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Oman
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{{About|the Arabian sultanate|the adjacent historical confederation named Trucial Oman|Trucial States|other uses}}{{Distinguish||text=Amman, which has the same spelling in Arabic as Oman}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Coord|21|N|57|E|type:country_region:OM|display=title}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2015}}{{short description|Arab sultanate in Western Asia}}







factoids
''{{translSalṭanat ʻUmān}}''| image_flag = Flag of Oman.svg| image_coat = Coat of arms of Oman.svg| symbol_type = National emblemAs-Salam as-Sultani>as-Salām as-Sultānī""Sultanic Salutation"(File:Peace to the Sultan (نشيد السلام السلطاني).ogg)| image_map = Oman on the globe (Afro-Eurasia centered).svg| map_caption = Location of Oman in the Arabian Peninsula (red)| image_map2 = Oman - Location Map (2013) - OMN - UNOCHA.svgMuscat, Oman>Muscat23N33type:city}}| largest_city = capitalModern Standard Arabic>ArabicIslam in Oman>IslamOmanis>OmaniUnitary state>Unitary parliamentary absolute monarchySultan of Oman>Sultan| leader_name1 = Qaboos bin Said al SaidPrime Minister of Oman>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Qaboos bin Said al Said| leader_title3 = Deputy Prime MinisterFahd bin Mahmoud al SaidHTTP://WWW.OMANET.OM/ENGLISH/GOVERNMENT/MINISTERS.ASP?CAT=GOV, Cabinet Ministers accessdate=13 October 2010 archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20131222023634weblink 22 December 2013, Council of Oman>ParliamentCouncil of State of Oman>Council of State (Majlis al-Dawla)Consultative Assembly of Oman>Consultative Assembly (Majlis al-Shura)| sovereignty_type = EstablishmentAzd>Azd tribe migration| established_date1 = 130| established_event2 = Al-Julanda| established_date2 = 629Imamate establishedOMAN>URL=HTTP://ENCARTA.MSN.COM/ENCYCLOPEDIA_761561099_7/OMAN.HTMLARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20091028154443/HTTP://ENCARTA.MSN.COM/ENCYCLOPEDIA_761561099_7/OMAN.HTMLQUOTE=IN 751 IBADI MUSLIMS, A MODERATE BRANCH OF THE KHARIJITES, ESTABLISHED AN IMAMATE IN OMAN. DESPITE INTERRUPTIONS, THE IBADI IMAMATE SURVIVED UNTIL THE MID-20TH CENTURY.DF=DMY-ALL, }}| established_date3 = 751| established_event4 = Nabhani dynasty| established_date4 = 1145| established_event5 = Yaruba dynasty| established_date5 = 1624| established_event6 = House of Al Said| established_date6 = 1744| established_event7 = Muscat and Oman| established_date7 = 8 January 1820| established_event8 = Jebel Akhdar War| established_date8 = 1954 – 1959| established_event9 = Dhofar Rebellion| established_date9 = 9 June 1965 – 11 December 1975| established_event10 = Sultanate of Oman| established_date10 = 9 August 1970United Nations Security Council Resolution 299>Admitted to the United Nations| established_date11 = 7 October 1971Basic Statute of Oman>Current constitution| established_date12 = 6 November 1996| area_km2 = 309,500| area_rank = 70th| area_sq_mi = 119,498 | percent_water = negligibleOman}}{{UN_Population|ref}}PUBLISHER=NATIONAL CENTER FOR STATISTICS & INFORMATION URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=18 MAY 2013, dmy-all, Year}}| population_estimate_rank = 125th| population_census_year = 2010| population_density_km2 = 15| population_density_sq_mi = 40 | population_density_rank = 214thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=7 MARCH 2019, | GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_rank = 67th| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $46,522| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 23rd| GDP_nominal = $81.682 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal_rank = 66th| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $19,170| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 43rd| Gini = | Gini_year = | Gini_change = | Gini_ref = | Gini_rank = | HDI = 0.821 | HDI_year = 2017 | HDI_change = increaseYEAR=2018 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 48thOmani rial>Rial| currency_code = OMRPersian Gulf Standard Time>GST| utc_offset = +4| drives_on = Right| calling_code = +968| cctld = .om, عمان.| official_website = www.oman.om}}Oman ({{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Oman.ogg|oʊ|ˈ|m|ɑː|n}} {{respell|oh|MAHN}}; {{transl|ar|ʻumān}} {{IPA-ar|ʕʊˈmaːn|}}), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( {{transl|ar|Salṭanat ʻUmān}}), is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Its official religion is Islam.Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz (which it shares with Iran) and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and the UK for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar.JOURNAL, 10.1177/1468796811432681, The ethnic label Zinjibari: Politics and language choice implications among Swahili speakers in Oman, Ethnicities, 12, 3, 335–353, 2012, Kharusi, N. S., When its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. For over 300 years, the relations built between the two empires were based on mutual benefits. The UK recognized Oman's geographical importance as a trading hub that secured their trade lanes in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean and protected their empire in the Indian sub-continent. Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean.The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has been the hereditary leader of the country, an absolute monarchy, since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving current ruler in the Middle East,NEWS,weblink Arab uprising: Country by country – Oman, 2013, BBC News, 29 December 2014, and third-longest current reigning monarch in the world.Oman is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It has sizable oil reserves, ranking 25th globally.NEWS,weblink Oman profile – Overview, BBC News, 11 September 2012, 18 January 2013, WEB,weblink Private sector gets Omanisation targets, Gulf News, 13 February 2011, 18 January 2013, In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131109205813weblink">weblink 9 November 2013, Five Arab states among top leaders in long-term development gains, Hdr.undp.org, 4 November 2010, 29 October 2011, A significant portion of its economy involves tourism and trade of fish, dates, and certain agricultural produce. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 70th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index.WEB,weblink Global Peace Index: 2017, visionofhumanity.org, 11, Global Peace Index and Institute for Economics and Peace, 5 December 2017,

Etymology

The origin of Oman's name is uncertain. It seems to be related to Pliny the Elder's OmanaPliny the Elder. Natural History, VI.149. and Ptolemy's Omanon (),Ptolemy, Claudius. Geography. VI.7.36. both probably the ancient Sohar.Encyclopedia of Islam. "Oman". E.J. Brill (Leiden), 1913. The city or region is typically etymologized in Arabic from aamen or amoun ("settled" people, as opposed to the Bedouin), although a number of eponymous founders have been proposed (Oman bin Ibrahim al-Khalil, Oman bin Siba' bin Yaghthan bin Ibrahim, Oman bin Qahtan, and the Biblical Lot) and others derive it from the name of a valley in Yemen at Ma'rib presumed to have been the origin of the city's founders, the Azd, a tribe migrating from Yemen.Tarikh fi Uman [Oman in History].

History

Prehistory and ancient history

(File:Lia sites.JPG|thumb|upright=1.5|Oman, Late Iron Age sites)At Aybut Al Auwal, in the Dhofar Governorate of Oman, a site was discovered in 2011 containing more than 100 surface scatters of stone tools, belonging to a regionally specific African lithic industry—the late Nubian Complex—known previously only from the northeast and Horn of Africa. Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates place the Arabian Nubian Complex at 106,000 years old. This supports the proposition that early human populations moved from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene.JOURNAL, 10.1371/journal.pone.0028239, 22140561, The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia, PLoS ONE, 6, 11, e28239, 2011, Rose, J. I., Usik, V. I., Marks, A. E., Hilbert, Y. H., Galletti, C. S., Parton, A., Geiling, J. M., Černý, V., Morley, M. W., Roberts, R. G., 3227647, 2011PLoSO...628239R, In recent years known primarily from survey finds, Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites have come to light most on the eastern coast. Main Palaeolithic sites include Saiwan-Ghunaim in the Barr al-Hikman.Jeffrey I. Rose et al., The Nubian Complex of Dhofar, Oman: An African Middle Stone Age Industry in Southern Arabia, Plos 30 November 2011 {{DOI|10.1371/journal.pone.0028239}}. Archaeological remains are particularly numerous for the Bronze Age Umm an-Nar and Wadi Suq periods. Sites such as Bat show professional wheel-turned pottery, excellent hand-made stone vessels, a metals industry, and monumental architecture.BOOK, The Bronze Age Towers at Bat, Sultanate of Oman…2007-12, Thornton, Christopher, Cable, Charlotte, Possehl, Gregory, University of Pennsylvania Museum, 2016, 9781934536063, The Early (1300‒300 BC) and Late Iron Ages (100 BC‒300 AD) show more differences than similarities to each other. Thereafter, until the coming of the Ibadhidya, little or nothing is known.During the 8th century BC, it is believed that the Yaarub, the descendant of Kahtan, ruled the entire Yemen, including Oman. Wathil bin Himyar bin Abd-Shams-Saba bin Jashjub bin Yaarub later ruled Oman. It is thus believed that the Yaarubah were the first settlers in Oman from Yemen.In the 1970s and 1980s scholars like John C. WilkinsonBOOK, Water and Tribal Settlement in South East Arabia - A Study of the Aflaj of Oman, Wilkinson, John, Clarendon Press, 1977, 76, 85, 122, 126–130, 132, 0198232179, believed by virtue of oral history that in the 6th century BC, the Achaemenids exerted control over the Omani peninsula, most likely ruling from a coastal center such as Suhar.BOOK, Cross-roads Early and Late Iron Age South-Eastern Arabia, Yule, Paul, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2014, 15–18, 9783447101271, Central Oman has its own indigenous Samad Late Iron Age cultural assemblage named eponymously from Samad al-Shan. In the northern part of the Oman Peninsula the Recent Pre-Islamic Period begins in the 3rd century BC and extends into the 3rd A.D. century. Whether or not Persians brought south-eastern Arabian under their control is a moot point, since the lack of Persian finds speak against this belief. M. Caussin de Percevel suggests that Shammir bin Wathil bin Himyar recognized the authority of Cyrus over Oman in 536 B.C.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân. British National Archive. Page 39. QDL.File:World Heritage Grave Al Ayn Oman.JPG|thumb|upright=1|A grave at Al Ayn, Oman, a World Heritage site]]Sumerian tablets referred to Oman as "Magan"WEB,weblink Digging in the Land of Magan – Archaeology Magazine Archive, Archive.archaeology.org, 14 January 2014, MAGAZINE,weblink Oman: The Lost Land, Saudi Aramco World, March 1983, 14 January 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141006085542weblink">weblink 6 October 2014, dead, dmy-all, and in the Akkadian language "Makan",MAGAZINE,weblink Oman: A History, Saudi Aramco World, March 1983, 14 January 2014, BOOK,weblink The Search of the Cradle of Civilization: New Light on Ancient India, Feuerstein, Georg, Kak, Subhash, Frawley, David, yes, Motilal Banarsidass Publisher, 2005, 119, 8120820371, a name which links Oman's ancient copper resources.Gerd Weisgerber, Mehr als Kupfer in Oman, Anschnitt 5-6, 1981, 180-181 Archaeology of Oman Mazoon, a Persian name used to refer to Oman's region, which was part of the Sasanian Empire.

Arab settlement

File:FalajDaris.JPG|thumb|left|upright|The weblink The Traditional Aflaj Irrigation System - An Omani Heritage {{!, OmanInfo.com">website=www.omaninfo.com|language=en|access-date=2018-07-13}}Over centuries tribes from the west settled in Oman, making a living by fishing, farming, herding or stock breeding, and many present day Omani families trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Arabia. Arab migration to Oman started from northern-western and south-western Arabia and those who chose to settle had to compete with the indigenous population for the best arable land. When Arab tribes started to migrate to Oman, there were two distinct groups. One group, a segment of the Azd tribe migrated from southwest of Arabia in A.D. 120/200 following the collapse of Marib Dam, while the other group migrated a few centuries before the birth of Islam from central and northern Arabia, named Nizari (Nejdi). Other historians believe that the Yaarubah, like the Azd, from Qahtan but belong to an older branch, were the first settlers of Oman from Yemen, and then came the Azd. The Azd settlers in Oman are descendants of Nasr bin Azd, a branch of Yaarub bin Qahtan, and were later known as "the Al-Azd of Oman". Seventy years after the first Azd migration, another branch of Alazdi under Malik bin Fahm, the founder of Kingdom of Tanukhites on the west of Euphrates, is believed to have settled in Oman.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân (40/612) History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân. British National Archive. QDL. Other historians believe that Malik bin Fahm was the first settler of Alazd.Annals of 'Omān. British National Archive: Annals of 'Omān' [3] (20/112). British National Archive. Page 20. QDL. He first settled in Qalhat. Malik, with an armed force of more than 6000 men and horses, fought against Marzban of the Sasanian Empire in the battle of Salut in Oman and eventually defeated the Persian empire.WEB,weblink Oman From the Dawn of Islam, Global Security, JOURNAL, The Azd migrations reconsidered: narratives of ʿAmr Muzayqiya and Mālik b. Fahm in historiographic context by Brian Ulrich (21 July 2007), Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 38, 311–318, JSTOR, 41223958, Ulrich, Brian, 2008, {{sfn|Maisel|Shoup|2009|p=193}}BOOK,weblink Oman Since 1856 (1967), Robert Geran Landen, Princeton Legacy Library, 9781400878277, 2015-12-08, In the 7th century AD, Omanis came in contact with and accepted Islam.WEB,weblink History of OMAN, Historyworld.net, 17 April 2010, WEB,weblink Oman, 31 March 2010, United States Department of State, 9 July 2010, Oman adopted Islam in the seventh century A.D., during the lifetime of Muhammad., The conversion of Omanis to Islam is ascribed to Amr ibn al-As, who was sent by the prophet Muhammad during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Hisma). Amer was dispatched to meet with Jaifer and Abd, the sons of Julanda who ruled Oman. They appear to have readily embraced Islam.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân (44/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 44. QDL.

Imamate of Oman

Omani Azd used to travel to Basra for trade, which was the center of Islam during the Umayyad empire. Omani Azd were granted a section of Basra, where they could settle and attend their needs. Many of the Omani Azd who settled in Basra became wealthy merchants and under their leader Muhallab bin Abi Sufrah started to expand the influence of power east towards Khorasan. Ibadhi Islam originated in Basra by its founder Abdullah ibn Ibada around the year 650 CE, which the Omani Azd in Iraq followed. Later, Alhajjaj, the governor of Iraq, came into conflict with the Ibadhis, which forced them out to Oman. Among those who returned to Oman was the scholar Jaber bin Zaid. His return and the return of many other scholars greatly enhanced the Ibadhi movement in Oman. Alhajjaj, also made an attempt to subjugate Oman, which was ruled by Suleiman and Said, the sons of Abbad bin Julanda. Alhajjaj dispatched Mujjaah bin Shiwah who was confronted by Said bin Abbad. The confrontation devastated Said's army. Thus, Said and his forces resorted to the Jebel Akhdar. Mujjaah and his forces went after Said and his forces and succeeded in besieging them from a position in "Wade Mastall". Mujjaah later moved towards the coast where he confronted Suleiman bin Abbad. The battle was won by Suleiman's forces. Alhajjaj, however, sent another force under Abdulrahman bin Suleiman and eventually won the war and took over the governance of Oman.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân (164/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 164. QDL.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân (165/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 165. QDL.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân (166/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 166. QDL.The first elective Imamate of Oman is believed to have been established shortly after the fall of the Umayyad Dynasty in 750/755 AD when Janah bin Abbada Alhinawi was elected.Hans kruse. Notes and Memoranda of Oman Hans kruse. Disturbances in Oman: Notes and Memoranda of Oman. Sage Journals. 1 October 1965. Other scholars claim that Janah bin Abbada served as a Wali (governor) under Umayyad dynasty and later ratified the Imamate, while Julanda bin Masud was the first elected Imam of Oman in A.D. 751.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân (46/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 46. QDL.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân by Salîl-ibn-Razîk, from A.D. 661-1856 (168/612) History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 168. QDL. The first Imamate reached its peak power in the ninth A.D. century. The Imamate established a maritime empire whose fleet controlled the Gulf during the time when trade with the Abbasid Dynasty, the East and Africa flourished. The authority of the Imams started to decline due to power struggles, the constant interventions of Abbasid, and the rise of the Seljuk Empire.

Nabhani dynasty

(File:Bahla Fort-109699.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Bahla Fort.){{further|Nabhani dynasty}}During the 11th and 12th centuries Oman was controlled by the Seljuk Empire. They were expelled in 1154, when the Nabhani dynasty came to power. Uzi Rabi. Emergence of States in a Tribal Society: Oman Under Sa'Id Bin Taymur. Emergence of States in a Tribal Society: Oman Under Sa'Id Bin Taymur. The Nabhanis ruled as muluk, or kings, while the Imams were reduced to largely symbolic significance. The capital of the dynasty was Bahla.The Report: Oman 2007 Oxford Business Group. The Banu Nabhan controlled the trade in frankincense on the overland route via Sohar to the Yabrin oasis, and then north to Bahrain, Baghdad and Damascus.Arab/American: Landscape, Culture, and Cuisine in Two Great Deserts University of Arizona Press. The mango-tree was introduced to Oman during the time of Nabhani dynasty, by ElFellah bin Muhsin.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân (54/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân. British National Archive. Page 54. QDL.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. British National Archive: History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân (202/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of Omân. British National Archive. Page 202. QDL. The Nabhani dynasty started to deteriorate in 1507 when Portuguese colonizers captured the coastal city of Muscat, and gradually extended their control along the coast up to Sohar in the north and down to Sur in the southeast.Gavin Thomas. The Rough Guide to Oman . The Rough Guide to Oman. Other historians argue that the Nabhani dynasty ended earlier in A.D. 1435 when conflicts between the dynasty and Alhinawis arose, which led to the restoration of the elective Imamate.

Portuguese colonization

(File:Seydi Ali-Ambush.png|thumb|Seydi Ali Reis and his galleys taken in an ambush by Portuguese forces while trying to bring back his flotilla from Basra to Suez in August 1554)A decade after Vasco da Gama's successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope and to India in 1497–98, the Portuguese arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for a 143-year period, from 1507 to 1650. Their fortress still remains. In need of an outpost to protect their sea lanes, the Portuguese built up and fortified the city, where remnants of their colonial architectural style still exist. An Ottoman fleet captured Muscat in 1552, during the fight for control of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.Holt, Peter Malcolm; Lambton, Ann K. S. and Lewis, Bernard (1977) The Cambridge history of Islam, Cambridge University Press, {{ISBN|0521291364}}.

Yaruba dynasty

{{further|Omani Empire}}(File:Empire of Oman.svg|thumb|left|Following the expulsion of the Portuguese colonizers, Oman was the preeminent power in the western Indian Ocean during the 17th century.Oman Country Profile. Oman Country Profile. British Library Partnership. Qatar Digital Library. 2014.)The Ottoman Turks temporarily captured Muscat from the Portuguese in 1581 and held it until 1588. During the 17th century, the Omanis were reunited by the Yaruba Imams. Nasir bin Murshid became the first Yaarubah Imam in A.D. 1624, when he was elected in Rustak. Nasir's energy and perseverance is believed to have earned him the election.History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân by Salîl-ibn-Razîk (56/612) Imam Nasir succeeded in forcing the Portuguese colonizers out of Oman. Majid Alkhalili. Majid Alkhalili: Oman's Foreign Policy. Oman's Foreign Policy: Foundation and Practice. 19 May 2009. Praeger. The Omanis over time established a maritime empire that later expelled the Portuguese from East Africa, which became an Omani colony. In the 1652, Zanzibar was captured from the Portuguese. Later on, Saif bin Sultan, the Imam of Oman, pressed down the Swahili Coast. A major obstacle to his progress was Fort Jesus, housing the garrison of a Portuguese settlement at Mombasa. After a two-year siege, the fort fell to Saif bin Sultan in 1698. Thereafter the Omanis easily ejected the Portuguese from other African coastal regions including Kilwa and Pemba. Saif bin Sultan occupied Bahrain in 1700. Qeshm was captured in 1720.J. C. Wilkinson. The Oman Question: The Background to the Political Geography of South-East Arabia. The Oman Question: The Background to the Political Geography of South-East Arabia. Pages 361-371. The Geographical Journal. JSTOR. 1971. 'E. C. B. MacLaurin. Oman and the Trucial Coast. Oman and the Trucial Coast. Pages 65-76. The Australian Quarterly. JSTOR. 1958. The rivalry within the house of Yaruba over power after the death of Imam Sultan in 1718 weakened the dynasty. With the power of the Yaruba Dynasty dwindling, Imam Saif bin Sultan II eventually asked for help against his rivals from Nader Shah of Persia. A Persian force arrived in March 1737 to aid Saif. From their base at Julfar, the Persian forces eventually rebelled against the Yaruba in 1743. The Persian empire colonized Oman for a short period until 1747.Stefan Siebert. The Rough Guide to Oman.The Rough Guide to Oman. 2011.

18th and 19th centuries

File:Sultan's Palace, Zanzibar.JPG|thumb|The Sultan's Palace in ZanzibarZanzibarAfter the decolonization of Oman from the Persians, Ahmed bin Sa'id Albusaidi in 1749 became the elected Imam of Oman, with Rustaq as its capital. Since the Yaruba dynasty, the Omanis kept the elective system but, provided that the person is deemed qualified, gave preference to a member of the ruling family.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân by Salîl-ibn-Razîk, from A.D. 661-1856 (83/612) British National Archive. History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 83. QDL. Following Imam Ahmed's death in 1783, his son, Said bin Ahmed became the elected Imam. His son, Seyyid Hamed bin Said, overthrew the representative of the Imam in Muscat and obtained the possession of Muscat fortress. Hamed ruled as "Seyyid". Afterwards, Seyyid Sultan bin Ahmed, the uncle of Seyyid Hamed, took over power. Seyyid Said bin Sultan succeeded Sultan bin Ahmed.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân by Salîl-ibn-Razîk, from A.D. 661-1856 (86/612). History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 86. QDL.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân by Salîl-ibn-Razîk, from A.D. 661-1856 (92/612) British National Archive. History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 92. QDL. During the entire 19th century, in addition to Imam Said bin Ahmed who retained the title until he died in 1803, Azzan bin Qais was the only elected Imam of Oman. His rule started in 1868. However, the British refused to accept Imam Azzan as a ruler. The refusal played an instrumental role in deposing Imam Azzan in 1871 by a sultan who Britain deemed to be more acceptable.Robert Geran Landen. Oman Since 1856: Disruptive Modernization in a Traditional Arab Society. Oman Since 1856: Disruptive Modernization in a Traditional Arab Society. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Pages 581-583. JSTOR. 1970. Vol. 90, No. 4.Oman's Imam Sultan, defeated ruler of Muscat, was granted sovereignty over Gwadar. This coastal city is located in the Makran region of what is now the far southwestern corner of Pakistan, near the present-day border of Iran, at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman.In 1783, when Seyyid Said succeeded to the "masnad" of Muscat and Oman (an independent state founded in 1749), he fell out with his brother Imam Sultan, who fled to safety in Makran and entered into communication with Nasir Khan of Kalat. Said was granted the Kalat share of the revenues of Gwadar and lived there until 1797 when he came to rule over Muscat and Oman.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100609072245weblink">weblink 9 June 2010, DAWN – Cowasjee Corner; September 11, 2005, Ardeshir, Cowasjee, 11 September 2005, DAWN Group of Newspapers, 27 July 2010, After regaining control of Muscat, this sovereignty was continued via an appointed wali ("governor").

British de facto colonization

{{multiple image| align = right| direction = vertical| width = 220| image1 = Muscat Squadron.png| caption1 = A cove at Muscat showing a British naval squadron.Muscat and the Monsoon. British National Archive: Muscat and the Monsoon British National Archive. QDL.| image2 = Muscat in 1918.png| caption2 = Muscat in 1918.}}The British empire was keen to dominate southeast Arabia to stifle the growing power of other European states and to curb the Omani maritime power that grew during the 17th century. The British empire over time, starting from late 18th century, began to establish a series of treaties with the sultans with the objective of advancing British political and economic interest in Muscat, while granting the sultans military protection.WEB,weblink A Close Relationship: Britain and Oman Since 1750, Dr Francis Owtram, QDL, 2014. In 1798, the first treaty between the British East India Company and Albusaidi family was signed by Sultan bin Ahmed. The treaty was to block commercial competition of the French and the Dutch as well as obtain a concession to build a British factory at Bandar Abbas.Joseph A. Kechichian. Oman and the World: The Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy Oman and the World: the Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy. RAND. 1995.Salîl-ibn-Razîk. History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân by Salîl-ibn-Razîk, from A.D. 661-1856 (89/612) History of the imâms and seyyids of 'Omân. British National Archive. Page 89. QDL. A second treaty was signed in 1800, which stipulated that a British representative shall reside at the port of Muscat and manage all external affairs with other states. The British influence that grew during the nineteenth century over Muscat weakened the Omani Empire. In 1854, a deed of cession of the Omani Kuria Muria islands to Britain was signed by the sultan of Muscat and the British government.A Collection of Treaties and Engagements. British National Archives: A Collection of Treaties and Engagements relating to the Persian Gulf Shaikhdoms and the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman in force up to the End of 1953' [26v] (54/92). British National Archives. Page 54. QDL. The British government achieved predominating control over Muscat, which, for the most part, impeded competition from other nations.Historical Summary of Events. British National Archive: Historical Summary of Events 189/222 British National Archive. Page 189. QDL. Between 1862 and 1892, the Political Residents, Lewis Pelly and Edward Ross, played an instrumental role in securing British supremacy over the Persian Gulf and Muscat by a system of indirect governance. By the end of the 19th century, the British influence increased to the point that the sultans became heavily dependent on British loans and signed declarations to consult the British government on all important matters.Muscat and Oman Internal Affairs History. British National Archive: Muscat and Oman Internal Affairs History British National Archive. Page 191. QDL.The Financial Troubles of Said bin Taimur.British National Archive: The Financial Troubles of Said bin Taimur British National Archive. QDL. The Sultanate thus became a de facto British colony.Zanzibar was a valuable property as the main slave market of the Swahili Coast, and became an increasingly important part of the Omani empire, a fact reflected by the decision of the 19th century sultan of Muscat, Sa'id ibn Sultan, to make it his main place of residence in 1837. Sa'id built impressive palaces and gardens in Zanzibar. Rivalry between his two sons was resolved, with the help of forceful British diplomacy, when one of them, Majid, succeeded to Zanzibar and to the many regions claimed by the family on the Swahili Coast. The other son, Thuwaini, inherited Muscat and Oman. Zanzibar influences in the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean indirectly introduced Omani customs to the Comorian culture. These influences include clothing traditions and wedding ceremonies.WEB,weblink Omani Music Masks A Slave Trading Past, Benjamin Plackett, 30 March 2017, Al-Fanar Media, 17 July 2017, In 1856, under British direction, Zanzibar and Muscat became two different sultanates.

Treaty of Seeb

(File:Maskat & Oman map.png|thumb|The split between the interior region (orange) and the coastal region (red) of Oman and Muscat.)The Al Hajar Mountains, of which the Jebel Akhdar is a part, separate the country into two distinct regions: the interior, known as Oman, and the coastal area dominated by the capital, Muscat.WEB, Meagher, John, The Jebel Akhdar War Oman 1954–1959, Global Security, 9 April 2012,weblink The British imperial development over Muscat and Oman during the 19th century led to the renewed revival of the Imamate cause in the interior of Oman, which has appeared in cycles for more than 1,200 years in Oman. The British Political Agent, who resided in Muscat, owed the alienation of the interior of Oman to the vast influence of the British government over Muscat, which he described as being completely self-interested and without any regard to the social and political conditions of the locals.Muscat State Affairs. British National Archive: File 8/67 Muscat State Affairs: Muscat– Oman Treaty British National Archive. File 8/67. Page 20. QDL. In 1913, Imam Salim Alkharusi instigated an anti-Muscat rebellion that lasted until 1920 when the Imamate established peace with the Sultanate by signing the Treaty of Seeb.The treaty was brokered by Britain, which had no economic interest in the interior of Oman during that point of time. The treaty granted autonomous rule to the Imamate in the interior of Oman and recognized the sovereignty of the coast of Oman, the Sultanate of Muscat.WEB, Jebel Akhdar, Britain's Small Wars, 10 April 2012,weblink dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130917071704weblink">weblink 17 September 2013, Muscat Rising. British National Archive: Muscat Rising, from April 1917 to January 1918 & resumed from April 1920 to Oct 1920 British National Archive. QDL.Oman profile - Timeline. WEB,weblink BBC Middle East: Oman profile - Timeline (25 April 2018), BBC News, 25 April 2018. In 1920, Imam Salim Alkharusi died and Muhammad Alkhalili was elected.On 10 January 1923, an agreement between the Sultanate and the British government was signed in which the Sultanate had to consult with the British political agent residing in Muscat and obtain the approval of the High Government of India in order to extract oil in the Sultanate.Undertaking by Sultan Taimur Regarding Oil. Undertaking by Sultan Taimur Regarding Oil. British National Archives. Page 60. QDL. On 31 July 1928, the Red Line Agreement was signed between Anglo-Persian Company (later renamed British Petroleum), Royal Dutch/Shell, Compagnie Française des Pétroles (later renamed Total), Near East Development Corporation (later renamed ExxonMobil) and Calouste Gulbenkian (an Armenian businessman) to collectively produce oil in the post-Ottoman Empire region, which included the Arabian peninsula, with each of the four major companies holding 23.75 percent of the shares while Calouste Gulbenkian held the remaining 5 percent shares. The agreement stipulated that none of the signatories was allowed to pursue the establishment of oil concessions within the agreed on area without including all other stakeholders. In the following year, 1929, the members of the agreement established Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC).The 1928 Red Line Agreement. United States Office of the Historian: The 1928 Red Line Agreement United States Office of the Historian. On 13 November 1931, Sultan Taimur bin Faisal abdicated.Muscat Rising. British National Archive: Muscat Rising, from April 1917 to January 1918 & resumed from April 1920 to Oct 1920 British National Archive. Page 190. QDL.

Reign of Sultan Said (1932–1970)

Said bin Taimur became the sultan of Muscat officially on 10 February 1932. The rule of sultan Said bin Taimur, who was backed by the British government, was characterized as being feudal, reactionary and isolationist. The British government maintained vast administrative control over the Sultanate as the defense secretary and chief of intelligence, chief adviser to the sultan and all ministers except for one were British.Ian Cobain. The Guardian: Britain’s secret wars Britain’s Secret Wars. The Guardian. 08 September 2016. In 1937, an agreement between the sultan and Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), a consortium of oil companies that is largely British owned, was signed to grant oil concessions to IPC. After failing to discover oil in the Sultanate, IPC was intensely interested in some promising geological formations near Fahud, an area located within the Imamate. IPC offered financial support to the sultan to raise an armed force against any potential resistance by the Imamate.BOOK,weblink Oman's Insurgencies: The Sultanate's Struggle for Supremacy, J. E., Peterson, 2 January 2013, Saqi, 29 April 2018, Google Books, 9780863567025, Historical Summary of Events in the Persian Gulf. WEB,weblink British National Archive: Historical Summary of Events in the Persian Gulf (208/222), QDL, British National Archive. Page 208.In 1955, the exclave coastal Makran strip acceded to Pakistan and was made a district of its Balochistan province, while Gwadar was not included in Makran then. On 8 September 1958, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for US$3 million.Gwadar remained an Omani possession as part of the Sultanate until September 1958WEB,weblink International trade networks: The Omani Enclave of Gwadar – Conference on German and International Research on Oman, Bonn 1998: abstracts, Nicolin, Beatrice, 25 May 1998, Conference on German and International Research on Oman, Bonn, 27 July 2010, Gwadar then became a tehsil in the Makran district.

Jebel Akhdar War

{{further|Jebel Akhdar War}}{{CSS image crop|Image = British RAF attacking Nizwa Fort.png|bSize = 250|cWidth = 250|cHeight = 250|oTop = 3|oLeft = 0|Location = right|Description = British RAF Venom attacking Nizwa Fort during Jebel Akhdar War}}Sultan Said bin Taimur expressed his interest to the British government in occupying the Imamate right after the death of Imam Alkhalili and take advantage of potential instability that may occur within the Imamate when elections were due.Muscat State Affairs. A.C.Gallowey: File 8/62 Muscat State Affairs: Principal Shaikhs and Tribes of Oman' [35r] (69/296). Principal Shaikhs and Tribes of Oman. British National Archive. Page 69. QDL. The British political agent in Muscat believed that the only method of gaining access to the oil reserves in the interior was by assisting the sultan in taking over the Imamate. Muscat State Affairs. British Consulate Muscat: File 8/62 Muscat State Affairs: Principal Shaikhs and Tribes of Oman. British National Archive. File 8/62. Page 153. 25 May 1946. QDL. In 1946, the British government offered arms and ammunition, auxiliary supplies and officers to prepare the sultan to attack the interior of Oman.Muscat State Affairs. The Foreign Office London: File 8/62 Muscat State Affairs: Principal Shaikhs and Tribes of Oman [146r] (291/296). British National Archive. Page 291. QDL. In May 1954, Imam Alkhalili died and Ghalib Alhinai became the elected Imam of the Imamate of Oman.BOOK, Peterson, John E., Oman in the Twentieth Century: Political Foundations of an Emerging State,weblink Croom Helm, 182, 9780856646294, 1978, Relations between the sultan of Muscat, Said bin Taimur, and Imam Ghalib Alhinai became ruptured over the dispute concerning the right to grant oil concessions. Under the terms of the 1920 treaty of Seeb, the Sultan, backed by the British government, claimed all dealings with the oil company as his prerogative. The Imam, on the other hand, claimed that since the oil was in the Imamate territory, anything dealing with it was an internal matter.In December 1955, sultan Said bin Taimur sent troops of the Muscat and Oman Field Force to occupy the main centres in Oman, including Nizwa, the capital of the Imamate of Oman, and Ibri. The Omanis in the interior led by Imam Ghalib Alhinai, Talib Alhinai, the brother of the Imam and the Wali (governor) of Rustaq, and Suleiman bin Hamyar, who was the Wali (governor) of Jebel Akhdar, defended the Imamate of Oman in the Jebel Akhdar War against British-backed attacks by the Sultanate. In July 1957, the Sultan's forces were withdrawing, but they were repeatedly ambushed, sustaining heavy casualties. Sultan Said, however, with the intervention of British infantry (two companies of the Cameronians), armoured car detachments from the British Army and RAF aircraft, was able to suppress the rebellion.BOOK, Ryan, Mike, Secret Operations of the Sas,weblink Zenith Imprint, 68–70, 2003, 9780760314142, The Imamate's forces retreated to the inaccessible Jebel Akhdar.Colonel David Smiley, who had been seconded to organize the Sultan's Armed Forces, managed to isolate the mountain in autumn 1958 and found a route to the plateau from Wadi Bani Kharus. On 4 August 1957, the British Foreign Secretary gave the approval to carry out air strikes without prior warning to the locals residing in the interior of Oman. Between July and December 1958, the British RAF made 1,635 raids, dropping 1,094 tons and firing 900 rockets at the interior of Oman targeting insurgents, mountain top villages, water channels and crops.Mark Curtis. British National Archives. Oman 1957-9. British National Archives. 2017. On 27 January 1959, the Sultanate's forces occupied the mountain in a surprise operation. Ghalib, Talib and Sulaiman managed to escape to Saudi Arabia, where the Imamate's cause was promoted until the 1970s.BOOK, Owtram, Francis, A Modern History of Oman: Formation of the State since 1920,weblink I.B.Tauris, 106, 2004, 9781860646171, The interior of Oman presented the case of Oman to the Arab League and the United Nations. The Last Imam of Oman. CNN Arabic: وفاة آخر أئمة عُمان في منفاه السياسي بالسعودية CNN Arabic News. 01 December 2009. Muscat, Oman.10 Arab States Ask U.N. Debate On Oman. The New York Times. 01 October 1960. The New York Times. On 11 December 1963, The UN General Assembly decided to establish an Ad-Hoc Committee on Oman in order to study the 'Question of Oman' and report back to the General Assembly.Question of Oman. United Nations Archives. United Nations Archives. The UN General Assembly adopted the 'Question of Oman' resolution in 1965, 1966 and again in 1967 that called upon the British government to cease all repressive action against the locals, end British control over Oman and reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Omani people to self-determination and independence.20th Session Adopted Resolutions. United Nations: 20th Session Adopted Resolutions. United Nations. 20 September – 20 December 1965.2073 Question of Oman. United Nations: 2073 Question of Oman. United Nations. 17 December 1965.2302 Question of Oman. United Nations: 2302 Question of Oman. United Nations. 12 December 1967.22nd Session Adopted Resolutions. United Nations: 22nd Session Adopted Resolutions. United Nations. 19 September – 19 December 1967.WEB,weblink UN 2238 Question of Oman Resolution (1966), UN General Assembly, worldlii, WEB,weblink UN Adopted Resolutions (1966), UN General Assembly, worldlii,

Dhofar Rebellion

{{further|Dhofar Rebellion}}Oil reserves were discovered in 1964 and extraction began in 1967. In the Dhofar Rebellion, which began in 1965, leftist forces were pitted against government troops. As the rebellion threatened to overthrow the Sultan's rule in Dhofar, sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed in a bloodless coup (1970) by his son Qaboos bin Said, who expanded the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, modernised the state's administration and introduced social reforms. The uprising was finally put down in 1975 with the help of forces from Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and the British Royal Air Force, army and Special Air Service.

Reign of Sultan Qaboos (from 1970)

After deposing his father in 1970, Sultan Qaboos opened up the country, embarked on economic reforms, and followed a policy of modernisation marked by increased spending on health, education and welfare.NEWS, Happy and rich in an Omani toytown,weblink The Economist, 31 August 2000, Slavery, once a cornerstone of the country's trade and development, was outlawed in 1970.In 1981 Oman became a founding member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Political reforms were eventually introduced. Historically, voters had been chosen from among tribal leaders, intellectuals, and businessmen. In 1997 Sultan Qaboos decreed that women could vote for, and stand for election to, the Majlis al-Shura, the Consultative Assembly of Oman. Two women were duly elected to the body.In 2002, voting rights were extended to all citizens over the age of 21, and the first elections to the Consultative Assembly under the new rules were held in 2003. In 2004, the Sultan appointed Oman's first female minister with portfolio, Sheikha Aisha bint Khalfan bin Jameel al-Sayabiyah. She was appointed to the post of National Authority for Industrial Craftsmanship, an office that attempts to preserve and promote Oman's traditional crafts and stimulate industry."Oman appoints first female minister". BBC News. 4 March 2003. Despite these changes, there was little change to the actual political makeup of the government. The Sultan continued to rule by decree. Nearly 100 suspected Islamists were arrested in 2005 and 31 people were convicted of trying to overthrow the government. They were ultimately pardoned in June of the same year.Inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings taking place throughout the region, protests occurred in Oman during the early months of 2011. Although they did not call for the ousting of the regime, demonstrators demanded political reforms, improved living conditions, and the creation of more jobs. They were dispersed by riot police in February 2011. Sultan Qaboos reacted by promising jobs and benefits. In October 2011, elections were held to the Consultative Assembly, to which Sultan Qaboos promised greater powers. The following year, the government began a crackdown on internet criticism. In September 2012, trials began of 'activists' accused of posting "abusive and provocative" criticism of the government online. Six were given jail terms of 12–18 months and fines of around $2,500 each.NEWS,weblink Oman profile – Timeline, BBC News, 11 September 2012, 18 January 2013,

Geography

(File:Wadi Shab (6).jpg|upright|thumb|left|Wadi Shab)Oman lies between latitudes 16° and 28° N, and longitudes 52° and 60° E. A vast gravel desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north (Al Hajar Mountains) and southeast coast (Qara or Dhofar Mountains),WEB,weblink Oman Geography 2007, home.kpn.nl, 2016-07-11, WEB,weblink Expedition Report: Dhofar Mountains Oman, 2011-04-30, en-US, 2016-07-11, where the country's main cities are also located: the capital city Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north, and Salalah in the south. Oman's climate is hot and dry in the interior and humid along the coast. During past epochs, Oman was covered by ocean, witnessed by the large numbers of fossilized shells existing in areas of the desert away from the modern coastline.(File:Oman-Oasis.jpg|thumb|An Omani desert landscape)The peninsula of Musandam (Musandem) exclave, which has a strategic location on the Strait of Hormuz, is separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates.WEB, Jan S., Krogh, Oman,weblink jankrogh.com, The series of small towns known collectively as Dibba are the gateway to the Musandam peninsula on land and the fishing villages of Musandam by sea, with boats available for hire at Khasab for trips into the Musandam peninsula by sea.File:SurOman.jpg|thumb|The coast of Sur, OmanSur, OmanOman's other exclave, inside UAE territory, known as Madha, located halfway between the Musandam Peninsula and the main body of Oman, is part of the Musandam governorate, covering approximately {{convert|75|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on}}. Madha's boundary was settled in 1969, with the north-east corner of Madha barely {{convert|10|m|ft|1|abbr=on}} from the Fujairah road. Within the Madha exclave is a UAE enclave called Nahwa, belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah, situated about {{convert|8|km|mi|0|abbr=on}} along a dirt track west of the town of New Madha, and consisting of about forty houses with a clinic and telephone exchange.WEB,weblink United Arab Emirates, The central desert of Oman is an important source of meteorites for scientific analysis.4th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Bern 2006. Meteorite accumulation surfaces in Oman: Main results of. Omani-Swiss meteorite search campaigns, 2001–2006. by Beda Hofmann et al.

Climate

Like the rest of the Persian Gulf, Oman generally has one of the hottest climates in the world—with summer temperatures in Muscat and northern Oman averaging {{convert|30|to|40|°C|°F|1}}.WEB,weblink Muscat (Seeb) Climate – Climate of Muscat (Seeb) Oman {{!, World Climates|website=www.world-climates.com|access-date=2016-07-11}} Oman receives little rainfall, with annual rainfall in Muscat averaging {{convert|100|mm|in|1|abbr=on}}, falling mostly in January. In the south, the Dhofar Mountains area near Salalah has a tropical-like climate and receives seasonal rainfall from late June to late September as a result of monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean, leaving the summer air saturated with cool moisture and heavy fog.WEB, Oman—Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles,weblink Food and Agriculture Organization, Summer temperatures in Salalah range from {{convert|20|to|30|°C|°F|1}}—relatively cool compared to northern Oman.WEB,weblink Salalah Climate – Climate of Salalah Oman {{!, World Climates|website=www.world-climates.com|access-date=2016-07-11}}The mountain areas receive more rainfall, and annual rainfall on the higher parts of the Jabal Akhdar probably exceeds {{convert|400|mm|in|1|abbr=on}}.NEWS, Weather—Oman,weblink BBC, Low temperatures in the mountainous areas result in snow cover once every few years.Snow blankets Oman's mountains as temperatures drop. Gulf News (16 February 2014). Retrieved 20 April 2014. Some parts of the coast, particularly near the island of Masirah, sometimes receive no rain at all within the course of a year. The climate is generally very hot, with temperatures reaching around {{convert|54|°C|°F|1|abbr=}} (peak) in the hot season, from May to September.BOOK, Philip's encyclopedia, Philip's, 2008, London, UK, Credo Reference, On 26 June 2018 the city of Qurayyat set the record for highest minimum temperature in a 24-hour period, 42.6 Â°C (108.7 Â°F).WEB,weblink Quriyat in Oman breaks world temperature record, CNN, 2018,

Flora and fauna

{{see also|Wildlife of Oman}}File:Nakhalfarms.jpg|thumb|Nakhal palm tree farms in Oman's Batina Region ]]File:The-Worlds-Most-Isolated-and-Distinct-Whale-Population-Humpback-Whales-of-the-Arabian-Sea-pone.0114162.s001.tif|thumb|The Arabian humpback whales off DhofarDhofarDesert shrub and desert grass, common to southern Arabia, are found in Oman, but vegetation is sparse in the interior plateau, which is largely gravel desert. The greater monsoon rainfall in Dhofar and the mountains makes the growth there more luxuriant during summer; coconut palms grow plentifully in the coastal plains of Dhofar and frankincense is produced in the hills, with abundant oleander and varieties of acacia. The Al Hajar Mountains are a distinct ecoregion, the highest points in eastern Arabia with wildlife including the Arabian tahr.Indigenous mammals include the leopard, hyena, fox, wolf, hare, oryx, and ibex. Birds include the vulture, eagle, stork, bustard, Arabian partridge, bee eater, falcon, and sunbird. In 2001, Oman had nine endangered species of mammals, five endangered types of birds,{{citation needed|date=May 2010}} and nineteen threatened plant species. Decrees have been passed to protect endangered species, including the Arabian leopard, Arabian oryx, mountain gazelle, goitered gazelle, Arabian tahr, green sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, and olive ridley turtle. However, the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary is the first site ever to be deleted from UNESCO's World Heritage List, due to the government's decision to reduce the site to 10% of its former size so that the remainder could be opened to oil prospectors.WEB,weblink UNESCO World Heritage Center – Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary : first site ever to be deleted from UNESCO's World Heritage List, UNESCO, 17 April 2010, (File:Osprey yiti.jpg|thumb|upright|Osprey in Yiti Beach, Oman)In recent years, Oman has become one of newer hot spots for whale watching, highlighting the critically endangered Arabian humpback whale, the most isolated and only non-migratory population in the world, sperm whales, and pygmy blue whales.WEB,weblink Whales and dolphins of Oman – Dolphins, Humpbacks and Blue whales!, Powell, Ettinger,

Environmental issues

Drought and limited rainfall contribute to shortages in the nation's water supply. Maintaining an adequate supply of water for agricultural and domestic use is one of Oman's most pressing environmental problems, with limited renewable water resources. 94% of available water is used in farming and 2% for industrial activity, with the majority sourced from fossil water in the desert areas and spring water in hills and mountains.In terms of climate action, "major challenges" remain to be solved, as per United Nations Sustainable Development 2019 index. The CO2 emissions from energy (tCO2/capita) and CO2 emissions embodied in fossil fuel exports (kg per capita) rates are very high, while imported CO2 emissions (tCO2/capita) and people affected by climate-related disasters (per 100,000 people) rates are low.Drinking water is available throughout Oman, either piped or delivered. The soil in coastal plains, such as Salalah, have shown increased levels of salinity, due to over exploitation of ground water and encroachment by seawater on the water table. Pollution of beaches and other coastal areas by oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman is also a persistent concern.The Oman National Spatial Strategy (ONSS) deals with these issues at a national scale, and its under developmente by Consatt limited with the participation of IE Professor and economist, Hermenegildo Seisdedos. ONSS Oman National Spatial Strategy. freiland.atLocal and national entities have noted unethical treatment of animals in Oman. In particular, stray dogs (and to a lesser extent, stray cats) are often the victims of torture, abuse or neglect.Animal Tragedy. y-oman.com. 27 June 2013. Currently, the only approved method of decreasing the stray dog population is shooting by police officers. The Oman government has refused to implement a spay and neuter program or create any animal shelters in the country. Cats, while seen as more acceptable than dogs, are viewed as pests and frequently die of starvation or illness.Macdonald, Sarah (22 March 2014) Strays on streets a growing issue for Oman {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150112124040weblink |date=12 January 2015 }}. Times of OmanCaptive Creatures. y-oman.com. 21 November 2013

Politics

File:Oman-Muscat-16-Sultans-Palace-2.JPG|thumb|left|The Sultan's Al Alam PalaceAl Alam PalaceOman is a unitary state and an absolute monarchy,NEWS, Q&A: Elections to Oman's Consultative Council,weblink BBC News, in which all legislative, executive and judiciary power ultimately rests in the hands of the hereditary Sultan. Freedom House has routinely rated the country "Not Free" as it is an absolute monarchy.WEB, Oman,weblink Freedom House, 18 January 2013, Sultan Qaboos is the head of state and also directly controls the foreign affairs and defence portfolios.WEB, OMAN Majles A'Shura (Consultative Council),weblink Inter-Parliamentary Union, The sultan has absolute power and issues laws by decree.WEB, Oman,weblink Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House, He is also the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East.NEWS, Waking up too,weblink The Economist, 23 June 2012,

Legal system

Oman is an absolute monarchy, with the Sultan's word having the force of law. The judiciary branch is subordinate to the Sultan. According to Oman's constitution, Sharia law is one of the sources of legislation. Sharia court departments within the civil court system are responsible for family-law matters, such as divorce and inheritance.The country has no system of checks and balances, and thus no separation of powers.WEB, Country Report: Oman,weblink 2016, BTI Project, 19 August 2016, All power is concentrated in the Sultan, who is also chief of staff of the armed forces, Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Central Bank. All legislation since 1970 has been promulgated through royal decrees, including the 1996 Basic Law. The Sultan appoints judges, and can grant pardons and commute sentences. The Sultan's authority is inviolable and the Sultan expects total subordination to his will.The administration of justice is highly personalized, with limited due process protections, especially in political and security-related cases.WEB, Stork, Joe, Human rights in the smaller Persian Gulf states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and UAE, 19 December 2012,weblink NOREF, 18 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140308194615weblink">weblink 8 March 2014, dmy-all, The Basic Statute of the StateWEB, Basic Statute of the State,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130723131521weblink">weblink 23 July 2013, Royal Decree 101/96, Ministry of Legal Affairs, 18 August 2012, is supposedly the cornerstone of the Omani legal system and it operates as a constitution for the country. The Basic Statute was issued in 1996 and thus far has only been amended once, in 2011,WEB, Amendment to Some of the Provisions of the Basic Statute of the State,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130117012153weblink">weblink 17 January 2013, Royal Decree 99/2011, Ministry of Legal Affairs, in response to protests.Though Oman's legal code theoretically protects civil liberties and personal freedoms, both are regularly ignored by the regime. Women and children face legal discrimination in many areas. Women are excluded from certain state benefits, such as housing loans, and are refused equal rights under the personal status law. Women also experience restrictions on their self-determination in respect to health and reproductive rights.File:Gates & Qaboos of Oman cropped.jpg|thumb|upright|Qaboos bin Said al SaidQaboos bin Said al SaidSince the beginning of the "Omani Spring" in January 2011, a number of serious violations of civil rights have been reported, amounting to a critical deterioration of the human rights situation. Prisons are not accessible to independent monitors. Members of the independent Omani Group of Human Rights have been harassed, arrested and sentenced to jail. There have been numerous testimonies of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by security forces on protesters and detainees. The detainees were all peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly. Although authorities must obtain court orders to hold suspects in pre-trial detention, they do not regularly follow these procedures. The penal code was amended in October 2011 to allow the arrest and detention of individuals without an arrest warrant from public prosecutors.The Omani legislature is the bicameral Council of Oman, consisting of an upper chamber, the Council of State (Majlis ad-Dawlah) and a lower chamber, the Consultative Council (Majlis ash-Shoura). Political parties are banned. The upper chamber has 71 members, appointed by the Sultan from among prominent Omanis; it has only advisory powers.WEB, Legislative Branch,weblink The World Factbook, The 84 members of the Consultative Council are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms, but the Sultan makes the final selections and can negotiate the election results. The members are appointed for three-year terms, which may be renewed once.WEB, Country Profiles (Legislature) – Oman,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120605011017weblink">weblink 5 June 2012, Arab Parliaments, The last elections were held on October 2015, and the next is due in October 2019. Oman's national anthem, As-Salam as-Sultani is dedicated to Sultan Qaboos.

Human rights

{{See also|LGBT rights in Oman}}Oman is an absolute monarchy by male primogeniture. The present Sultan, Qaboos bin Said al Said, has been the hereditary leader of the country since 1970.Homosexual acts are illegal in Oman.NEWS,weblink LGBT relationships are illegal in 74 countries, research finds, The Independent, 17 May 2016, The practice of torture is widespread in Oman state penal institutions and has become the state's typical reaction to independent political expression.WEB,weblink Torture in Oman, 2014, Gulf Center for Human Rights, 29 December 2014, WEB,weblink Torture in Oman, The practice of torture is widespread in Oman state penal institutions and has become the state’s knee jerk reaction to independent political expression, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) says in a report published today, 2014, Gulf Center for Human Rights, 29 December 2014, Torture methods in use in Oman include mock execution, beating, hooding, solitary confinement, subjection to extremes of temperature and to constant noise, abuse and humiliation. There have been numerous reports of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by Omani security forces on protesters and detainees. Several prisoners detained in 2012 complained of sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, and solitary confinement. Omani authorities kept Sultan al-Saadi, a social media activist, in solitary confinement, denied him access to his lawyer and family, forced him to wear a black bag over his head whenever he left his cell, including when using the restroom, and told him his family had "forsaken" him and asked for him to be imprisoned.File:Mohammed Al-fazari.jpeg|thumb|upright|Mohammed Alfazari, an exiled Omani writer and journalist now living in the UK, is an author whose (Book censorship|books are banned]] in Oman. He is also the founder and EIC of Muwatin.WEB, Oman: Events of 2018,weblink Human Rights Watch, )The Omani government decides who can or cannot be a journalist and this permission can be withdrawn at any time.WEB, Whitaker, Brian,weblink Oman's Sultan Qaboos: a classy despot, 2011, The Guardian, 29 December 2014, Brian Whitaker, Censorship and self-censorship are a constant factor. Omanis have limited access to political information through the media.WEB,weblink Country Report: Oman, 2016, BTI Project, 12, Access to news and information can be problematic: journalists have to be content with news compiled by the official news agency on some issues. Through a decree by the Sultan, the government has now extended its control over the media to blogs and other websites. Omanis cannot hold a public meeting without the government's approval. Omanis who want to set up a non-governmental organisation of any kind need a licence. To get a licence, they have to demonstrate that the organisation is "for legitimate objectives" and not "inimical to the social order". The Omani government does not permit the formation of independent civil society associations. Human Rights Watch issued on 2016, that an Omani court sentenced three journalists to prison and ordered the permanent closure of their newspaper, over an article that alleged corruption in the judiciary.NEWS,weblink Oman: Journalists Sentenced Over Articles Alleging Corruption, 2016-10-03, Human Rights Watch, 2017-03-02, en, The law prohibits criticism of the Sultan and government in any form or medium. Oman's police do not need search warrants in order to enter people's homes. The law does not provide citizens with the right to change their government. The Sultan retains ultimate authority on all foreign and domestic issues. Government officials are not subject to financial disclosure laws. Libel laws and concerns for national security have been used to suppress criticism of government figures and politically objectionable views. Publication of books is limited and the government restricts their importation and distribution, as with other media products.Merely mentioning the existence of such restrictions can land Omanis in trouble. In 2009, a web publisher was fined and given a suspended jail sentence for revealing that a supposedly live TV programme was actually pre-recorded in order to eliminate any criticisms of the government.Faced with so many restrictions, Omanis have resorted to unconventional methods for expressing their views. Omanis sometimes use donkeys to express their views. Writing about Gulf rulers in 2001, Dale Eickelman observed: "Only in Oman has the occasional donkey… been used as a mobile billboard to express anti-regime sentiments. There is no way in which police can maintain dignity in seizing and destroying a donkey on whose flank a political message has been inscribed."Omani citizens need government permission to marry foreigners.WEB,weblink 2013 Human Rights Reports: Oman, 2014, US Department of State, 29 December 2014, The Ministry of Interior requires Omani citizens to obtain permission to marry foreigners (except nationals of GCC countries); permission is not automatically granted. Citizen marriage to a foreigner abroad without ministry approval may result in denial of entry for the foreign spouse at the border and preclude children from claiming citizenship rights. It also may result in a bar from government employment and a fine of 2,000 rials ($5,200).(File:Nizwa goat market (7).jpg|thumb|upright|According to HRW, women in Oman face discrimination.)In August 2014, The Omani writer and human rights defender Mohammed Alfazari, the founder and editor-in-chief of the e-magazine Mowatin "Citizen", disappeared after going to the police station in the Al-Qurum district of Muscat.WEB,weblink Oman – Enforced disappearance of human rights defender Mr Mohamed Al Fazari, 2014, Front Line Defenders, 29 December 2014, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141228173444weblink">weblink 28 December 2014, dmy-all, For several months the Omani government denied his detention and refused to disclose information about his whereabouts or condition. On 17 July 2015, Al Fazari left Oman seeking political asylum in UK after a travel ban was issued against him without providing any reasons and after his official documents including his national ID and passport were confiscated for more than 8 months. There were more reports of politically motivated disappearances in the country. In 2012, armed security forces arrested Sultan al-Saadi, a social media activist. According to reports, authorities detained him at an unknown location for one month for comments he posted online critical of the government. Authorities previously arrested al-Saadi in 2011 for participating in protests and again in 2012 for posting comments online deemed insulting to Sultan Qaboos. In May 2012 security forces detained Ismael al-Meqbali, Habiba al-Hinai, and Yaqoub al-Kharusi, human rights activists who were visiting striking oil workers. Authorities released al-Hinai and al-Kharusi shortly after their detention but did not inform al-Meqbali's friends and family of his whereabouts for weeks. Authorities pardoned al-Meqbali in March. In December 2013, a Yemeni national disappeared in Oman after he was arrested at a checkpoint in Dhofar Governorate.WEB,weblink Oman: Enforced disappearance of a Yemeni citizen, Abdulrahman Ali Salem Mohammed, for more than six months, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160306215859weblink">weblink 6 March 2016, dmy-all, Omani authorities refuse to acknowledge his detention. His whereabouts and condition remain unknown.The National Human Rights Commission, established in 2008, is not independent from the regime. It is chaired by the former deputy inspector general of Police and Customs and its members are appointed by royal decree. In June 2012, one of its members requested that she be relieved of her duties because she disagreed with a statement made by the Commission justifying the arrest of intellectuals and bloggers and the restriction of freedom of expression in the name of respect for "the principles of religion and customs of the country".Since the beginning of the "Omani Spring" in January 2011, a number of serious violations of civil rights has been reported, amounting to a critical deterioration of the human rights situation. Prisons are inaccessible to independent monitors. Members of the independent Omani Group of Human Rights have been harassed, arrested and sentenced to jail. There have been numerous testimonies of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by security forces on protesters and detainees. The detainees were all peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly. Although authorities must obtain court orders to hold suspects in pre-trial detention, they do not regularly do this. The penal code was amended in October 2011 to allow the arrest and detention of individuals without an arrest warrant from public prosecutors.In January 2014, Omani intelligence agents arrested a Bahraini actor and handed him over to the Bahraini authorities on the same day of his arrest.WEB,weblink Actor Sadiq AlShaabani: Arrested in Oman, Handed to Bahrain Authorities, Subjected to Enforced Disappearance, 2014, Bahrain Center for Human Rights, 29 December 2014, The actor has been subjected to a forced disappearance, his whereabouts and condition remain unknown.

Migrant workers

The plight of domestic workers in Oman is a taboo subject.WEB, Susan Al Shahri,weblink A Taboo Subject: The Desperate Plight of Domestic Workers in Oman, 2012, Mideast Posts, 29 December 2014, WEB, Susan Mubarak,weblink Things We Don't Talk About, 2012, Muscat Daily, 29 December 2014, In 2011, the Philippines government determined that out of all the countries in the Middle East, only Oman and Israel qualify as safe for Filipino migrants.WEB,weblink Is Any Country in The Middle East Safe for Migrant Workers?, 2011, migrantrights.org, 29 December 2014, In 2012, it was reported that every 6 days, an Indian migrant in Oman commits suicide.WEB,weblink An Indian ends life every sixth day in Oman, 2012, The Times of India, 29 December 2014, WEB,weblink Migrant Rights – Research, 2013, migrantrights.org, 29 December 2014, There has been a campaign urging authorities to check the migrant suicide rate.WEB,weblink Campaign in Oman to check suicide rate, 2012, Gulf News, 29 December 2014, In the 2014 Global Slavery Index, Oman is ranked #45 due to 26,000 people in slavery.WEB,weblink Global Slavery Index findings, 2014, globalslaveryindex.com, 29 December 2014, WEB,weblink Global Slavery Index, 19, 2014, 29 December 2014, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150101193937weblink">weblink 1 January 2015, dmy-all, The descendants of servant tribes and slaves are victims of widespread discrimination.WEB,weblink BTI 2014 – Oman Country Report, 2014, BTI Project, 29 December 2014, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141228234844weblink">weblink 28 December 2014, dmy-all, Oman was one of the last countries to abolish slavery in 1970.

Foreign policy

File:Secretary Kerry Walks With Omani Qaboos bin Said Al Said.jpg|thumb|U.S. Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerrySince 1970, Oman has pursued a moderate foreign policy, and has expanded its diplomatic relations dramatically. Oman is among the very few Arab countries that have maintained friendly ties with Iran.WEB,weblink Oman, CIA – The World Factbook, 29 October 2011, WEB,weblink Oman: A Unique Foreign Policy, RAND, 29 October 2011, WikiLeaks disclosed US diplomatic cables which state that Oman helped free British sailors captured by Iran's navy in 2007.WEB, The view from the Gulf: America's quiet go-between speaks,weblink Fox News Channel, 31 January 2012, The same cables also portray the Omani government as wishing to maintain cordial relations with Iran, and as having consistently resisted US diplomatic pressure to adopt a sterner stance.WEB,weblink Omani Ministers Voice Increasing Concerns Over Region's Stability, Wikileaks, 29 October 2011, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111215211340weblink">weblink 15 December 2011, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Oman Remains Wary Of Iranian Expansionism, Wikileaks, 29 October 2011, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111215175002weblink">weblink 15 December 2011, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Admiral William J. Fallon's Meeting With Sultan Qaboos, Wikileaks, 29 October 2011, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111027181916weblink">weblink 27 October 2011, dmy-all, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah is the Sultanate's Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs.Oman allowed the British Royal Navy and Indian Navy access to the port facilities of Al Duqm Port & Drydock.NEWS,weblink Indian Express, India gets access to strategic Oman port Duqm for military use, Chabahar-Gwadar in sight, Shubhajit, Roy, 13 February 2018,

Military

File:Portsmouth korvet Al-Shamikh Oman 18-10-2011 15-15-51.png|thumb|upright=1.35|The Khareef-class corvetteKhareef-class corvetteOman's military and security expenditure as a percentage of GDP in 2015 was 16.5 percent, making it the world's highest rate in that year. Oman's on-average military spending as a percentage of GDP between 2016 and 2018 was around 10 percent, while the world's average during the same period was 2.2 percent.Oman's Military Expenditures. Oman's military expenditures WB The World Bank. Retrieved 2019.Oman's military manpower totalled 44,100 in 2006, including 25,000 men in the army, 4,200 sailors in the navy, and an air force with 4,100 personnel. The Royal Household maintained 5,000 Guards, 1,000 in Special Forces, 150 sailors in the Royal Yacht fleet, and 250 pilots and ground personnel in the Royal Flight squadrons. Oman also maintains a modestly sized paramilitary force of 4,400 men.WEB, The Gulf Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric War,weblink Center for Strategic and International Studies, Anthony H. Cordesman, Khalid R. Al-Rodhan, 28 June 2006, The Royal Army of Oman had 25,000 active personnel in 2006, plus a small contingent of Royal Household troops. Despite a comparative large military spending, it has been relatively slow to modernize its forces. Oman has a relatively limited number of tanks, including 6 M60A1, 73 M60A3, and 38 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, as well as 37 aging Scorpion light tanks.The Royal Air Force of Oman has approximately 4,100 men, with only 36 combat aircraft and no armed helicopters. Combat aircraft include 20 aging Jaguars, 12 Hawk Mk 203s, 4 Hawk Mk 103s, and 12 PC-9 turboprop trainers with a limited combat capability. It has one squadron of 12 F-16C/D aircraft. Oman also has 4 A202-18 Bravos, and 8 MFI-17B Mushshaqs.The Royal Navy of Oman had 4,200 men in 2000, and is headquartered at Seeb. It has bases at Ahwi, Ghanam Island, Mussandam and Salalah. In 2006, Oman had 10 surface combat vessels. These included two 1,450-ton Qahir class corvettes, and 8 ocean-going patrol boats. The Omani Navy had one 2,500-ton Nasr al Bahr class LSL (240 troops, 7 tanks) with a helicopter deck. Oman also had at least four landing craft. Oman ordered three Khareef class corvettes from the VT Group for £400 million in 2007. They are being built at Portsmouth.WEB, Testing times for corvette,weblink Maritime Photographic, 15 March 2012, In 2010 Oman spent US$4.074 billion on military expenditures, 8.5% of the gross domestic product.WEB,weblink The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 29 October 2011, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100328072123weblink">weblink 28 March 2010, dmy-all, The sultanate has a long history of association with the British military and defence industry.NEWS, A balancing act,weblink The Economist, 15 September 2009, According to SIPRI, Oman was the 23rd largest arms importer from 2012–2016.WEB,weblink TOP LIST TIV TABLES, SIPRI,

Administrative divisions

(File:Oman, administrative divisions 2011 - de - colored.svg|thumb|upright=1.25|Governorates of Oman)The Sultanate is administratively divided into eleven governorates. Governorates are, in turn, divided into 60 wilayats.WEB, About Oman,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130731182110weblink">weblink 31 July 2013, National Center for Statistics & Information, WEB, Governorates of Sultanate Of Oman,weblink Ministry of Information, Sultanate of Oman, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131208143606weblink">weblink 8 December 2013,

Economy

(File:Oman Export Treemap.png|thumb|upright=1.35|A proportional representation of Oman's exports)File:MSM Main.JPG|thumb|left|Muscat Securities MarketMuscat Securities MarketOman's Basic Statute of the State expresses in Article 11 that the "national economy is based on justice and the principles of a free economy." By regional standards, Oman has a relatively diversified economy, but remains dependent on oil exports. In terms of monetary value, mineral fuels accounted for 82.2 percent of total product exports in 2018.Oman’s Top 10 Exports (2019) report Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in Oman. Other sources of income, agriculture and industry, are small in comparison and account for less than 1% of the country's exports, but diversification is seen as a priority by the government. Agriculture, often subsistence in its character, produces dates, limes, grains, and vegetables, but with less than 1% of the country under cultivation, Oman is likely to remain a net importer of food.Oman's socio-economic structure is described as being hyper-centralized rentier welfare state. The largest 10 percent of corporations in Oman are the employers of almost 80 percent of Omani nationals in the private sector. Half of the private sector jobs are classified as elementary. One third of employed Omanis are in the private sector, while the remaining majority are in the public sector.Elusive Employment: Development Planning and Labour Market Trends in Oman. Development Planning and Labour Market Trends in Oman 2014 Researchgate. September 2014. A hyper-centralized structure produces a monopoly-like economy, which hinders having a healthy competitive environment between businesses. Since a slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and is placing a greater emphasis on other areas of industry, namely tourism and infrastructure. Oman had a 2020 Vision to diversify the economy established in 1995, which targeted a decrease in oil's share to less than 10 percent of GDP by 2020, but it was rendered obsolete in 2011. Oman then established 2040 Vision.Oman Country Report. Oman Country Report 2018 Transformation Index BTI. 2018.A free-trade agreement with the United States took effect 1 January 2009, eliminated tariff barriers on all consumer and industrial products, and also provided strong protections for foreign businesses investing in Oman.Chemical & Engineering News, 5 January 2009, "U.S.-Oman pact expands Free Trade", p. 18 Tourism, another source of Oman's revenue, is on the rise. A popular event is The Khareef Festival held in Salalah, Dhofar, which is 1,200 km from the capital city of Muscat, during the monsoon season (August) and is similar to Muscat Festival. During this latter event the mountains surrounding Salalah are popular with tourists as a result of the cool weather and lush greenery, rarely found anywhere else in Oman.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110429005816weblink">weblink 29 April 2011, Arabia Tourism, Oman's foreign workers send an estimated US$30 billion annually to their home states in Asia and Africa, more than half of them earning a monthly wage of less than US$400.WEB,weblink Indian migrant workers in Oman speak to the WSWS, Wsws.org, 29 October 2011, The largest foreign community is from the Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and the Punjab,WEB,weblink Antony meets Indian diaspora in Oman, Thaindian.com, 18 May 2010, 29 October 2011, representing more than half of entire workforce in Oman. Salaries for overseas workers are known to be less than for Omani nationals, though still from two to five times higher than for the equivalent job in India.In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), total investments in 2017 exceeded USD 24billion. The highest share of FDI went to the oil and gas sector, which represented around USD 13billion (54.2 percent), followed by financial intermediation, which represented USD 3.66billion (15.3 percent). FDI is dominated by the United Kingdom with an estimated value of USD 11.56billion (48 percent), followed by the UAE USD 2.6billion (10.8 percent), followed by Kuwait USD 1.1billion (4.6 percent).
{{Pie chart
| caption=Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Oman by country as of 2017.
| other = yes
| label1 = United Kingdom
| value1 = 48| color1 = silver
| label2 = United Arab Emirates
| value2 = 10.8 | color2 = #008
| label3 = Kuwait
| value3 = 4.6 | color3 = #08f
}}
Oman, in 2018 had a budget deficit of 32 percent of total revenue and a government debt to GDP of 47.5 percent.Oman Government Debt to GDP 2018. CEIC report: Oman Government Debt to GDP 2018 ceicdata.com. 2018. Oman's military spending to GDP between 2016 and 2018 averaged 10 percent, while the world's average during the same period was 2.2 percent.Military expenditure (% of GDP) Oman's health spending to GDP between 2015 and 2016 averaged 4.3 percent, while the world's average during the same period was 10 percent.Current health expenditure (% of GDP) Oman's research and development spending between 2016 and 2017 averaged 0.24 percent, which is significantly lower than the world's average (2.2 percent) during the same period.Research and development expenditure (% of GDP) Oman's government spending on education to GDP in 2016 was 6.11 percent, while the world's average was 4.8 percent (2015).Government expenditure on education, total (% of GDP){{Bar chart| title = Oman's Spending in 2016 | label_type = TypePUBLISHER=THE WORLD BANK, HTTPS://WWW.INDEXMUNDI.COM/FACTS/OMAN/INDICATOR/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS>TITLE=MILITARY EXPENDITURE (% OF GDP)PUBLISHER=THE WORLD BANK, HTTPS://DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG/INDICATOR/SH.XPD.CHEX.GD.ZS?LOCATIONS=OM>TITLE=HEALTH EXPENDITURE (% OF GDP), The World Bank, | bar_width = 35| width_units = em| data_max = 30| label1 = military spending| data1 = 13.73| label2 = education spending| data2 = 6.11| label3 = health spending| data3 = 4.30| label4 = research & development spending| data4 = 0.26}}

Oil and gas

File:Sohar flickr01.jpg|thumb|Petrochemical tanks in SoharSoharOman's proved reserves of petroleum total about 5.5 billion barrels, 25th largest in the world. Oil is extracted and processed by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), with proven oil reserves holding approximately steady, although oil production has been declining.WEB,weblink Oman: proven oil reserves, Indexmundi.com, 17 April 2010, WEB, Oman: Energy data, Energy Information Administration, EIA,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110302093656weblink">weblink 2 March 2011, 16 February 2009, The Ministry of Oil and Gas is responsible for all oil and gas infrastructure and projects in Oman.WEB, Home,weblink Ministry of Oil and Gas, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130811004242weblink">weblink 11 August 2013, dmy-all, Following the 1970s energy crisis, Oman doubled their oil output between 1979 and 1985.JOURNAL, Lessons from the 1986 Oil Price Collapsey, Dermot, Gately, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2, 1986, 239,weblink dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160509062905weblink">weblink 9 May 2016, dmy-all, In 2018, oil and gas represented 71 percent of the government's revenues.Oman budget 2019 KPMG Insights. KPMG: Oman budget 2019 KPMG Insights KPMG. 2019. In 2016, oil and gas share of the government's revenue represented 72 percent.Oman’s 2017 budget: An analysis. KPMG: Oman’s 2017 budget: An analysis KPMG. 2017. The government's reliance on oil and gas as a source of income dropped by 1 percent from 2016 to 2018. Oil and gas sector represented 30.1 percent of the nominal GDP in 2017.Central Bank of Oman Annual Report 2017 Between 2000 and 2007, production fell by more than 26%, from 972,000 to 714,800 barrels per day.WEB, Oman the comeback kid of oil,weblink The National, 9 September 2012, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121231031303weblink">weblink 31 December 2012, dmy-all, Production has recovered to 816,000 barrels in 2009, and 930,000 barrels per day in 2012. Oman's natural gas reserves are estimated at 849.5 billion cubic meters, ranking 28th in the world, and production in 2008 was about 24 billion cubic meters per year.In September 2019, Oman was confirmed to become the first Middle Eastern country to host the International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC 2020). This 16th iteration of the event will be held between 24-26 February 2020, in collaboration with Oman LNG, under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil and Gas._WEB,weblink Oman to host International Gas Union Research Conference in 2020, 5 September 2019, Business Live Middle East,

Tourism

(File:Wahiba Sands (33).jpg|thumb|upright|Wahiba Sands)(File:Bustan-palace.jpg|thumb|left|Al-Bustan Palace Hotel)Tourism in Oman has grown considerably recently, and it is expected to be one of the largest industries in the country.WEB,weblink Travel & Leisure Market Research Reports and Industry Analysis, Marketresearch.com, 9 June 2013, The World Travel & Tourism Council stated that Oman is the fastest growing tourism destination in the Middle East.WEB, Oman Eyes Lucrative Business Tourism Market,weblink Forbesmiddleeast, 26 June 2017, Tourism contributed 2.8 percent to the Omani GDP in 2016. It grew from RO 505 million (US$1.3 billion) in 2009 to RO 719 million (US$1.8 billion) in 2017 (+42.3 percent growth). Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Omanis who are residing outside of Oman, represent the highest ratio of all tourists visiting Oman, estimated to be 48 percent. The second highest number of visitors come from other Asian countries, who account for 17 percent of the total number of visitors.National Green Export Review of Oman: Tourism, Dates and Fish. National Green Export Review of Oman: Tourism, Dates and Fish (United Nations-CTAD 2018 report) United Nations. 2018. A challenge to tourism development in Oman is the reliance on the government-owned firm, Omran, as a key actor to develop the tourism sector, which potentially creates a market barrier-to-entry of private-sector actors and a crowding out effect. Another key issue to the tourism sector is deepening the understanding of the ecosystem and biodiversity in Oman to guarantee their protection and preservation. Oman has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various tourist attractions and is particularly well known for adventure and cultural tourism.JOURNAL, Kharusi, N. S., Salman, A., The English Transliteration of Place Names in Oman,weblink Journal of Academic and Applied Studies, 1, 3, September 2011, 1–27, WEB, Thomas, Babu,weblink Culture in Oman, Tourism, Omanet.om, 9 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130625131221weblink">weblink 25 June 2013, Muscat, the capital of Oman, was named the second best city to visit in the world in 2012 by the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.WEB, I'Anson, Richard, 7 June 2012,weblink Lonely Planet's Best in Travel: top 10 cities for 2012 – travel tips and articles, Lonely Planet, 9 June 2013, Muscat also was chosen as the Capital of Arab Tourism of 2012.Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141230014015weblink |date=30 December 2014 }}. gulfinthemedia.com

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

In industry, innovation and infrastructure, Oman is still faced with "significant challenges", as per United Nations Sustainable Development Goals index, as of 2019. Oman has scored high on the rates of internet use, mobile broadband subscriptions, logistics performance and on the average of top 3 university rankings. Meanwhile, Oman scored low on the rate of scientific and technical publications and on research & development spending. Oman's manufacturing value added to GDP rate in 2016 was 8.4 percent, which is lower than the average in the Arab world (9.8 percent) and world average (15.6 percent). In terms of research & development expenditures to GDP, Oman's share was on average 0.20 percent between 2011 and 2015, while the world's average during the same period was 2.11 percent.Sustainable Development: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Sustainable Development: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure United Nations. 2019. The majority of firms in Oman operate in the oil and gas, construction and trade sectors. {| class="wikitable"! Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth!! 2015 !! 2016 !! 2017 !! 2018IMF Executive Board Concludes 2019 Article IV Consultation with Oman IMF. 3 July 2019. >| 1.5Oman is refurbishing and expanding the ports infrastructure in Muscat, Duqm, Sohar and Salalah in order to expand tourism, local production and export shares. Oman is also expanding its downstream operations by constructing a refinery and petrochemical plant in Duqm with a 230,000 barrels per day capacity projected for completion by 2021.Oman - Market Overview. Oman - Market Overview (US Export.gov) 2018 export.gov. 2018. The majority of industrial activity in Oman takes place in 8 industrial states and 4 free-zones. The industrial activity is mainly focused on mining-and-services, petrochemicals and construction materials. The largest employers in the private-sector are the construction, wholesale-and-retail and manufacturing sectors, respectively. Construction accounts for nearly 48 percent of the total labor force, followed by wholesale-and-retail, which accounts for around 15 percent of total employment and manufacturing, which accounts for around 12 percent of employment in the private sector. The percentage of Omanis employed in the construction and manufacturing sectors is nevertheless low, as of 2011 statistics. Oman, as per Global Innovation Index (2019) report, scores "below expectations" in innovation relative to countries classified under high income.Global Innovation Index Organization 2019 Global Innovation Index Organization. 2019. Oman in 2019 ranked 80 out of 129 countries in innovation index, which takes into consideration factors, such as, political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.2019 Global Innovation Index Rankings Global Innovation Index Rankings. 2019. Innovation, technology-based growth and economic diversification are hindered by an economic growth that relies on infrastructure expansion, which heavily depends on a high percentage of 'low-skilled' and 'low-wage' foreign labor. Another challenge to innovation is the dutch disease phenomenon, which creates an oil and gas investment lock-in, while relying heavily on imported products and services in other sectors. Such a locked-in system hinders local business growth and global competitiveness in other sectors, and thus impedes economic diversification. The inefficiences and bottlenecks in business operations that are a result of heavy dependence on natural resources and 'addiction' to imports in Oman suggest a 'factor-driven economy'. A third hinderance to innovation in Oman is an economic structure that is heavily dependent on few large firms, while granting few opportunities for SMEs to enter the market, which impedes healthy market-share competition between firms.Science, Technology and Innovation 2014 Review. United Nations Science, Technology and Innovation 2014 Review United Nations. 2014. The ratio of patent applications per million people was 0.35 in 2016 and the MENA region average was 1.50, while the 'high-income' countries' average was approximately 48.0 during the same year.PCT patents. PCT patents, applications/million population The World Bank. 2016.{| class="wikitable"! Patent Grants !! 2014 !! 2015 !! 2016 !! 2017Oman Statistical Country Profiles WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization. >| 14

Agriculture and fishing

Oman's fishing industry contributed 0.78 percent to the GDP in 2016. Fish exports between 2000 and 2016 grew from US$144 million to US$ to 172 million (+19.4 percent). The main importer of Omani fish in 2016 was Vietnam, which imported almost US$80 million (46.5 percent) in value, and the second biggest importer was the United Arab Emirates, which imported around US$26 million (15 percent). The other main importers are Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China. Oman's consumption of fish is almost two times the world's average. The ratio of exported fish to total fish captured in tons fluctuated between 49 and 61 percent between 2006 and 2016. Oman strengths in the fishing industry comes from having a good market system, a long coastline (3,165 km), wide water area and the high contribution of women to the industry. Oman, on the other hand, lacks sufficient infrastructure, research and development, lack of monitoring of quality/safety and limited contribution of the fishing industry to GDP.In terms of fruit crop production, dates represent 80 percent of all production. Further, date farms employ 50 percent of the total agricultural area in the country. Oman's estimated production of dates in 2016 is 350,000 tons, making it the 9th largest producer of dates. The vast majority of date production (75 percent) comes from only 10 cultivars. Oman's total export of dates was US$12.6 million in 2016, almost equivalent to Oman's total imported value of dates, which was US$11.3 million in 2016. The main importer is India (around 60 percent of all imports). Oman's date exports remained steady between 2006 and 2016. Oman is considered to have good infrastructure for date production and support provision to cultivation and marketing, but lacks innovation in farming and cultivation, industrial coordination in the supply chain and encounter high losses of unused dates.

Demographics

{{As of|2014}}, Oman's population is over 4 million, with 2.23 million Omani nationals and 1.76 million expatriates.WEB, Andy Sambidge, Oman's population passes 4 million mark,weblink Arabian Business, The total fertility rate in 2011 was estimated at 3.70.WEB, Major Economic & Social Indicators,weblink National Center for Statistics & Information, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140514092309weblink">weblink 14 May 2014, dmy-all, Oman has a very young population, with 43 percent of its inhabitants under the age of 15. Nearly 50 percent of the population lives in Muscat and the Batinah coastal plain northwest of the capital. Omani people are predominantly of Arab, Baluchi and African origins.Omani society is largely tribalBOOK, 2013, Khalid M. Al-Azri, Social and Gender Inequality in Oman: The Power of Religious and Political Tradition,weblink 40, 978-1138816794, WEB, Judith Miller, Creating Modern Oman: An Interview with Sultan Qabus,weblink 1997, Foreign Affairs, 29 December 2014, Judith Miller, BOOK,weblink 2013, Democracy and Youth in the Middle East: Islam, Tribalism and the Rentier State in Oman, 170–197, Sulaiman al-Farsi, 978-1780760902, and encompasses three major identities: that of the tribe, the Ibadi faith, and maritime trade. The first two identities are closely tied to tradition and are especially prevalent in the interior of the country, owing to lengthy periods of isolation. The third identity pertains mostly to Muscat and the coastal areas of Oman, and is reflected by business, trade, and the diverse origins of many Omanis, who trace their roots to Baloch, Al-Lawatia, Persia, and historical Omani Zanzibar.NEWS, al Shaibany, Saleh, Omanis flocking to Zanzibar, their ancestral home,weblink 30 June 2014, The National, 4 August 2010, Consequently, the third identity is generally seen to be more open and tolerant towards others, and is often in tension with the more traditional and insular identities of the interior.

Religion

{{further|Freedom of religion in Oman}}File:SultanQaboosGrandMosque-Meifen1.JPG|thumb|Sultan Qaboos Grand MosqueSultan Qaboos Grand Mosque{{Pie chart|thumb = leftPUBLISHER= CIA THE WORLD FACTBOOK, |label1 = Islam|value1 = 85.9|color1 = Green|label2 = Christianity|value2 = 6.5|color2 = DodgerBlue|label3 = Hinduism|value3 = 5.5|color3 = Orange|label4 = Others|value4 = 1|color4 = Chartreuse|label5 = Buddhism|value5 = 0.8|color5 = Yellow|label6 = Unaffiliated|value6 = 0.2|color6 = Black|label7 = Judaism|value7 = 0.1|color7 = Blue}}Islam (official; majority are Ibadi and less Sunni and Shia) 85.9%, Christian 6.5%, Hindu 5.5%, Buddhist 0.8%, Jewish

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