recognises the progress being made in Oman's tourism sector and especially Muscat's as Oman's capital and gateway. Uploaded by OmanTourism on January 30th 2012.
Muscat Arab Tourism Capital 2012
In preparation for the Silver Jubilee, 1994 was
declared the Year of National Heritage. Major
plans and programmes were initiated to celebrate
With the cooperation of the public, the Ministry
of National Heritage has gathered together no
less than 4,300 valuable documents over the years.
In 1994, a Manuscripts Competition was held, with
prizes being awarded to the three Wilayats submitting
the best collection of documents and in 1995,
a further 75 came to light. A centre has been
established for storing and researching these
papers. Omani staff are have been trained to microfilm
and to carry out restoration work on them. There
is also an Islamic Library containing a wide range
of religious works.
In 1998, the Ministry published 23 books on a
variety of subjects. Among the new books is a
history in three volumes which chronicles the
reign of H.H.Sultan Thuwaini bin Said bin Sultan
written by the Omani historian Humaid bin Mohammed
bin Ruzaiq. The Ministry has also published a
guide in Arabic and English for the museum in
Sohar fort. For more information
on the Heritage and Traditions of Oman - Click