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Oman

Map of Oman Oman lies in the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Its location at the mouth of the Persian Gulf has given it great power during thousands of years of shipping trade, and more recently, the export of oil. Today, it shares control over the entrance to the oil-rich Gulf with UAE and Iran. Much of the country is made up of a gravelly desert plain which merges into the sands of the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter). In the north, the Hajar Mountains rise steeply from the coast. At the foothills of these mountains, there is a narrow strip of flat, fertile land suitable for farming. Although coastal areas are often humid, most of Oman has an arid climate and is extremely hot and dry all year round.



A view of the Sayq plateau

Omani children

People

Omani people are descendants of natives of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as people from Iran, Pakistan and East Africa. After Arabs, the largest ethnic group are the Balochi, an Iranian people. Their language, Balochi, is widely spoken in Oman along with the official language, Arabic. Most Omanis live in or around the capital, Muscat, or near Dhofar in the southwest. Several hundred kilometres of near-empty desert separate the two areas. Omani people often wear traditional dress. Different headscarves and sleeve designs reveal a person’s tribal background. Many women wear modern clothes under a loose black garment.

Oman is known for breeding Arabian horses. The first Arabian horse is thought to have belonged to the Omani Arab Uzd tribe.

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