About Oman

History

Oman's history tells stories of heroism, courage, wisdom, patriotism, love and devotion to homeland. This brings us closer to understanding the richness of the Omani cultural experience which has contributed to the building of modern Oman.

Oman's strategic location has played a major role in many campaigns and regional conflicts in this region. Oman overlooks the Arabian Sea, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf. It also controls the Strait of Hormuz, which is one of the most important facilities in the region, linking the Sea of Oman with the Arabian Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is a gateway to all ships coming from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

Al Wattih in Muscat Governorate is one of the first inhabited cities. Modern archaeological discoveries suggest that humans settled in it during the Stone Age, i.e. more than 10,000 years ago.

Architecture in Oman

The evolution of architecture is a measure of a nation's civilisation and Oman abounds with a number of cultural buildings that stand as a testament to this art. As a visitor to the cities of Oman, you will surely observe the diligent efforts to preserve this ancient and traditional architecture that is characterised by its simple lines. It avoids high rises, yet maintains an understated elegance of its own. The castles, forts and walls are a testament to an architectural style that has defence in mind, the most famous being Jabreen Castle and Bahla Fort and Walls (Sur Bahla), included in the World Heritage Sites list.

Facts about Sultanate of Oman

  • Area: 309,500 KM2
  • Capital: Muscat
  • Population (July/August 2008): 3,300,600 including foreigners and residents who account for 600,000 people
  • Official Language: Arabic (official language) / English (commonly used)
  • Religion: Islam
  • Natural Resources: oil, natural gas, copper, fish, agriculture, tourism
  • Local Time: GMT +4 hours
  • Currency: Omani Rial, equivalent to 2.58 USD
  • Length of Oman's Coast: 3,165 KM
  • Highest Mountain Peak: 3,004 m (10,000 ft) Jabal Shams
  • Summer Season: May to September
  • National Day: November 18

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