|Form of government
||absolute hereditary monarchy with a
constitution of 1996
||UTC + 4
|Telephone area code
The Sultanate of Oman is located in the southeast of
the Arabian Peninsula. With an area of 309,500 km²,
the country is about the size of Italy. Oman borders the
United Arab Emirates in the northwest, Saudi Arabia in
the west and Yemen in the southwest. The northern part
of the Ruus Al Jibal peninsula, which lies in the north
of the United Arab Emirates, is an exclave to the
territory of Oman, from here the country monitors the
Strait of Hormuz, a strait that connects the Persian
Gulf with the Arabian Sea connects and thus represents
one of the most important shipping routes. Oman also
includes the Kuria Muria Islands and Masirah Island off
the country's east coast.
In the northeast of the country, between the city of
Muscat and the border with the neighboring country of
the United Arab Emirates, lies a fertile coastal plain
(Al Batina) that is around 300 km long and between 15
and 30 km wide. To the south of this extends the Oman
Mountains (Al Hajar) with heights of over 3,000 m (the
highest elevation in the country is the Jabal Akhdar at
3,018 m). Further south is the Inner Desert (Jiddat al
Harasis), which occupies the central part of Oman. In
the west, gravel and stone deserts merge into the Great
Arab Desert (Rub al Khali), the majority of which lies
on the territory of Saudi Arabia. The desert extends to
the coast of the Arabian Sea. In the Dhofar province in
the south of the country, the Karaberge mountains reach
heights of up to 1,600 m.
The capital city of Muscat is located on the
northeast coast of the Gulf of Oman.
Oman's climate is characterized by high temperatures
all year round. In the capital city of Muscat on the
Gulf of Oman, average temperatures of 22 กใ C are
measured in January and 34 กใ C in July. A hot fall wind
from the Oman Mountains (Gharbi) causes the temperatures
to rise above 50 กใ C in summer. Trade winds and the
foothills of the Indian monsoons provide relatively high
humidity on the north coast, but the average rainfall in
Muscat is low at around 100 mm per year. Up to 500 mm
are measured regionally on the slopes of the Oman
Mountains, while it is extremely dry in the desert
Flora and fauna
Much of Oman is covered by deserts and semi-deserts
with dry grasses and thorn bushes. Juniper, acacia,
olive trees, cedar, jasmine and mulberry figs grow in
the regions with higher rainfall (mountain slopes of the
Oman Mountains). In the Kara Mountains in the province
of Dhofar, mainly dry shrubs grow, including the
frankincense tree and myrrh bushes.
The formerly species-rich animal world is partially
endangered due to the narrowing of the habitat and
strong hunting in their stocks. Leopards, wolves, lynxes
and hyenas are rarely found, and the white oryx is
considered to be virtually extinct. Mountain goats,
smaller mammals, birds, snakes and scorpions are common.
Around 2.35 million people live in Oman. In addition
there are over half a million foreigners, mostly from
other Arab countries, Iran, Persia and India or
Pakistan. Only those who are born to Omani parents are
Omani citizens. With around 8 residents per square
kilometer, the country is statistically very sparsely
populated; in fact, around 95% of the country's
territory is not populated at all or only inhabited by
nomadic Bedouins. The fertile Al Batina plain on the
Gulf of Oman, the greater Muscat region and the coastal
plain of the Dhofar province are the most densely
populated. The capital city of Muscat on the Gulf of
Oman has about 635,000 residents in the metropolitan
area. Other populous cities are Seeb (223,000
residents), Salalah (157,000 residents), Ibri (98,000)
and Suhar (105,000).
According to COUNTRYAAH, 88% of the population belong to Islam, which
is the state religion in Oman. Just over half of the
Muslims are Ibadites and around a quarter are Sunnis.
Hindus and Christians form small religious minorities.
The official language in the country is Arabic, and
English is the usual commercial language.
Social, education and health care are well developed.
The average life expectancy is 73 years, the population
growth is estimated at around 3.3% and is mainly based
on natural growth (surplus birth) and not on
immigration. Three quarters of Omani can read and write.
The Sultanate of Oman is an absolute hereditary
monarchy with a constitution of 1996. The Sultan (Qaboos
bin Said Al Said since 1970) is head of state and at the
same time head of the government. He appoints the
members of the cabinet and the 59 members of the State
Council (Majlis al-Dawla), which has an advisory role.
There is also an advisory assembly (Madjlis al-Shura)
with 84 seats. Their deputies are elected for three
years in general elections. Her powers were expanded
significantly in October 2011. Both chambers have the
right to initiate legislation. Political parties are
prohibited, but unions have been admitted since 2006.
The case law is based on Islamic law.
Oman is divided into eleven governorates (muhafazat),
which in turn are divided into districts (wilayat).
Oman's prosperity is based on oil production. Oil has
been extracted since the second half of the 1960s, the
most important deposits are in the province of Dhofar
and in the south of the Oman Mountains. The government
is making some efforts to diversify the economy as the
deposits are expected to be exhausted around 2020 and
production has been declining since 2004 due to
geological problems. Natural gas production began at the
end of the 1970s, and a gas liquefaction plant was
completed in 1998 to allow exports to begin. Other
important factors for the economy of Oman are the large
copper deposits (1994 copper smelter was completed) and
efficient agriculture. The high unemployment rate caused
by the government through "Omanization "(the replacement
of foreign workers by Omani workers).
About 5% of the country's area is used for
agriculture. Thanks to large underground water
reservoirs, the fields can be irrigated. Dates,
tomatoes, melons, wheat, corn, olives, citrus fruits and
cotton are mainly grown. The population's own food needs
can be covered in many areas. Livestock farming is
partly in the hands of nomadic Bedouins. Fishing also
plays an important role in the supply of food.
The focus of the moderately developed industry is the
processing of oil and natural gas. Furthermore, mainly
building materials such as cement are produced. The
industry generates around 57% of the gross domestic
Around 80% of the export volume is accounted for by
oil and natural gas, and dates and frankincense are also
exported. Machines, vehicles and industrial goods are
mainly imported. The main trading partners are Japan,
the United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea and the
State-sponsored tourism has developed in Oman in
The country's main ports are at Muscat and Matra,
international airports are also located near the capital
Muscat and in Salalah on the southwest coast.
The currency is the Omani rial, which has a fixed
exchange rate to the US dollar.