Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The Sultanate of Oman

The Sultanate of Oman occupies the south eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula - 300,000 sq. km boasting some 1,700 km of coastline stretching along the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. It is the second largest country in Arabia, and has the most diverse landscape including fjord-like rugged mountains in the far north, magnificent tracts of desert and a lush south.
Oman's history can be traced back to 12,000 BC. The country is strategically located on the crossroads of several trade routes that linked the ancient world. It became a centre of power in the 17th century with Omani rule extending from Zanzibar in East Africa to parts of Persia and Pakistan.
Evidence of a glorious ancient past is spread all over the country which boasts more than 500 forts, castles, and towers. Their diversity and numbers reflect the high standards achieved by Omanis in architecture.
Oman enjoys many unique features including an unspoiled culture and lifestyle traditional in almost every aspect. The people are friendly and offer incomparable hospitality. A rich variety of flora and fauna abound, together with panoramic beauty witnessed in its mountain ranges, deserts and sand dunes.
Today, His Majesty Said Bin Sultan Qaboos rules the country and Oman is considered a safe and secure destination with many modern amenities and facilities

Climate: The hottest months are June through August when temperatures are in the 40’s. However, modern AC and sea breezes make this more than bearable. The most pleasant months to visit Oman are mid October through March when daytime temperatures fall into the lower 30s and below.

Dress: The dress code is fairly liberal in Muscat, although decency is still expected. Women should wear, for example, tops with sleeves, and long skirts or trousers. Men are required to wear trousers and shirts with sleeves. Swimwear should be restricted to the beach or pools.

Language: Arabic, English and Swahili are widely spoken.

Time Zone Difference: Oman is GMT+4

Currency: The unit of currency is the Rial Omani (RO) consisting of 1,000 baizas. ($1USD = 0.384 OMR 22.5.06)

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