35+ Interesting Facts About Oman

  1. Oman is a country on the southeastern Arabian Peninsula at the junction of the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. It shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen and maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan.
  2. Paleontologists have discovered several Arabian Nubian Complex sites in Oman since 2011. The oldest, discovered in 2011 in southern Oman, shows that humans initially arrived here 106,000 years ago. Since the 1960s, scientists have identified the Nubian complex in North Africa, East Africa, and southern Arabia. (Source)
  3. There are three main physical features of Oman. A central desert plane (Rub al-Khali or Empty Quarter) bisects two rugged mountains in the north and south of the country. Mount Shams (2,980 meters) in the northern Hajar Mountains is the highest point in the country. The climate is primarily hot and dry, while the south receives summer monsoon rainfall.
  4. Apart from Oman proper, the country includes two exclaves, Musadam peninsula and Madha. Musadam is a strategic point located adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz. Madha is present inside the UAE.
  5. Quriyat (or Qurayyat), a coastal city in Oman, set a record for the highest minimum temperature during 24 hours. The city recorded a minimum temperature of 42.6 C on June 26, 2018, while the maximum temperature on that day was 49.8 C. Khasab Airport in Oman was the record holder of the previous highest low temperature of 41.7 C, measured on June 27, 2011. (Source)
  6. UNESCO inscribed the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman to its world heritage list in 1994 but deleted it in 2007 due to a reduction of its size by 90%. It was the first site deleted from UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The population of Arabian Oryx in this protected area was 450 in 1996 but reduced to 65 in 2007 due to habitat degradation and poaching. (Source)
  7. Omani Rial (OMR) is the third strongest currency in the world after the Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) and Bahraini Dinar (BHD). Omani economy primarily depends on exports of petroleum products, but the country is diversifying its economy with a focus on tourism.
  8. Despite being the oldest country in the Arab World, the tourism sector is very young compared to other regional countries. The first hotel in Oman, Mutrah Hotel, was built in 1970 and opened in 1972. (Source
    A hotel in Oman
    First hotel in Oman opened in 1972

  9. The tribal system in Oman originated after the arrival of various Arab tribes during and after the 2nd Century from South Arabia. These Arabs became dominant after accepting Islam in the 7th Century.
  10. Ibadi Imamate played a vital role in uniting Oman politically. Ibadis took refuge in the mountains and isolated desert and spread their beliefs to local clans and tribes. Their conversion gave rise to a unique religio-political system ruled by elected Ibadi Imams. This system started during the mid-8th Century and gained its peak during the 9th Century.
  11. The Portuguese captured Muscat in 1507 and then the entire Omani coast. The Arabian Ya’rubid dynasty defeated the Portuguese and retook Muscat in 1650. Later, they also captured Portuguese settlements in the Persian Gulf and East Africa.
  12. Portuguese fought the Battle of Hormuz in 1625 against the combined forces of British and Dutch navies. It is known as one of the largest battles in the Persian Gulf. It ended without a decisive result but weakened the Portuguese control in the region and assisted Omanis in recapturing their lost territory.
  13. The Ya’rubid dynasty disintegrated during the early 18th Century over a dispute on Imamate. Nadir Shah of Persia tried to take advantage of this situation and invaded Oman in 1737. However, Ahmed ibn Said defeated them, and Oman came under his rule in 1749.
  14. The current Al Bu Said dynasty established its rule in Oman (alongside Zanzibar and other parts of East Africa) in 1749, making Oman the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Ahmed Ibn Said became the first ruler of this dynasty after defeating the Persians in 1749.
  15. Sultan Ibn Ahmed signed Oman’s first treaty with the East India Company in 1798 due to fear of Wahhabis. After that, Oman remained under the influence of Britain.
  16. The slave trade in East Africa started in the 18th Century when merchants from Oman settled in Zanzibar. This slave market also assisted in the growing of cloves in Zanzibar. Slavery officially ended in Zanzibar in 1873 and was practically abolished in 1909. (Source)
  17. During the 19th Century, Oman became an empire by expanding its rule to parts of East Africa and the Indian Subcontinent by taking advantage of its maritime power.
  18. Telegraph Island (Jazirat al Maqlab) in Oman is close to the Musandam Peninsula. It was a British telegraph outpost from 1864-69. Many soldiers on this lonely island lost their minds due to monotony and intense heat. This island and its effects on the human brain are behind the English phrase “around the bend.” (Source)
  19. Ibadi Imams took control of interior Oman in 1913, while the sultan had sovereignty over coastal areas. The sultan recognized the autonomy of interior parts in 1920 after an agreement brokered by the British.
  20. The Sultan of Muscat and Oman and the Imamate fought a decisive war from 1954 to 1959, known as the Jebel Akhdar War. The relations between the two factions deteriorated due to the presence of oil in the Omani interior. Saudi Arabia and Egypt were backing the Imamate, while the sultan got support from Britain. The sultan managed to take control of the interior of Oman after getting heavy military and air support from Britain.
  21. The per capita fish consumption in Oman is nearly 27%, the highest in the world, while the average worldwide rate is 17%. The country is also one of the largest producers and exporters of fish in the region. (Source)
  22. Oman is among the top producers of dates in the world and cultivates nearly 250 indigenous varieties on 8 million palm trees. Omanis serve dates and coffee at all events. Dried dates are nutritious and long-lasting, and thus assisted famed Omani sailors and traders since 120 B.C. There are over 3,000 aflaj (ancient water canals) to irrigate date palms in Oman. Five of these are part of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country. (Source
    Palm tree farms in Oman
    Omanis serve dates at all events

  23. Frankincense is an aromatic resin that has been in use for 6,000 years as a perfume and was once priced more than gold. The trees that produce this resin grow from the Horn of Africa to India and China. However, Oman produces the best and most expensive frankincense in the world. Caravans and routes of frankincense in Oman are as old as the 4th Century B.C. and are part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. (Source)
  24. Oman only allows white and its shades on buildings in Muscat, while owners need permission from the municipality before using other colors. Recently, the municipality has allowed the use of grey, beige, and bright brown for streets and internal blocks. (Source)
  25. Oman faced its most difficult security challenge between 1963 and 1976 due to a rebellion by communist forces known as the Dhofar War. Oman gained support from the UK, Jordan, UAE, and Iran, while the backers of rebels were South Yemen, Iraq, and China. This war resulted in thousands of casualties and ended with a victory for the sultan.
  26. Sultan Qaboos bin Said became sultan of Oman in 1970 after deposing his father in a bloodless coup. He continued to rule the country until he died in 2020, making him the longest-serving Arab leader. The absolute monarch is known for developing his country using its oil wealth and following a neutral foreign policy. After his death, his cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al Said became his successor according to his will. (Source)
  27. According to the UNDP 2010 Human Development Report, Oman has improved most in HDI terms in the past 40 years (1970-2010). The Middle Eastern country achieved this milestone by investing its energy earnings in public health and education. (Source)
  28. Oman has opened several museums since the 1970s. However, the National Museum in 2013 was the first that followed the International Council of Museum Standards. It is also the first museum in the Middle East to provide Arabic Braille script for visually impaired visitors. (Source)
  29. Arabic is the official language of Oman, while people speak various dialects in different regions. The population from various ethnicities speaks other languages, including English, Baluchi, Tamil, Urdu, etc.
  30. Oman has a large population of foreign workers, like many countries of the Arabian Peninsula. More than 40% of people in Oman are nationals of other countries. Most of these foreigners are citizens of Bangladesh and India.
  31. Nearly 55% of Omanis are Arabs, including Omanis and other Arabs. Balochis, who migrated from Modern Pakistan and Iran for centuries, constitute the second-largest population of 15%. Other ethnicities include people from South Asia, Zanzibar, and Iran. The majority of the population resides in the north and south of the country with moderate climate.
  32. More than 85% of Omanis follow Islam. The vast majority of Muslims are Ibadi or Sunni (non-Ibadi Arabs and Baloch), while the remaining are Shiite. Only a small percentage of the population, primarily expatriates, are adherents of Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. It is the only country with a high following of the Ibadi sect of Islam.
  33. Omanis have been famous for shipbuilding and sea navigation skills since ancient times. These capabilities assisted them in becoming a maritime power during the mid-17th Century, while their golden era for shipbuilding came during the 18th and 19th centuries. The main features of Omani boats and ships were teak (a tropical hardwood), gypsum, and shark fat. Their most significant shipbuilding centers were Muscat and Sur. (Source)
  34. There are five cultural sites of Oman on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These sites depict the ancient civilization of the country.
  35. Bahla Fort in eastern Oman is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located inside the Oasis of Bahla, the stronghold of the Banu Nubhan tribe that dominated this area from the 12th to 15th Century. Bahla was also the center of Ibadism, and most former Ibadi imams belonged to this area. (Source)
  36. The archaeological landscape of Bat, Al Khutm, and Al Ayn in northwestern Oman is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to several beehive-shaped tombs and other features. These tombs are nearly 5,000 years old and are either single-chambered or multi-chambered. (Source)
  37. Like other Middle Eastern countries, there are several souqs (markets) in Oman. However, one of these in the city of Ibra is dedicated to women once a week. Men are not allowed in this women’s souq, while photographs are prohibited. (Source)


Popular posts from this blog

45 Interesting Facts About Christianity

50+ Interesting Facts About Spain

105+ Unbelievable Facts About Plants