About Oman
The Sultanate of Oman is situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Its coast extends for 3,165 kilometers with an area of 310,000 square kilometers. It is the third largest country in the Peninsula with a population of 4,177,221 (2,332,243 Omanis and 1,844,978 expatriates). The national’s capital is Muscat.

Oman is divided into eleven governorates; Muscat, Musandam, Dhofar, Al-Buraimi, Al-Batinah North and South, Ash-Sharqiyyah North and South, Al-Wusta, and Adh-Dhahirah. These governorates are divided into a further 61 administrative divisions or provinces referred to as wilayats.
Oman is a modern monarchy ruled by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. The Omani legislature is the bicameral Council of Oman, consisting of an upper chamber, the Majlis Ad-Dawlah (Council of States) and a lower chamber, the Majlis Ash-Shoura (Consultative Council). The members of the Majlis Ad-Dawlah are appointed by the Sultan and have advisory powers only. The members of the Majlis Ash-Shoura are elected by popular vote. All citizens over the age of 21 are granted the right to vote.

Oman is categorized as a high income economy and the Oman Rial is pegged to the US dollar (1 Rial - 2.6008 dollars). The country is politically stable and one of the most peaceful countries in the world. It is recognized by the United Nationals Council as the safest country in the Gulf.

The economy is dominated by oil but Oman has a number of natural resources including: petroleum, natural gas, copper, asbestos, marble, limestone, gypsum and frankincense. Agriculture and fishing also play a part in the economy and have always been a part of the traditional way of life in Oman.

Islam is the main religion of the Sultanate and most Omani’s follow the Ibadi School of Islam. Islam is the source of legislation for the Basic Statute of the State. Arabic is the official language of Oman, although many languages are spoken including English, Balochi and Swahili. Almost all signs and writing appear in both Arabic and English.

Oman’s climate is hot and dry in the interior and humid along the coast. Summer is between May to September when temperatures can rise above 50 degrees. Winter is between October to April and temperatures are mild and pleasant. The southwest region of the country benefits from the monsoon between June and September.

A significant part of Omani culture is hospitality. Omani’s welcome guests with dates, qahwa (cardamom flavoured coffee) and fruit. During celebrations such as Eid, Halwa and other traditional sweets are shared. The national dress for men is the dishdasha and can be worn with a mussar (a type of turban) or a kummah (informal cap), an Assa (a cane or stick) and a Khanjar (traditional curved dagger worn at formal events and holidays). The national dress for women is distinctively regional and includes vibrant colours and embroidery but is most often worn only for special occasions. More commonly, Omani women wear an Abaya (loose black cloak) and the Hijab (head scarf).