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Oman
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{{About|the Arabian sultanate|the adjacent historical confederation named Trucial Oman|Trucial States|other uses}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Coord|21|N|57|E|type:country_region:OM|display=title}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2015}}







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 Said| leader_title2 = 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://WWW.WEBCITATION.ORG/5KWQLRATP?URL=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 = Dhofar Rebellion| established_date8 = 9 June 1965 – 11 December 1975| established_event9 = Sultanate of Oman| established_date9 = 9 August 1970United Nations Security Council Resolution 299>Admitted to the United Nations| established_date10 = 7 October 1971Basic Statute of Oman>Current constitution| established_date11 = 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 DEADURL=YES 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, | GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_rank = | GDP_PPP_per_capita = $47,846| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = | GDP_nominal = $98.422 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal_rank = | GDP_nominal_per_capita = $17,978| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = | 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 = OMRGulf 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 Britain 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. Britain recognized Oman's geographical importance as a trading hub that secured their trade lanes in the Arabian Gulf and Indian ocean and protected their empire in the Indian sub-continent. By contrast, the British strengthened Oman's internal unity and allied the sultanate against external threats.JOURNAL, Al Basami, Mubarak, April 2016, Oman - UK Relations,weblink BePress, {{Unreliable source?|date=December 2018}} 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,WEB,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.WEB,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, Nevertheless, in 2010 the UNDP 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. This sets it apart from its neighbors' largely oil-dependent economies. 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,

History

Prehistory and ancient history

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, 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 November 30, 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 Baat 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 of is known.File:World Heritage Grave Al Ayn Oman.JPG|thumb|A grave at Al Ayn, Oman, a World Heritage site]]Sumerian tablets refer to a country called MaganWEB,weblink Digging in the Land of Magan – Archaeology Magazine Archive, Archive.archaeology.org, 14 January 2014, WEB,weblink Oman: The Lost Land, Saudi Aramco World, March 1983, 14 January 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141006085542weblink">weblink 6 October 2014, yes, dmy-all, and Akkadian ones Makan,WEB,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 for the region. 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. When the emigrants from northern-western and south-western Arabia arrived in Oman, they had to compete with the indigenous population for the best arable land.(File:Lia sites.JPG|thumb|Oman, Late Iron Age sites)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 century AD. 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. Four centuries later, 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 Oman is usually ascribed to Amr ibn al-As, who was sent by the prophet Muhammad during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Hisma).

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}}.The Ottoman Turks captured Muscat from the Portuguese in 1581 and held it until 1588. Rebellious tribes eventually drove out the Portuguese, but were themselves pushed out about a century later, in 1741, by the leader of an Omani tribe, who began the current line of ruling sultans. Except for a brief Persian invasion in the late 1740s, Oman has been self-governing ever since.Oman History. Sultanate of Oman

18th and 19th centuries

File:Sultan's Palace, Zanzibar.JPG|thumb|upright=1.35|The Sultan's Palace in ZanzibarZanzibarIn the 1690s, 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 bin Sultan in 1698. Thereafter the Omanis easily ejected the Portuguese from Zanzibar and from all other coastal regions north of Mozambique. The Persians invaded Oman in 1737. They were driven out in 1749 when the Al Said dynasty came to power. It continues to rule Oman to this day.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 Imam 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 1783, Oman's Seyyid 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 Seyyid 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").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 In 1913, control of the country split. The interior was ruled by Ibadite imams and the coastal areas by the sultan. Under the terms of the British-brokered Treaty of Seeb of 1920, the sultan recognised the autonomy of the interior. The Sultan of Muscat would be responsible for the external affairs of Oman.WEB, Jebel Akhdar, Britain's Small Wars, 10 April 2012,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130917071704weblink">weblink 17 September 2013,

Reign of Sultan Said (1932–1970)

The rule of Sultan Said bin Taimur was characterised by a feudal and isolationist approach. Imam Ghalib Alhinai was the elected Imam of the Imamate of Oman in May 1954.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 were ruptured over a dispute concerning the right to grant oil concessions. A subsidiary of the Iraq Petroleum Company was intensely interested in some promising geological formations near Fahud. Under the terms of the 1920 treaty of Seeb, the Sultan claimed all dealings with the oil company as his prerogative. The Imam, on the other hand, claimed that since the oil was in his territory, anything dealing with it was an internal matter.(File:Bahla Fort-109699.jpg|thumb|Bahla Fort)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. Imam Ghalib Alhinai and his younger brother, Talib bin Ali Alhinai, led the Imamate of Oman in the Jebel Akhdar War against Sultan Said bin Taimur's attack on his lands. In July 1957, the Sultan's forces were withdrawing, but they were repeatedly ambushed, sustaining heavy casualties. Sultan Said bin Taimur, however, with the intervention of 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, Talib'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 27 January 1959, they 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, Imam Ghalib delegated his brother, Talib Alhinai, to present the issue to the Arab League and the United Nations in order to seek recognition of the Imamate of Oman by peaceful means.WEB,weblink The Last Imam of Oman has Died in Saudi Arabia, CNN Arabic.,
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.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.WEB,weblink Oman profile – Timeline, BBC News, 11 September 2012, 18 January 2013,

Geography

(File:Wadi Shab (6).jpg|upright=0.55|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, 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|50|°C|°F|1}} (peak) in the hot season, from May to September.{{citation needed|date=July 2018}}On June 26, 2018 the city of Qurayyat, Oman set the record for highest minimum temperature in a 24 hour period, 42.6°C (108.7°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|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.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,WEB, 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, yes,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|right|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 2011. Oman's national anthem, As-Salam as-Sultani is dedicated to Sultan Qaboos.

Human rights

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.The Omani government decides who can or cannot be a journalist and this permission can be withdrawn at any time.WEB, Brian Whitaker, Whitaker, Brian,weblink Oman's Sultan Qaboos: a classy despot, 2011, The Guardian, 29 December 2014, 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.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).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, yes,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 July 17, 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, yes,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, yes,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, yes,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, yes,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, yes,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, yes,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.

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 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, yes,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|right|150px|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, yes,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|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. 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.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.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.The Oman Ferries Company maintains the two diesel-powered, high-speed, car ferries – Shinas and Hormouz. The ferries are used for travel between Muscat and Khasab. Khasab is strategically located in Musandam on the southern tip of the Strait of Hormuz and is controlled by Oman. Mainland Oman is separated by a small strip of UAE territory from Musandam.

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, yes,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 yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160509062905weblink">weblink 9 May 2016, dmy-all, 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, yes,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.

Tourism

(File:Wahiba Sands (33).jpg|thumb|Wahiba Sands)(File:Bustan-palace.jpg|thumb|Bustan Palace)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, 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, yes,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

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, yes,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, 1138816795, WEB, Judith Miller, Creating Modern Oman: An Interview with Sultan Qabus,weblink 1997, Foreign Affairs, 29 December 2014, BOOK,weblink 2013, Democracy and Youth in the Middle East: Islam, Tribalism and the Rentier State in Oman, 170–197, Sulaiman al-Farsi, 1780760906, 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 information|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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