- Muscat; 638,000
- 309,500 square kilometers (119,500 square miles)
- Arabic, English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
- Ibadhi Muslim, Sunni Muslim, Shiite Muslim, Hindu
- Omani rial
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $8,300
- Literacy Percent:
Oman Facts Flag
At the mouth of the Persian Gulf and in the path of trade routes to East Africa and the Orient, Oman built a commercial empire centuries ago. After the mid-19th century, power struggles weakened the sultanate, strengthening bonds to the British Empire. In 1970 British-educated Qaboos bin Said deposed his father and, as sultan, began modernizing. Oman allows the United States to use port and air base facilities. Oil, exported since 1967, has financed roads, schools, and hospitals. The majority of Omanis still farm or fish, and protection of fisheries and coastal zones is promoted.
- Industry: Crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction
- Agriculture: Dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa; camels; fish
- Exports: Petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
Poets praise their treasures. Profiteers deplete them. Activists now seek to preserve them.
It's time to start planning your adventures for 2012. Here are Traveler magazine's 20 best places in the world to visit, including Oman.
Many of Oman’s delights cater to the elite luxury traveler. See what this Traveler magazine pick has to offer.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
See photos of World Heritage sites in Europe submitted to National Geographic by users like you.