As one of countries starting with O, Oman is a West Asian country in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman has been inhabited for many thousands of years. The first forms of civilization here date back to 3,000 BC. Oman was known as an important trading center long before Europeans settled in this area.
It was the Portuguese who first occupied large parts of the country here, including the city of Muscat. The Portuguese stayed here for over 150 years and the signs of this are still visible in some towns. After the Portuguese period, Oman became part of the Ottoman Empire and the VOC had several trading posts in Oman. Later the country came under the rule of a sultan. The current sultan is still a direct descendant of this sultan.
From the end of the nineteenth century to 1971, Oman was a British protectorate. This explains why many inhabitants of Oman still speak the English language. The situation in Oman has improved considerably over the past forty years. Many new roads have been built, there is a school in almost every village and hospitals are now located in all major cities.
Like many countries in this part of the world, the economy in Oman is heavily dependent on the oil industry. It took until 1967 for the first oil fields to be found here, but nowadays about one percent of the worldwide oil yield is pumped up in Oman.
The capital Muscat on the Gulf of Oman is without a doubt the most beautiful city in Oman. The district of the same name in the city is especially beautiful. Here you will find the royal palace of Oman, the great mosque and several beautiful fortresses.
The fortress of Jabrin not far from the city of Nizwa is considered the most beautiful fortress in the country. The fortress of Jabrin is a beautiful example of an Omani fortress built of stone and clay. In addition, the fortress has the typical rectangular shapes.
The most northeastern part of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula is better known as Ras Al Jinz. This part is frequented by many tourists because the green sea turtle, also known as the green turtle, uses the beaches as a breeding ground for its eggs.
The city of Ibra is one of the oldest cities in Oman and a visit to this city is a must during a holiday in Oman. The Souq or Market of Ibra is known for its beautiful handicrafts.
Oman has four inscriptions on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1987, Fort Bahla was listed first. This fortress is made of clay and dates from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. There are a total of four forts near the city of Bahla. A year later, the Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn Archaeological Sites were added. The other inscriptions are the Land of the Olibanum and the Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman. More than 3,000 of these irrigation systems can be found in Oman, some more than 4,500 years old. Five of these systems have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The vast majority of Oman has a warm Desert climate, only the warm China climate can occur on the highest peaks of the Hajar Mountains. At the highest points of this mountain range, the average temperature is much lower and the precipitation is considerably higher. The precipitation in this part of Oman provides much of the rest of the country with water. This through the different seasonal rivers and the age-old irrigation systems.
The summer months are very hot in Oman, temperatures above forty degrees Celsius are certainly no exception. on the hottest days of the year, the mercury can rise above fifty degrees Celsius. Only in the southern part of the country are the temperatures somewhat tempered. This is due to the Khareef that blows here. In this part of the country, the average rainfall can be quite a bit higher. This is due to the monsoon rains from Yemen that sometimes hit this part of Oman.
In the winter months, the average daytime temperature in Oman is still around thirty degrees Celsius. It can only cool down considerably in the evening and night with temperatures of sixteen or seventeen degrees Celsius.
The water temperature here is very pleasant all year round and particularly suitable for swimming.
Oman is located in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula and has land borders with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is located on the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. The main mountain range in the country is the Hajar Mountains. This mountain range is 450 kilometers of land and extends from the Musandam peninsula and runs to the border with Saudi Arabia. The Djabal Shams is located in this mountain range, which is the highest point in Oman at 3,075 meters. The exact height of this mountain is debatable and the different measurements are about 100 meters apart. The middle part of this mountain range is known as Djabal Achdar.
The exclave of Musandam belongs to Oman, this area is enclosed by the United Arab Emirates. The capital of this area is Khasab. The northern part of the country mainly consists of mountains with in between large valleys in which small villages and oases are located. The Rub al Khali desert is located in western Oman. This is one of the largest and driest deserts in the world. The most fertile part of Oman is located between the western foothills of the Hadjar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman. This part is known as the Batinah Coastal Plain.
Oman is known for its many caves. Beneath the land is a labyrinth of caves and the second largest cave in the world. The Majlis al Jinn cave room is 120 meters high, 300 meters long and 225 meters wide.
There are no permanent rivers in Oman, but there are many small rivers that fill up with water during the rainy season and later dry up again. Most of these rivers flow towards the Gulf of Oman. Besides the capital Muscat, the places Barka, Salalah, Sohar, Rustaq and Nizwa are popular tourist destinations within Oman. The Wahiba Sands region is also very popular with tourists.
The travel advice for Oman has been “be vigilant” for several years now. Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, demonstrations have regularly taken place in the larger cities of Oman. It is wise to check the political situation before leaving for Oman.
It is not recommended to travel in Oman after dark. This is especially true for the highways outside the larger cities. These are poorly or unlit and many motorists in Oman drive without a light.
Pirates are active in the Arabian Sea and pleasure boating is strongly discouraged here.
To enter Oman you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months and a visa. You can apply for this visa at the embassy of Oman in The Hague or at the airport in Oman. The visa is cheaper in Oman, but here you run the risk of standing in line for a long time to apply for a visa. Visas are available here in different lengths. The cheapest is for a period of ten days.
Travelers who have recently been to Israel and have stamps of this in their passports may experience difficulties entering Oman.
|Capital city||Muscat also known as Muscat|
|Phone (country code)||968|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Arabic, English and some Indian dialects|
|Time difference summer||In Oman it is 2 hours earlier than in the Netherlands|
|Time difference winter||In Oman it is 3 hours earlier than in the Netherlands|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||no|