Country - Oman
Oman Country Information
Oman is a high-income Arab country located in West Asia. The country lies in the eastern adjacent part of the horn of Arabian Peninsula. The entire eastern and southern border of Oman forms a coastline with Arabian Sea. The western border is shared by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Yemen lies on the south western border of Oman.
Muscat is the capital and the largest city of Oman. The city lies on the north eastern shore in contiguity with the particular region of Arabian Sea which came to be known as Gulf of Oman. The tapering protuberance of the UAE land separates Gulf Oman and Persian Gulf by a narrow confluence of seawaters commonly referred to as the Strait of Hormuz.
Oman is predominantly an Islamic nation. The Sultanate of Oman exerted political influence from the seventeenth century on the countries surrounding the Strait of Hormuz and culminated in the nineteenth century in heaving hegemony on the present day Iran and Pakistan. Its impact, however, began to wane away in the twentieth century. Arabic is the official language of Oman and the total land area of Oman is 309,500 square kilometers where approximately 45 lakhs of population live in. The substantial oil deposits fetched the country 25th rank on global scale and the per capita GDP (nominal) stands at a whopping US$ 17,978 as per the estimates in 2018.
Sociologists of pre-historic studies aver that Oman is one of the oldest lands where human presence could be traced to as back as 106,000 years. Oman is also the oldest independent state in the Arab world. The country has come to be officially referred to as the Sultanate of Oman since 1970 at a time when Sultan Qaboos Bin Said became the official ruler of Oman. He has the distinction of being the longest ruling monarch who has dethroned his father in a palace coup d`etat, with a vehement contention that his country would no longer be referred to as mere Muscat and Oman but the Sultanate of Oman henceforth. On assuming power, he introduced economic reforms and modernization of infrastructure to keep the country among the comity of fast-developing nations.
The capital city of Muscat exploited its strategic geographic location as an indispensible seaport in the Arabian Peninsula and took up the activity of ship-building a bit too seriously. Today Omanis are noted not only for ship building but also for having mastered the skill of manufacturing ships with the state-of-art finesse. The main exports from Oman were petroleum, re-exports, fish, metals, textiles and the total value of all the exports was US$ 29.34 billion. The major items of imports were machinery and transportation equipment, manufactured goods, livestock, lubricants. The gross value of imports was US$ 18.41 billion.
Of late, Oman has been focusing on improving international tourism industry. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque took sixteen years for construction from 1995 and is a magnificent monument both from within as well as outside. The mosque is situated in a pretty wide flat area surrounded by green lawns and five minarets. The internal architecture and embellishments add to the grandeur of the mosque.
The Nizwa Fort of the 17th century is a castle with multi-designed annexes and from the terrace of its 34 meter tall tower, a panoramic view of the city can be sighted. Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Shams have acquired the reputation of worth seeing mountains in Oman. The Oman’s Grand Canyon features cliffs of three-kilometer altitude and steep declivities of one kilometer. The natural formation of valley offers to visitors the sense of watching an exotic site.
The zig-zag pattern of smooth pale ashen hillocks like Wadi Shab and Wadi Bani Khalid makes a serpentine waterway giving the locale a special feature that snatches the attention of tourists who would be tempted to douse their legs and body in the shallow region of turquoise waters.
For an eye not habituated to sight the extreme vastness of sheer sandy deserts, Wahiba Sands at three hours from the capital city of Muscat is certainly a place to behold. The flat sand-stretch of 180 kilometers cannot fail to captivate the mind of tourists. When you are at Wahiba sands, you find yourself busy with activities like camel riding, quad-biking and desert camping with a sufficient stock of potato chips, chocolates, toffees, other refreshments and water bottles packed on your back.
Oman with a lengthy coastline does not baffle the tourists with a flair for seaside activities. Beside basking in the sunlight, you would be surprised to see your fellow-tourists not men but the endangered species of green turtles that deep-dive thousands of kilometers from Somalia, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf to lay eggs and extend their progeny. Visitors with an inclination for adventurous activities would get hectic with kayaking, sailing, snorkelling and swimming side by side with innocuous whale-sharks, dolphins, green turtles and other marine animals.
In spite of its conservative culture, Oman continues to woo tourists from all over the world with its heterogeneous mélange of natural features, traditions and bequeathed heritage.