Language: Arabic (official), English (widely spoken)
Capital: City of Muscat
Natural Resources: Petroleum, Natural Gas, Copper, Fishery, Agriculture.
Local Time: GMT +4
Currency: Omani Rial, which equates to $ 2.58
Government: 07:30 - 14:30
Private Sector: 08:00 - 13:00 then 16:00 to 19:00Shopping Hours: 10:00 - 13:00 then 16:30 - 24:00
Dress Code for Visitors:
The dress code is fairly liberal in Muscat, although decency is still expected. Women should wear, for example, tops with sleeves, and skirts covering the knees or trousers. Men are required to wear trousers and shirts with sleeves. Swimwear should be restricted to the beach or pools.
Oman is one of Asia’s most diverse nations – both culturally and geographically and is situated in West Asia. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea in the south and east, and the Sea of Oman in the northeast.
An endless coastline of sandy beaches, towering mountains, deserts, fresh water wadis, and tropical forests compose the landscape of Oman. Offshore lie tropical coral reefs, thousands of dolphins, and every year five of the world’s seven species of turtles return to breed on Oman’s beaches.
Traditional Omani forts (one of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) tower over towns and villages throughout the interior. The pristine shores of Oman will entice the athletes of Asia, and the world, with its seemingly endless coastline, unrivalled beach sporting facilities and the vibrant Omani culture that will forever etch itself into the hearts and minds of all visitors to the Sultanate.
The Omani culture has its roots firmly in the Islamic religion with 75% of the population being Muslim. Beautiful, ornate mosques are found throughout the Sultanate. Oman developed its own particular form of Islam, called Ibadhism, after its founder, Abdullah ibn Ibadh who lived during the 7th century AD. Not all Omanis are Ibadhis however; there are also Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. Omanis are not only tolerant of the beliefs of different Muslim sects; they are also tolerant towards believers of other faiths, who are allowed to practise their religion in churches and temples.
Oman is one of the world’s longest inhabited countries with civilisation starting in the country as early as 5000 years ago and has a maritime history dating back thousands of years.
It’s seafaring tradition and history has led to the diverse and cosmopolitan nature of the Omani people – and the warm welcome always awaiting visitors to its shores.
Wherever the traveler goes in Oman they will always be greeted with a welcoming smile and the genuine warmth of traditional Omani hospitality.
The Sultanate has an estimated population of 3.2 million, this figure includes 750,000 expatriates who are guest workers with specific skills from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, the Philippines and from across Europe/ North America.
About 50% of the population lives in Muscat, the capital city, and the Batinah costal plain to the northwest. About 200,000 live in the souther region of Dhofar, 30,000 in the remote Musandam Peninsula on the Strait of Hormuz.
Omanis are an outgoing people who have been travelling the world for nearly two thousand years – now is the time to travel to Oman and discover that welcome for yourself!