Oman Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Oman > Map Economy History

Pictures of Oman by V. V. Williams

Facts About Oman

Background: In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al Said ousted his father and has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world and has preserved a long-standing political and military relationship with the UK. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.
Government type: monarchy
Capital: Muscat
Currency: 1 Omani rial (RO) = 1,000 baiza

Geography of Oman

Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE
Geographic coordinates: 21 00 N, 57 00 E
Area:
total: 212,460 sq km
land: 212,460 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,374 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 676 km, UAE 410 km, Yemen 288 km
Coastline: 2,092 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
Terrain: vast central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal Shams 2,980 m
Natural resources: petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 95% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 580 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; very limited natural fresh water resources
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location on Musandam Peninsula adjacent to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

People of Oman

About 50% of the population lives in Muscat and the Batinah coastal plain northwest of the capital; about 200,000 live in the Dhofar (southern) region, and about 30,000 live in the remote Musandam Peninsula on the Strait of Hormuz. Some 600,000 expatriates live in Oman, most of whom are guest workers from South Asia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Philippines.

Since 1970, the government has given high priority to education to develop a domestic work force, which the government considers a vital factor in the country's economic and social progress. In 1986, Oman's first university, Sultan Qaboos University, opened. Other post secondary institutions include a law school, technical college, banking institute, teachers training college, and health sciences institute. Some 200 scholarships are awarded each year for study abroad.

Population: 3,001,583 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  41.51%
15-64 years:  56.12%
65 years and over:  2.37% 
Population growth rate: 3.43% 
Birth rate: 37.96 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 4.1 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 22.52 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  72.04 years
male:  69.9 years
female:  74.29 years 
Total fertility rate: 6.04 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani
Ethnic groups: Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Religions: Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu
Languages: Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Literacy:
total population: approaching 80%

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Oman > Map Economy History