A few years ago, Oman was a little-known country located on the Arabian Peninsula. But now the situation has changed – every year hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Oman to relax on the beautiful white sandy beaches that wash the turquoise waters, as well as visit the gazelle reserves, see picturesque canyons, deserts, oases, ancient fortresses, forts, mosques and Hindu temples.
Geography of Oman
Oman is located in Southwest Asia, on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman borders Saudi Arabia to the west, the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, and Yemen to the southwest. The Omani exclave of Madha and the exclave of Musandam are located in the UAE. In the northeast, the shores of Oman are washed by the waters of the Gulf of Oman, and in the southeast by the Arabian Sea. The total territory of this country is 309,500 sq. km, and the total length of the state border is 1,374 km.
The central regions of Oman are occupied by a vast desert plain. There are mountains in the north and southeast of the country. The highest point in Oman is Mount Ash Sham, whose height reaches 3,017 m.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of Oman is Muscat, which is now home to more than 800 thousand people. The settlement of people on the site of modern Muscat existed already in the times of Ancient Rome (it was a transshipment trading point).
Official language of Oman
In Oman, the official language is Arabic, belonging to the Semitic group of the Afroasian language family.
About 75% of the Omani population are Ibadi Muslims (Ibadism is a form of Islam). Another 24% of Omani residents consider themselves Sunni Muslims, and 1% are Shiite Muslims.
According to equzhou.net, Oman is an absolute monarchy with the Sultan as head of state. Power is inherited.
The Sultan of Oman leads the country with the help of the Council of State and the Shura Council. These bodies develop proposals on a particular issue, and the Sultan can listen to them or not.
Oman is made up of 11 provinces (governors).
Climate and weather
In Oman, the climate is tropical, very hot. The average air temperature is +28.3C. The highest average air temperature in Oman is observed in June – +38C, and the lowest – in January and February (+19C). The average rainfall is 99 mm per year.
The sea in Oman
In the northeast, the shores of Oman are washed by the waters of the Gulf of Oman, and in the southeast by the Arabian Sea. The total coastline is 2,092 km. The minimum sea temperature in Oman is +23C, and the maximum is +34C. The average sea temperature is +28.1C.
Rivers and lakes
Rivers in Oman only fill with water during the winter months. However, there are several salt lakes in this country.
The roots of Omani culture go back to Islam. Oman has its own version of Islam, Ibadism. In this country, all traditional Islamic holidays are celebrated.
Tourists will be interested in visiting the Muscat Festival, which is celebrated in February, as well as the National Day Festival, the Kharif Festival, the Multak Festival and Novruz.
During the festivals, traditional Omani music is usually performed, as well as traditional Omani dances. By the way, each region of Oman has its own unique musical traditions. So, in the Sharqiya region, there are three types of folk singing.
Traditional food products in Oman are rice, meat (lamb, beef, poultry), dairy products, fish.
Traditional dishes in Oman: maqbous (rice with saffron and meat), aursia (rice with spices), shuwa (meat cooked for 2 days in a clay oven in the ground), mashuai (meat on a spit, served with rice), rukhal (thin bread baked on fire, it is usually served with honey). The most popular sweets in Oman are halva and candied dates.
Traditional non-alcoholic drinks are coffee (usually cardamom is added to it), tea, laban (salted kefir), yogurt flavored with cardamom and pistachios.
The preparation of the same dishes differs depending on the region of Oman. However, in all corners of Oman, the hospitality of the locals remains unchanged.
Sights of Oman
In all regions of Oman there are numerous ancient forts, fortresses, mosques, palaces, caves with petroglyphs and rock paintings, as well as other attractions. The top ten attractions in Oman, in our opinion, include the following:
- Portuguese Fort Mirani in Muscat
- Mutrah Fort in Muscat
- Al-Gamama Mosque in Batina
- Fort in the city of Rustaq
- Al Alam Palace in Muscat
- Beit al-Makham Fort near Muscat
- Fort Nakhl
- As-Sulaif fortress
- Bahla Fort
- Ancient necropolis in Wadi al-Ain
Cities and resorts
The largest Omani cities are Suhar, Es-Sib, Nazwa, Salalah, Ibri, Sur, and, of course, Muscat.
Many cities in Oman are located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, so they are a great place for a beach holiday. The largest cities in Oman that can be attributed to beach resorts are Muscat, Salalah, Sohar and Sur.
The beaches in Oman are long and sandy. Many of them are surrounded by groves of coconut palms and mangroves. There is a rich underwater world in the coastal waters. It should be borne in mind that there are many coral reefs in coastal waters. Therefore, do not forget to take special shoes with you to the beach.
In the Batinah Valley, there are hot springs at-Tuara, Ain al-Qasfa and Rustak, which are very popular among tourists.
Tourists from Oman usually bring handicrafts, ceramics, coffee pots, coffee cups, wedding chests, Omani daggers, miniature dhows made of wood or silver, traditional Omani hats for men, camel figurines, wicker baskets, silver jewelry. Make sure the souvenirs you buy are made in Oman and not imported from India.
Shops in Oman open at 08:00 in the morning, close in the afternoon for a long vow, and then open until 19:00.
A visa for 1 month is issued immediately upon arrival in Oman.
Currency of Oman
The Omani rial is the official currency in Oman. Its international designation is OMR. Big shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major credit cards. However, Omanis still prefer cash.
You can import (or export) foreign and local currency to Oman without any restrictions. You can not import the currency of Israel. Animals can only be imported into Oman if they have a certificate from a veterinarian.
Old books, antiques and archeological objects cannot be exported from Oman.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Oman in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Oman in Russia:
Postcode: 117049, Moscow, Staromonetniy per., 9, pp. 6 and 7 T
: (495) 230-15-87
mail: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Oman are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Saudi Arabia:
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11693, POBox 94010 Riyadh T:
(8 10 9661) 450 85 36
mail: [email protected]
999 – all emergencies
The difference with Ukrainian time is +2 hours. those. if in Muscat, for example, 09:00, then in Kyiv – 07:00 in the morning.
Tipping is not required in Oman. More and more hotels and restaurants include a service charge in the bill (usually 5-10%). Waiters, especially in small restaurants, will be grateful for a small tip.
No vaccinations are required to enter Oman. However, doctors recommend vaccinating against typhoid, malaria, rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B before traveling to this country.
Violent crime and street crime in Oman is rare. However, tourists still need to take reasonable precautions. Keep valuables and documents in the hotel safe. Remember that this is a Muslim country.