Holidays - Oman

Oman is located on the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman; at the Musandam Peninsula in the north of the country, it borders the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. Oman shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, and it shares maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan.

The oldest independent state in the Arab world was a sultanate known as Muscat and Oman until 1970. The country was the most influential power in the region during the 19th century; it controlled Zanzibar and other territories. Since the late 19th century, it has had strong links with Britain.  

Oman covers an area of 309,500 km², making it slightly smaller than Poland, or about twice the size of the US state of Georgia.

The country offers a variety of beautiful topographical features. There are valleys between rugged mountain ranges with terraced orchards where pomegranates, apricots, and roses grow, and extensive stretches of a vast plain with gravel desert interspersed with wadis and large pools of water in the middle. Oman's main cities line up neatly along the coast.       

Today, the country has a population of 4.45 million people (in 2020), of whom 61% (2.7 million) are Omanis. The capital and largest city is Muscat (pop. 300,000). Spoken language is Arabic (official). The majority of Oman's population is (Ibadi) Muslim.

Oman is known for Arabian horses, dromedaries, wild asses, green turtles, the Oryx antelope (the national animal), frankincense trees, and date palms.     

Oman is famous for its ancient aflaj oases irrigation system, terraced orchards (Jebel Akhdar), adobe fortresses, lots of mosques, wadis (stream valleys), dhows (traditional Arabian sailing ships), meteorites, and Al Said, the world's third-largest yacht, owned by the Sultan.   

The country's staple food is chicken, fish, and lamb (no pork, please) and coffee.