About Oman

Oman information

The oldest independent state in the Arab world.

This is a page just about Oman information, while there will be loads you want to know, this might give you some background

THE HISTORY

Oman is blessed with a history that goes back to Roman times, the Queen of Sheba and the famous frankincense trails. Ruled over more recently by a dynasty of sultans, with eight sultans since 1749. Omanis are grateful to the current Sultan Qaboos for the thriving economy and tourism in Oman, and bringing an end to the conflicts in which it used to be involved, helping it to grow into the country it is today.

NIZWA FORT

17th century formidable stronghold

“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. But Oman was nonetheless conquered by several foreign powers, having been controlled by the Qarmatians between 931–932 and then again between 933–934. Between 967 and 1053, Oman was part of the domain of the Iranian Buyyids and between 1053 and 1154, Oman was part of the Great Seljuq Empire. In 1154, the indigenous Nabhani dynasty took control of Oman, and the Nabhani kings ruled Oman until 1470, with an interruption of 37 years between 1406 and 1443. Portugal controlled large parts of the coast from 1508 to 1659, when the Ottoman Empire took possession. The Ottoman Turks were driven out in 1741 by Ahmad ibn Said of Yemen, who founded the present royal line.” (taken from Wikipedia)

THE PEOPLE

The culture and history have helped make the Sultanate unique in the country. The people of Oman have been great sailors and explorers throughout history. Historically Omanis were fisherman and work hard as farmers who herded sheep or goats, this combination of trading and sailing brought about influences from Baluchistan or Zanzibar and India where cultures mixed through time.

TRADITIONAL

Advanced with a sense of stepping back in time

The Omani people today are up-to-date with modern technology yet retain the family value that has been lost in much of Europe and the west. You can still enjoy a cup of Omani coffee and dates with them, there are no ulterior motive, only to meet you. Contrary to the common misconception, these modern people have embraced women in the economy and you will find women in all walks of life even in the police force.

THE COUNTRY

The biggest surprise for most tourists is just how huge Oman is. Trying to pack Musandam, Salalah, Sur, Muscat, Nizwa into 7 or 10 days vacation will not be enjoyable. There’s 3000 km of coastline, dotted with traditional fishing villages and a few larger towns. The capital, Muscat, is the largest city in the country with a population of just over 700,000, situated in the northeast, on the coast of the Gulf of Oman.

SALALAH

On the south coast

Parts of the coast the dunes come right to the edge of the sea, changing from deep orange to silver white in colour as they reach the coast. Depending on the wind, the formations will give parabolic or liner type dunes. The main sand desert areas are the Wahiba sands (Shaqira sands) or the Empty Quarter (Rub al Khali). The highest mountain, Jebal Shams, is 3000 m, with camping up to 2300 m, it can get cold during the winter nights. The Junipar tree (Juniperus excelsa ,subsp. Polycarpos) can be found at 2400 m hanging on to life in this changing climate. There are some gazelles and foxes to be seen on Jebal Akhdar, and the rock provides evidence to its past, with sea shells and fossils that show it was once all under the sea. Follow the water courses (wadi) and you will find the water giving live to farms and all the people in the village. Rain can cause the wadis to surge with torrents of water streaming off the mountains, so a very good reason not to camp in wadis or at least get up higher off the wadi bed during the winter when there is a higher chance of rain. With only approximately 3 million people in the whole country there is a lot of space to enjoy without the hustle and bustle of people.

 

MUSCAT

Coastal City

CITY LIFE

Landing in the capital Muscat will give you an idea of the speed of development within the city. The contrast between Muscat and it’s surroundings is very captivating. You will notice the absence of high rise buildings within the city, and the concious effort to upkeep traditional architecture. Muscat itself is not structured with a central medina, town centre, or main shopping strip, making discovering the city quite unusual. Hotels are the only holders of liquor licenses and tend to be a social spot. Other social spots tend to involve smoking hubbly bubbly pipes and drinking juice or coffee in numerous CafĂ©s. [/image_with_text]

 

SHOPPING

Anything you need to your disposal

LOCAL AMENATIES

To many people’s surprise, Oman is not a nation living in the dark ages. There is a contrast of shops available, ranging from small family owned shops to state- of -the-art shopping malls. The Malls have many western style shops, cafĂ©s and restaurants. Western style supermarkets are readily available, such as Carrefour and Waitrose brands. Shops stay open until late hours as it is used as a social spot for locals. Information can be found in newspapers or the web  [/image_with_text]

 

TRANSPORT

TRANSPORT

Oman is equipped with a state of the art set of Express-ways interconnecting the north to the south. Muscat in particular is endlessly developing it’s routes of travel. Taxi’s are available from every street, and although convenient on a short time basis, can become somewhat a hassle. The lack of meters in the taxi’s does allow the drivers to charge as they please and can turn out to be an expensive affair. Due to the lack of public transport, the alternative is to hire a car. [/image_with_text]