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Factfile: Sultanate of Oman

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Factfile: Sultanate of Oman

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GENERAL Population: 3,219,775 Capital: Muscat Area: 309.

GENERAL

  • Population: 3,219,775
  • Capital: Muscat
  • Area: 309.500 km²
  • Head of State: Sultan Qaboos bin Said
  • Languages: Arabic (official language), English (commonly used)
  • Religion: Islam

DHOFAR REGION

  • Regional capital: Salalah is the country’s second largest city, 1,040 kilometres away from the capital
  • The region covers one third of Oman’s land area and forms the Sultanate’s southern part
  • The region is famous for its frankincense and myrrh
  • From early June to early September the region is touched by monsoons

SHARQIYAH (WAHIBA) SANDS

  • The 6,000 year-old desert is the original homeland of the Bedouins
  • The dunes are up to 200 metres high and cover a total area of about 10,000 square kilometres

JABAL AKHDAR

  • Is also called “Green Mountain” and known for its Mediterranean climate
  • Rises to an altitude of 2,980 metres
  • Produces a variety of fruits, including pomegranates, apricots, plums, figs, grapes, apples and pears, as well as almonds, walnuts, saffron and the famous roses

BANDAR KHAYRAN RESERVE

  • The nature reserve Bandar Khayran is located 25 kilometres southeast of Muscat
  • This lagoon is surrounded by rocks which are up to 250 million years old
  • Bandar Khayran has a unique ecosystem due to mangroves that provide the habitat and food for many animals
  • In Bandar Khayran can be found 200 different types of fish and 45 different type of coral reefs

GREEN TURTLE

  • Ras Al Hadd and Ras Al Jinz, the easternmost points of the Arabian Peninsula, are one oft the most important nesting sites for the endangered green turtle wordwide
  • Around 30,000 green turtles return to Oman’s coast annually to lay their eggs
  • Only one to two out of 1,000 baby turtles will survive
  • Once they reached maturity at the age of 25 they return always to the very same beach where they were born
  • The average life span of a green sea turtle is over 80 years

SUR

  • Sur used to be an important shipbuilding centre of vessels like the dhow that crossed the oceans
  • Has played an important role in maritime commercial activity across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman

BAHLA FORT

  • Originally, Bahla Fort was built in the third millennium BC
  • Biggest mud brick fort in the country
  • The fort has been part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1987
  • Bahla is an outstanding example of a fortified oasis settlement of the medieval Islamic period

MUSCAT

  • Evidence of human settlement in the Muscat area dates back to 6,000 BC which makes it one of the oldest cities in the Middle East
  • 1507 conquered by the Portuguese, 1650 freed by Sultan bin Saif
  • Muscat became the capital of Oman in 1793
  • Qaboos bin Said became Sultan of Oman in 1970

SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE

  • Built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone the construction took six years, opened in 2001
  • The mosque’s total capacity is 20,000 worshipers
  • One of the main features is a single piece Persian carpet measuring 70×60 metres composed of 1,700 million knots and weighs 21 tons
  • In the centre of the main prayer hall hangs a 14 meters high Swarovski crystal chandelier with more than 1,100 light bulls