About Oman


Officially the Sultanate of Oman, Oman is a traditional Arab country, which lies on the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan.

Oman is a small country, located on the Arabian Peninsula of the Middle East. Despite its geographical size, the country is one of great wealth, thanks to the oil industry, and it attracts many expats from all over the world. Oman is regarded as a progressive, safe, and welcoming country. The main languages spoken are Arabic and English, and the capital city, Muscat, offers a wealth of employment and leisure options. Oman is known for its high quality of life, progressive women’s rights, and its peaceful history.

The country has been a key player in the region for thousands of years and obtained its independence in 1970 when the previous sultan was overthrown in a peaceful coup. The country has been run since 1970 by the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said.

Demography

Oman has a population of approximately 4.6 million, however, nearly 50% of the population are expats, which creates a country rich in diversity, and with a welcoming attitude towards newcomers. The oil industry is what brings most expats to the country, and the population generally has a high level of education. The country attracts expats from all over the world, but especially from India, Pakistan, the USA, the UAE, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, to name a few.

Around 50% of the population live in the capital, Muscat, and the main ethnic groups in the country include Arabs, Baluchi, and South Asian populations.

Geography

Oman, located on the Arabian Peninsula, borders Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country spans 309,500 square kilometres and has always been important, geopolitically, due to its coastal access and waterways.

Although Oman is best known for its desert climate, the country is actually broken into six geographical regions:

  • Ruus al Jibal, the north of the country, composed of mountains, coast, and rugged terrain

  • Al Batinah, a coastal region

  • Muscat-Matrah coastal area, home to natural harbours, which allowed the cities of Muscat and Matrah to develop

  • Coastal tract and Masirah island- A low-level coastline, and the island is a place of military importance

  • Oman’s interior- The county’s interior, composed of mountain ranges and desert

  • Dhofar governorate- Fertile forested land and it makes up part of the country’s border with Yemen and Saudi Arabia

Climate

Oman has a hot, dry climate, with low annual rainfall and temperatures in summer reaching 40 C and above. Spring and autumn are still warm also, around 25-35 C. Inland, away from the coast, temperatures can be more extreme. Dust storms can be common in the desert areas, and the only rainfall generally seen in Oman is in the winter months. New expats should be prepared for extreme temperatures, and it is recommended to avoid prolonged sun exposure in the summer and to consider sunscreen, hats, and long-sleeved clothing, especially for children.