Oman

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This article is about the Arabian sultanate. Oman_sentence_0

For the adjacent historical confederation named Trucial Oman, see Trucial States. Oman_sentence_1

For other uses, see Oman (disambiguation). Oman_sentence_2

Not to be confused with Amman, which has the same spelling in Arabic as Oman. Oman_sentence_3

Oman_table_infobox_0

Sultanate of Oman

سلطنة عُمان (Arabic) Salṭanat ʻUmānOman_header_cell_0_0_0

Capital

and largest cityOman_header_cell_0_1_0

MuscatOman_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesOman_header_cell_0_2_0 ArabicOman_cell_0_2_1
ReligionOman_header_cell_0_3_0 Islam (official)Oman_cell_0_3_1
Demonym(s)Oman_header_cell_0_4_0 OmaniOman_cell_0_4_1
GovernmentOman_header_cell_0_5_0 Unitary absolute monarchyOman_cell_0_5_1
SultanOman_header_cell_0_6_0 Haitham bin Tariq Al SaidOman_cell_0_6_1
LegislatureOman_header_cell_0_7_0 Council of OmanOman_cell_0_7_1
Upper houseOman_header_cell_0_8_0 Council of State (Majlis al-Dawla)Oman_cell_0_8_1
Lower houseOman_header_cell_0_9_0 Consultative Assembly (Majlis al-Shura)Oman_cell_0_9_1
EstablishmentOman_header_cell_0_10_0
The Azd tribe migrationOman_header_cell_0_11_0 130Oman_cell_0_11_1
Al-JulandaOman_header_cell_0_12_0 629Oman_cell_0_12_1
Imamate establishedOman_header_cell_0_13_0 751Oman_cell_0_13_1
Nabhani dynastyOman_header_cell_0_14_0 1145Oman_cell_0_14_1
Yaruba dynastyOman_header_cell_0_15_0 1624Oman_cell_0_15_1
Al Said dynastyOman_header_cell_0_16_0 1744Oman_cell_0_16_1
Muscat and OmanOman_header_cell_0_17_0 8 January 1820Oman_cell_0_17_1
Jebel Akhdar WarOman_header_cell_0_18_0 1954–1959Oman_cell_0_18_1
Dhofar RebellionOman_header_cell_0_19_0 9 June 1965 – 11 December 1975Oman_cell_0_19_1
Sultanate of OmanOman_header_cell_0_20_0 9 August 1970Oman_cell_0_20_1
Admitted to the United NationsOman_header_cell_0_21_0 7 October 1971Oman_cell_0_21_1
Current constitutionOman_header_cell_0_22_0 6 November 1996Oman_cell_0_22_1
Area Oman_header_cell_0_23_0
TotalOman_header_cell_0_24_0 309,500 km (119,500 sq mi) (70th)Oman_cell_0_24_1
Water (%)Oman_header_cell_0_25_0 negligibleOman_cell_0_25_1
PopulationOman_header_cell_0_26_0
2018 estimateOman_header_cell_0_27_0 4,829,473 (125th)Oman_cell_0_27_1
2010 censusOman_header_cell_0_28_0 2,773,479Oman_cell_0_28_1
DensityOman_header_cell_0_29_0 15/km (38.8/sq mi) (177th)Oman_cell_0_29_1
GDP (PPP)Oman_header_cell_0_30_0 2018 estimateOman_cell_0_30_1
TotalOman_header_cell_0_31_0 $203.959 billion (67th)Oman_cell_0_31_1
Per capitaOman_header_cell_0_32_0 $47,366 (23rd)Oman_cell_0_32_1
GDP (nominal)Oman_header_cell_0_33_0 2018 estimateOman_cell_0_33_1
TotalOman_header_cell_0_34_0 $76.609 billion (66th)Oman_cell_0_34_1
Per capitaOman_header_cell_0_35_0 $18,791 (43rd)Oman_cell_0_35_1
HDI (2018)Oman_header_cell_0_36_0 0.834

very high · 47thOman_cell_0_36_1

CurrencyOman_header_cell_0_37_0 Rial (OMR)Oman_cell_0_37_1
Time zoneOman_header_cell_0_38_0 UTC+4 (GST)Oman_cell_0_38_1
Driving sideOman_header_cell_0_39_0 rightOman_cell_0_39_1
Calling codeOman_header_cell_0_40_0 +968Oman_cell_0_40_1
ISO 3166 codeOman_header_cell_0_41_0 OMOman_cell_0_41_1
Internet TLDOman_header_cell_0_42_0 .om, عمان.Oman_cell_0_42_1

Oman (/oʊˈmɑːn/ (listen) oh-MAHN; Arabic: عُمَان‎ ʿUmān [ʕʊˈmaːn), officially the Sultanate of Oman (Arabic: سلْطنةُ عُمان‎ Salṭanat(u) ʻUmān), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Oman_sentence_4

Located in a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. Oman_sentence_5

The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. Oman_sentence_6

The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz (which it shares with Iran) and the Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries. Oman_sentence_7

From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with the Portuguese Empire and the British Empire for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Oman_sentence_8

At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar. Oman_sentence_9

When its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. Oman_sentence_10

For over 300 years, the relations built between the two empires were based on mutual benefits. Oman_sentence_11

The UK recognized Oman's geographical importance as a trading hub that secured their trading lanes in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean and protected their empire in the Indian sub-continent. Oman_sentence_12

Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Oman_sentence_13

Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean. Oman_sentence_14

Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said was the hereditary leader of the country, which is an absolute monarchy, from 1970 until his death on 10 January 2020. Oman_sentence_15

His cousin, Haitham bin Tariq, was named as the country's new ruler following his death. Oman_sentence_16

Oman is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Oman_sentence_17

It has sizeable oil reserves, ranking 25th globally. Oman_sentence_18

In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. Oman_sentence_19

A significant portion of its economy involves tourism and trading fish, dates and other agricultural produce. Oman_sentence_20

Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 69th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index. Oman_sentence_21

Etymology Oman_section_0

The origin of Oman's name is uncertain. Oman_sentence_22

It seems to be related to Pliny the Elder's Omana and Ptolemy's Omanon (Ὄμανον ἐμπόριον in Greek), both probably the ancient Sohar. Oman_sentence_23

The city or region is typically etymologized in Arabic from aamen or amoun ("settled" people, as opposed to the Bedouin), although a number of eponymous founders have been proposed (Oman bin Ibrahim al-Khalil, Oman bin Siba' bin Yaghthan bin Ibrahim, Oman bin Qahtan and the Biblical Lot) and others derive it from the name of a valley in Yemen at Ma'rib presumed to have been the origin of the city's founders, the Azd, a tribe migrating from Yemen. Oman_sentence_24

History Oman_section_1

Main article: History of Oman Oman_sentence_25

Prehistory and ancient history Oman_section_2

At Aybut Al Auwal, in the Dhofar Governorate of Oman, a site was discovered in 2011 containing more than 100 surface scatters of stone tools, belonging to a regionally specific African lithic industry—the late Nubian Complex—known previously only from the northeast and Horn of Africa. Oman_sentence_26

Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates place the Arabian Nubian Complex at 106,000 years old. Oman_sentence_27

This supports the proposition that early human populations moved from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene. Oman_sentence_28

In recent years surveys have uncovered Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites on the eastern coast. Oman_sentence_29

Main Palaeolithic sites include Saiwan-Ghunaim in the Barr al-Hikman. Oman_sentence_30

Archaeological remains are particularly numerous for the Bronze Age Umm an-Nar and Wadi Suq periods. Oman_sentence_31

Sites such as Bat show professional wheel-turned pottery, excellent hand-made stone vessels, a metals industry and monumental architecture . Oman_sentence_32

The Early (1300‒300 BC) and Late Iron Ages (100 BC‒300 AD) show more differences than similarities to each other. Oman_sentence_33

Thereafter, until the coming of Ibadi Islam, little or nothing is known. Oman_sentence_34

During the 8th century BC, it is believed that the Yaarub, the descendant of Kahtan, ruled the entire region of Yemen, including Oman. Oman_sentence_35

Wathil bin Himyar bin Abd-Shams-Saba bin Jashjub bin Yaarub later ruled Oman. Oman_sentence_36

It is thus believed that the Yaarubah were the first settlers in Oman from Yemen. Oman_sentence_37

In the 1970s and 1980s scholars like John C. Wilkinson believed by virtue of oral history that in the 6th century BC, the Achaemenids exerted control over the Omani peninsula, most likely ruling from a coastal centre such as Suhar. Oman_sentence_38

Central Oman has its own indigenous Samad Late Iron Age cultural assemblage named eponymously from Samad al-Shan. Oman_sentence_39

In the northern part of the Oman Peninsula the Recent Pre-Islamic Period begins in the 3rd century BC and extends into the 3rd A.D. century. Oman_sentence_40

Whether or not Persians brought south-eastern Arabian under their control is a moot point, since the lack of Persian finds speak against this belief. Oman_sentence_41

M. Oman_sentence_42 Caussin de Percevel suggests that Shammir bin Wathil bin Himyar recognized the authority of Cyrus the Great over Oman in 536 B.C. Oman_sentence_43

Sumerian tablets referred to Oman as "Magan" and in the Akkadian language "Makan", a name which links Oman's ancient copper resources. Oman_sentence_44

Mazoon, a Persian name used to refer to Oman's region, which was part of the Sasanian Empire. Oman_sentence_45

Arab settlement Oman_section_3

Over centuries tribes from western Arabia settled in Oman, making a living by fishing, farming, herding or stock breeding, and many present day Omani families trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Arabia. Oman_sentence_46

Arab migration to Oman started from northern-western and south-western Arabia and those who chose to settle had to compete with the indigenous population for the best arable land. Oman_sentence_47

When Arab tribes started to migrate to Oman, there were two distinct groups. Oman_sentence_48

One group, a segment of the Azd tribe migrated from the southwest of Arabia in A.D. 120/200 following the collapse of Marib Dam, while the other group migrated a few centuries before the birth of Islam from central and northern Arabia, named Nizari (Nejdi). Oman_sentence_49

Other historians believe that the Yaarubah, like the Azd, from Qahtan but belong to an older branch, were the first settlers of Oman from Yemen, and then came the Azd. Oman_sentence_50

The Azd settlers in Oman are descendants of Nasr bin Azd, a branch of Yaarub bin Qahtan, and were later known as "the Al-Azd of Oman". Oman_sentence_51

Seventy years after the first Azd migration, another branch of Alazdi under Malik bin Fahm, the founder of Kingdom of Tanukhites on the west of Euphrates, is believed to have settled in Oman. Oman_sentence_52

According to Al-Kalbi, Malik bin Fahm was the first settler of Alazd. Oman_sentence_53

He is said to have first settled in Qalhat. Oman_sentence_54

By this account, Malik, with an armed force of more than 6000 men and horses, fought against the Marzban, who served an ambiguously named Persian king in the battle of Salut in Oman and eventually defeated the Persian forces. Oman_sentence_55

This account is, however, semi-legendary and seems to condense multiple centuries of migration and conflict into a story of two campaigns that exaggerate the success of the Arabs. Oman_sentence_56

The account may also represent an amalgamation of various traditions from not only the Arab tribes but also the region's original inhabitants. Oman_sentence_57

Furthermore, no date can be determined for the events of this story. Oman_sentence_58

In the 7th century AD, Omanis came in contact with and accepted Islam. Oman_sentence_59

The conversion of Omanis to Islam is ascribed to Amr ibn al-As, who was sent by the prophet Muhammad during the Expedition of Zaid ibn Haritha (Hisma). Oman_sentence_60

Amer was dispatched to meet with Jaifer and Abd, the sons of Julanda who ruled Oman. Oman_sentence_61

They appear to have readily embraced Islam. Oman_sentence_62

Imamate of Oman Oman_section_4

Omani Azd used to travel to Basra for trade, which was a centre of Islam during the Umayyad empire. Oman_sentence_63

Omani Azd were granted a section of Basra, where they could settle and attend their needs. Oman_sentence_64

Many of the Omani Azd who settled in Basra became wealthy merchants and under their leader Muhallab bin Abi Sufrah started to expand their influence of power eastwards towards Khorasan. Oman_sentence_65

Ibadhi Islam originated in Basra by its founder Abdullah ibn Ibada around the year 650 CE, which the Omani Azd in Iraq followed. Oman_sentence_66

Later, Alhajjaj, the governor of Iraq, came into conflict with the Ibadhis, which forced them out to Oman. Oman_sentence_67

Among those who returned to Oman was the scholar Jaber bin Zaid. Oman_sentence_68

His return and the return of many other scholars greatly enhanced the Ibadhi movement in Oman. Oman_sentence_69

Alhajjaj, also made an attempt to subjugate Oman, which was ruled by Suleiman and Said, the sons of Abbad bin Julanda. Oman_sentence_70

Alhajjaj dispatched Mujjaah bin Shiwah who was confronted by Said bin Abbad. Oman_sentence_71

The confrontation devastated Said's army. Oman_sentence_72

Thus, Said and his forces resorted to the Jebel Akhdar. Oman_sentence_73

Mujjaah and his forces went after Said and his forces and succeeded in besieging them from a position in "Wade Mastall". Oman_sentence_74

Mujjaah later moved towards the coast where he confronted Suleiman bin Abbad. Oman_sentence_75

The battle was won by Suleiman's forces. Oman_sentence_76

Alhajjaj, however, sent another force under Abdulrahman bin Suleiman and eventually won the war and took over the governance of Oman. Oman_sentence_77

The first elective Imamate of Oman is believed to have been established shortly after the fall of the Umayyad Dynasty in 750/755 AD when Janah bin Abbada Alhinawi was elected. Oman_sentence_78

Other scholars claim that Janah bin Abbada served as a Wali (governor) under Umayyad dynasty and later ratified the Imamate, while Julanda bin Masud was the first elected Imam of Oman in A.D. 751. Oman_sentence_79

The first Imamate reached its peak power in the ninth A.D. century. Oman_sentence_80

The Imamate established a maritime empire whose fleet controlled the Gulf during the time when trade with the Abbasid Dynasty, the East and Africa flourished. Oman_sentence_81

The authority of the Imams started to decline due to power struggles, the constant interventions of Abbasid and the rise of the Seljuk Empire. Oman_sentence_82

Nabhani dynasty Oman_section_5

Further information: Nabhani dynasty Oman_sentence_83

During the 11th and 12th centuries, Oman was controlled by the Seljuk Empire. Oman_sentence_84

They were expelled in 1154, when the Nabhani dynasty came to power. Oman_sentence_85

The Nabhanis ruled as muluk, or kings, while the Imams were reduced to largely symbolic significance. Oman_sentence_86

The capital of the dynasty was Bahla. Oman_sentence_87

The Banu Nabhan controlled the trade in frankincense on the overland route via Sohar to the Yabrin oasis, and then north to Bahrain, Baghdad and Damascus. Oman_sentence_88

The mango-tree was introduced to Oman during the time of Nabhani dynasty, by ElFellah bin Muhsin. Oman_sentence_89

The Nabhani dynasty started to deteriorate in 1507 when Portuguese colonisers captured the coastal city of Muscat, and gradually extended their control along the coast up to Sohar in the north and down to Sur in the southeast. Oman_sentence_90

Other historians argue that the Nabhani dynasty ended earlier in A.D. 1435 when conflicts between the dynasty and Alhinawis arose, which led to the restoration of the elective Imamate. Oman_sentence_91

Portuguese colonisation Oman_section_6

Further information: Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts (1538–1559), Battle of the Strait of Hormuz (1553), and Battle of the Gulf of Oman Oman_sentence_92

A decade after Vasco da Gama's successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope and to India in 1497–98, the Portuguese arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for a 143-year period, from 1507 to 1650. Oman_sentence_93

In need of an outpost to protect their sea lanes, the Portuguese built up and fortified the city, where remnants of their colonial architectural style still exist. Oman_sentence_94

An Ottoman fleet captured Muscat in 1552, during the fight for control of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Oman_sentence_95

Several Oman cities were colonized in the early 16th century, to control the entrances of the Persian Gulf and trade in the region. Oman_sentence_96

It was part of a web of fortresses that the Portuguese had in the region, from Basra to Hormuz. Oman_sentence_97

Several cities were drawn in the 17th century as it appears in the António Bocarro Book of fortress. Oman_sentence_98

Yaruba dynasty Oman_section_7

Further information: Omani Empire Oman_sentence_99

The Ottoman Turks temporarily captured Muscat from the Portuguese in 1581 and held it until 1588. Oman_sentence_100

During the 17th century, the Omanis were reunited by the Yaruba Imams. Oman_sentence_101

Nasir bin Murshid became the first Yaarubah Imam in 1624, when he was elected in Rustak. Oman_sentence_102

Nasir's energy and perseverance is believed to have earned him the election. Oman_sentence_103

Imam Nasir succeeded in the 1650s to force the Portuguese colonisers out of Oman. Oman_sentence_104

The Omanis over time established a maritime empire that later expelled the Portuguese from East Africa, which became an Omani colony. Oman_sentence_105

To capture Zanzibar Saif bin Sultan, the Imam of Oman, pressed down the Swahili Coast. Oman_sentence_106

A major obstacle to his progress was Fort Jesus, housing the garrison of a Portuguese settlement at Mombasa. Oman_sentence_107

After a two-year siege, the fort fell to Saif bin Sultan in 1698. Oman_sentence_108

Thereafter the Omanis easily ejected the Portuguese from other African coastal regions including Kilwa and Pemba. Oman_sentence_109

Saif bin Sultan occupied Bahrain in 1700. Oman_sentence_110

Qeshm was captured in 1720. Oman_sentence_111

The rivalry within the house of Yaruba over power after the death of Imam Sultan in 1718 weakened the dynasty. Oman_sentence_112

With the power of the Yaruba Dynasty dwindling, Imam Saif bin Sultan II eventually asked for help against his rivals from Nader Shah of Persia. Oman_sentence_113

A Persian force arrived in March 1737 to aid Saif. Oman_sentence_114

From their base at Julfar, the Persian forces eventually rebelled against the Yaruba in 1743. Oman_sentence_115

The Persian empire then colonised Oman for a short period until 1747. Oman_sentence_116

18th and 19th centuries Oman_section_8

After the decolonization of Oman from the Persians, Ahmed bin Sa'id Albusaidi in 1749 became the elected Imam of Oman, with Rustaq serving as the capital. Oman_sentence_117

Since the Yaruba dynasty, the Omanis kept the elective system but, provided that the person is deemed qualified, gave preference to a member of the ruling family. Oman_sentence_118

Following Imam Ahmed's death in 1783, his son, Said bin Ahmed became the elected Imam. Oman_sentence_119

His son, Seyyid Hamed bin Said, overthrew the representative of the Imam in Muscat and obtained the possession of Muscat fortress. Oman_sentence_120

Hamed ruled as "Seyyid". Oman_sentence_121

Afterwards, Seyyid Sultan bin Ahmed, the uncle of Seyyid Hamed, took over power. Oman_sentence_122

Seyyid Said bin Sultan succeeded Sultan bin Ahmed. Oman_sentence_123

During the entire 19th century, in addition to Imam Said bin Ahmed who retained the title until he died in 1803, Azzan bin Qais was the only elected Imam of Oman. Oman_sentence_124

His rule started in 1868. Oman_sentence_125

However, the British refused to accept Imam Azzan as a ruler. Oman_sentence_126

The refusal played an instrumental role in deposing Imam Azzan in 1871 by a sultan who Britain deemed to be more acceptable. Oman_sentence_127

Oman's Imam Sultan, defeated ruler of Muscat, was granted sovereignty over Gwadar, an area of modern-day Pakistan. Oman_sentence_128

This coastal city is located in the Makran region of what is now the far southwestern corner of Pakistan, near the present-day border of Iran, at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman. Oman_sentence_129

After regaining control of Muscat, this sovereignty was continued via an appointed wali ("governor").s Oman_sentence_130

British de facto colonisation Oman_section_9

The British empire was keen to dominate southeast Arabia to stifle the growing power of other European states and to curb the Omani maritime power that grew during the 17th century. Oman_sentence_131

The British empire over time, starting from the late 18th century, began to establish a series of treaties with the sultans with the objective of advancing British political and economic interest in Muscat, while granting the sultans military protection. Oman_sentence_132

In 1798, the first treaty between the British East India Company and Albusaidi family was signed by Sultan bin Ahmed. Oman_sentence_133

The treaty was to block commercial competition of the French and the Dutch as well as obtain a concession to build a British factory at Bandar Abbas. Oman_sentence_134

A second treaty was signed in 1800, which stipulated that a British representative shall reside at the port of Muscat and manage all external affairs with other states. Oman_sentence_135

The British influence that grew during the nineteenth century over Muscat weakened the Omani Empire. Oman_sentence_136

In 1854, a deed of cession of the Omani Kuria Muria islands to Britain was signed by the sultan of Muscat and the British government. Oman_sentence_137

The British government achieved predominating control over Muscat, which, for the most part, impeded competition from other nations. Oman_sentence_138

Between 1862 and 1892, the Political Residents, Lewis Pelly and Edward Ross, played an instrumental role in securing British supremacy over the Persian Gulf and Muscat by a system of indirect governance. Oman_sentence_139

By the end of the 19th century, the British influence increased to the point that the sultans became heavily dependent on British loans and signed declarations to consult the British government on all important matters. Oman_sentence_140

The Sultanate thus became a de facto British colony. Oman_sentence_141

Zanzibar was a valuable property as the main slave market of the Swahili Coast, and became an increasingly important part of the Omani empire, a fact reflected by the decision of the 19th century sultan of Muscat, Sa'id ibn Sultan, to make it his main place of residence in 1837. Oman_sentence_142

Sa'id built impressive palaces and gardens in Zanzibar. Oman_sentence_143

Rivalry between his two sons was resolved, with the help of forceful British diplomacy, when one of them, Majid, succeeded to Zanzibar and to the many regions claimed by the family on the Swahili Coast. Oman_sentence_144

The other son, Thuwaini, inherited Muscat and Oman. Oman_sentence_145

Zanzibar influences in the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean indirectly introduced Omani customs to the Comorian culture. Oman_sentence_146

These influences include clothing traditions and wedding ceremonies. Oman_sentence_147

In 1856, under British direction, Zanzibar and Muscat became two different sultanates. Oman_sentence_148

Treaty of Seeb Oman_section_10

The Al Hajar Mountains, of which the Jebel Akhdar is a part, separate the country into two distinct regions: the interior, known as Oman, and the coastal area dominated by the capital, Muscat. Oman_sentence_149

The British imperial development over Muscat and Oman during the 19th century led to the renewed revival of the Imamate cause in the interior of Oman, which has appeared in cycles for more than 1,200 years in Oman. Oman_sentence_150

The British Political Agent, who resided in Muscat, owed the alienation of the interior of Oman to the vast influence of the British government over Muscat, which he described as being completely self-interested and without any regard to the social and political conditions of the locals. Oman_sentence_151

In 1913, Imam Salim Alkharusi instigated an anti-Muscat rebellion that lasted until 1920 when the Imamate established peace with the Sultanate by signing the Treaty of Seeb.The treaty was brokered by Britain, which had no economic interest in the interior of Oman during that point of time. Oman_sentence_152

The treaty granted autonomous rule to the Imamate in the interior of Oman and recognized the sovereignty of the coast of Oman, the Sultanate of Muscat. Oman_sentence_153

In 1920, Imam Salim Alkharusi died and Muhammad Alkhalili was elected. Oman_sentence_154

On 10 January 1923, an agreement between the Sultanate and the British government was signed in which the Sultanate had to consult with the British political agent residing in Muscat and obtain the approval of the High Government of India to extract oil in the Sultanate. Oman_sentence_155

On 31 July 1928, the Red Line Agreement was signed between Anglo-Persian Company (later renamed British Petroleum), Royal Dutch/Shell, Compagnie Française des Pétroles (later renamed Total), Near East Development Corporation (later renamed ExxonMobil) and Calouste Gulbenkian (an Armenian businessman) to collectively produce oil in the post-Ottoman Empire region, which included the Arabian peninsula, with each of the four major companies holding 23.75 percent of the shares while Calouste Gulbenkian held the remaining 5 percent shares. Oman_sentence_156

The agreement stipulated that none of the signatories was allowed to pursue the establishment of oil concessions within the agreed on area without including all other stakeholders. Oman_sentence_157

In 1929, the members of the agreement established Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC). Oman_sentence_158

On 13 November 1931, Sultan Taimur bin Faisal abdicated. Oman_sentence_159

Reign of Sultan Said (1932–1970) Oman_section_11

Said bin Taimur became the sultan of Muscat officially on 10 February 1932. Oman_sentence_160

The rule of sultan Said bin Taimur, who was backed by the British government, was characterized as being feudal, reactionary and isolationist. Oman_sentence_161

The British government maintained vast administrative control over the Sultanate as the defence secretary and chief of intelligence, chief adviser to the sultan and all ministers except for one were British. Oman_sentence_162

In 1937, an agreement between the sultan and Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), a consortium of oil companies that was 23.75% British owned, was signed to grant oil concessions to IPC. Oman_sentence_163

After failing to discover oil in the Sultanate, IPC was intensely interested in some promising geological formations near Fahud, an area located within the Imamate. Oman_sentence_164

IPC offered financial support to the sultan to raise an armed force against any potential resistance by the Imamate. Oman_sentence_165

In 1955, the exclave coastal Makran strip acceded to Pakistan and was made a district of its Balochistan province, while Gwadar remained in Oman. Oman_sentence_166

On 8 September 1958, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for US$3 million. Oman_sentence_167

Gwadar then became a tehsil in the Makran district. Oman_sentence_168

Jebel Akhdar War Oman_section_12

Further information: Jebel Akhdar War Oman_sentence_169

Sultan Said bin Taimur expressed his interest to the British government in occupying the Imamate right after the death of Imam Alkhalili and take advantage of potential instability that may occur within the Imamate when elections were due. Oman_sentence_170

The British political agent in Muscat believed that the only method of gaining access to the oil reserves in the interior was by assisting the sultan in taking over the Imamate. Oman_sentence_171

In 1946, the British government offered arms and ammunition, auxiliary supplies and officers to prepare the sultan to attack the interior of Oman. Oman_sentence_172

In May 1954, Imam Alkhalili died and Ghalib Alhinai became the elected Imam of the Imamate of Oman. Oman_sentence_173

Relations between the sultan of Muscat, Said bin Taimur, and Imam Ghalib Alhinai frayed over their dispute about oil concessions. Oman_sentence_174

Under the terms of the 1920 treaty of Seeb, the Sultan, backed by the British government, claimed all dealings with the oil company as his prerogative. Oman_sentence_175

The Imam, on the other hand, claimed that since the oil was in the Imamate territory, anything concerning it was an internal matter. Oman_sentence_176

In December 1955, sultan Said bin Taimur sent troops of the Muscat and Oman Field Force to occupy the main centres in Oman, including Nizwa, the capital of the Imamate of Oman, and Ibri. Oman_sentence_177

The Omanis in the interior led by Imam Ghalib Alhinai, Talib Alhinai, the brother of the Imam and the Wali (governor) of Rustaq, and Suleiman bin Hamyar, who was the Wali (governor) of Jebel Akhdar, defended the Imamate of Oman in the Jebel Akhdar War against British-backed attacks by the Sultanate. Oman_sentence_178

In July 1957, the Sultan's forces were withdrawing, but they were repeatedly ambushed, sustaining heavy casualties. Oman_sentence_179

Sultan Said, however, with the intervention of British infantry (two companies of the Cameronians), armoured car detachments from the British Army and RAF aircraft, was able to suppress the rebellion. Oman_sentence_180

The Imamate's forces retreated to the inaccessible Jebel Akhdar. Oman_sentence_181

Colonel David Smiley, who had been seconded to organise the Sultan's Armed Forces, managed to isolate the mountain in autumn 1958 and found a route to the plateau from Wadi Bani Kharus. Oman_sentence_182

On 4 August 1957, the British Foreign Secretary gave the approval to carry out air strikes without prior warning to the locals residing in the interior of Oman. Oman_sentence_183

Between July and December 1958, the British RAF made 1,635 raids, dropping 1,094 tons and firing 900 rockets at the interior of Oman targeting insurgents, mountain top villages, water channels and crops. Oman_sentence_184

On 27 January 1959, the Sultanate's forces occupied the mountain in a surprise operation. Oman_sentence_185

Ghalib, Talib and Sulaiman managed to escape to Saudi Arabia, where the Imamate's cause was promoted until the 1970s. Oman_sentence_186

The interior of Oman presented the case of Oman to the Arab League and the United Nations. Oman_sentence_187

On 11 December 1963, the UN General Assembly decided to establish an Ad-Hoc Committee on Oman to study the 'Question of Oman' and report back to the General Assembly. Oman_sentence_188

The UN General Assembly adopted the 'Question of Oman' resolution in 1965, 1966 and again in 1967 that called upon the British government to cease all repressive action against the locals, end British control over Oman and reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Omani people to self-determination and independence. Oman_sentence_189

Dhofar Rebellion Oman_section_13

Further information: Dhofar Rebellion Oman_sentence_190

Oil reserves in Dhofar were discovered in 1964 and extraction began in 1967. Oman_sentence_191

In the Dhofar Rebellion, which began in 1965, pro-Soviet forces were pitted against government troops. Oman_sentence_192

As the rebellion threatened the Sultan's control of Dhofar, Sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed in a bloodless coup (1970) by his son Qaboos bin Said, who expanded the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, modernised the state's administration and introduced social reforms. Oman_sentence_193

The uprising was finally put down in 1975 with the help of forces from Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and the British Royal Air Force, army and Special Air Service. Oman_sentence_194

Reign of Sultan Qaboos (1970–2020) Oman_section_14

After deposing his father in 1970, Sultan Qaboos opened up the country, embarked on economic reforms, and followed a policy of modernisation marked by increased spending on health, education and welfare. Oman_sentence_195

Slavery, once a cornerstone of the country's trade and development, was outlawed in 1970. Oman_sentence_196

In 1981, Oman became a founding member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Oman_sentence_197

Political reforms were eventually introduced. Oman_sentence_198

Historically, voters had been chosen from among tribal leaders, intellectuals and businessmen. Oman_sentence_199

In 1997, Sultan Qaboos decreed that women could vote for, and stand for election to, the Majlis al-Shura, the Consultative Assembly of Oman. Oman_sentence_200

Two women were duly elected to the body. Oman_sentence_201

In 2002, voting rights were extended to all citizens over the age of 21, and the first elections to the Consultative Assembly under the new rules were held in 2003. Oman_sentence_202

In 2004, the Sultan appointed Oman's first female minister with portfolio, Sheikha Aisha bint Khalfan bin Jameel al-Sayabiyah. Oman_sentence_203

She was appointed to the post of National Authority for Industrial Craftsmanship, an office that attempts to preserve and promote Oman's traditional crafts and stimulate industry. Oman_sentence_204

Despite these changes, there was little change to the actual political makeup of the government. Oman_sentence_205

The Sultan continued to rule by decree. Oman_sentence_206

Nearly 100 suspected Islamists were arrested in 2005 and 31 people were convicted of trying to overthrow the government. Oman_sentence_207

They were ultimately pardoned in June of the same year. Oman_sentence_208

Inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings that were taking place throughout the region, protests occurred in Oman during the early months of 2011. Oman_sentence_209

While they did not call for the ousting of the regime, demonstrators demanded political reforms, improved living conditions and the creation of more jobs. Oman_sentence_210

They were dispersed by riot police in February 2011. Oman_sentence_211

Sultan Qaboos reacted by promising jobs and benefits. Oman_sentence_212

In October 2011, elections were held to the Consultative Assembly, to which Sultan Qaboos promised greater powers. Oman_sentence_213

The following year, the government began a crackdown on internet criticism. Oman_sentence_214

In September 2012, trials began of 'activists' accused of posting "abusive and provocative" criticism of the government online. Oman_sentence_215

Six were given jail terms of 12–18 months and fines of around $2,500 each. Oman_sentence_216

Qaboos died on 10 January 2020, and the government declared three days of national mourning. Oman_sentence_217

He was buried the next day. Oman_sentence_218

Reign of Sultan Haitham (2020–present) Oman_section_15

On 11 January 2020, Qaboos was succeeded by his first cousin Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said. Oman_sentence_219

Geography Oman_section_16

Oman lies between latitudes 16° and 28° N, and longitudes 52° and 60° E. Oman_sentence_220

A vast gravel desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north (Al Hajar Mountains) and southeast coast (Qara or Dhofar Mountains), where the country's main cities are located: the capital city Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north, and Salalah in the south. Oman_sentence_221

Oman's climate is hot and dry in the interior and humid along the coast. Oman_sentence_222

During past epochs, Oman was covered by ocean, as evidenced by the large numbers of fossilized shells found in areas of the desert away from the modern coastline. Oman_sentence_223

The peninsula of Musandam (Musandem) exclave, which is strategically located on the Strait of Hormuz, is separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates. Oman_sentence_224

The series of small towns known collectively as Dibba are the gateway to the Musandam peninsula on land and the fishing villages of Musandam by sea, with boats available for hire at Khasab for trips into the Musandam peninsula by sea. Oman_sentence_225

Oman's other exclave, inside UAE territory, known as Madha, located halfway between the Musandam Peninsula and the main body of Oman, is part of the Musandam governorate, covering approximately 75 km (29 sq mi). Oman_sentence_226

Madha's boundary was settled in 1969, with the north-east corner of Madha barely 10 m (32.8 ft) from the Fujairah road. Oman_sentence_227

Within the Madha exclave is a UAE enclave called Nahwa, belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah, situated about 8 km (5 mi) along a dirt track west of the town of New Madha, and consisting of about forty houses with a clinic and telephone exchange. Oman_sentence_228

The central desert of Oman is an important source of meteorites for scientific analysis. Oman_sentence_229

Climate Oman_section_17

Main article: Climate of Oman Oman_sentence_230

Like the rest of the Persian Gulf, Oman generally has one of the hottest climates in the world—with summer temperatures in Muscat and northern Oman averaging 30 to 40 °C (86.0 to 104.0 °F). Oman_sentence_231

Oman receives little rainfall, with annual rainfall in Muscat averaging 100 mm (3.9 in), occurring mostly in January. Oman_sentence_232

In the south, the Dhofar Mountains area near Salalah has a tropical-like climate and receives seasonal rainfall from late June to late September as a result of monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean, leaving the summer air saturated with cool moisture and heavy fog. Oman_sentence_233

Summer temperatures in Salalah range from 20 to 30 °C (68.0 to 86.0 °F)—relatively cool compared to northern Oman. Oman_sentence_234

The mountain areas receive more rainfall, and annual rainfall on the higher parts of the Jabal Akhdar probably exceeds 400 mm (15.7 in). Oman_sentence_235

Low temperatures in the mountainous areas leads to snow cover once every few years. Oman_sentence_236

Some parts of the coast, particularly near the island of Masirah, sometimes receive no rain at all within the course of a year. Oman_sentence_237

The climate is generally very hot, with temperatures reaching around 54 °C (129.2 °F) (peak) in the hot season, from May to September. Oman_sentence_238

On 26 June 2018 the city of Qurayyat set the record for highest minimum temperature in a 24-hour period, 42.6 °C (108.7 °F). Oman_sentence_239

Flora and fauna Oman_section_18

See also: Wildlife of Oman Oman_sentence_240

Desert shrub and desert grass, common to southern Arabia, are found in Oman, but vegetation is sparse in the interior plateau, which is largely gravel desert. Oman_sentence_241

The greater monsoon rainfall in Dhofar and the mountains makes the growth there more luxuriant during summer; coconut palms grow plentifully on the coastal plains of Dhofar and frankincense is produced in the hills, with abundant oleander and varieties of acacia. Oman_sentence_242

The Al Hajar Mountains are a distinct ecoregion, the highest points in eastern Arabia with wildlife including the Arabian tahr. Oman_sentence_243

Indigenous mammals include the leopard, hyena, fox, wolf, hare, oryx and ibex. Oman_sentence_244

Birds include the vulture, eagle, stork, bustard, Arabian partridge, bee eater, falcon and sunbird. Oman_sentence_245

In 2001, Oman had nine endangered species of mammals, five endangered types of birds, and nineteen threatened plant species. Oman_sentence_246

Decrees have been passed to protect endangered species, including the Arabian leopard, Arabian oryx, mountain gazelle, goitered gazelle, Arabian tahr, green sea turtle, hawksbill turtle and olive ridley turtle. Oman_sentence_247

However, the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary is the first site ever to be deleted from UNESCO's World Heritage List, following the government's 2007 decision to reduce the site's area by 90% in order to clear the way for oil prospectors. Oman_sentence_248

In recent years, Oman has become one of the newer hot spots for whale watching, highlighting the critically endangered Arabian humpback whale, the most isolated and only non-migratory population in the world, sperm whales and pygmy blue whales. Oman_sentence_249

Environmental issues Oman_section_19

Drought and limited rainfall contribute to shortages in the nation's water supply. Oman_sentence_250

Maintaining an adequate supply of water for agricultural and domestic use is one of Oman's most pressing environmental problems, with limited renewable water resources. Oman_sentence_251

94% of available water is used in farming and 2% for industrial activity, with the majority sourced from fossil water in the desert areas and spring water in hills and mountains. Oman_sentence_252

In terms of climate action, major challenges remain to be solved, per the United Nations Sustainable Development 2019 index. Oman_sentence_253

The CO 2 emissions from energy (tCO 2/capita) and CO 2 emissions embodied in fossil fuel exports (kg per capita) rates are very high, while imported CO 2 emissions (tCO 2/capita) and people affected by climate-related disasters (per 100,000 people) rates are low. Oman_sentence_254

Drinking water is available throughout Oman, either piped or delivered. Oman_sentence_255

The soil in coastal plains, such as Salalah, have shown increased levels of salinity, due to over exploitation of ground water and encroachment by seawater on the water table. Oman_sentence_256

Pollution of beaches and other coastal areas by oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman is also a persistent concern. Oman_sentence_257

Local and national entities have noted unethical treatment of animals in Oman. Oman_sentence_258

In particular, stray dogs (and to a lesser extent, stray cats) are often the victims of torture, abuse or neglect. Oman_sentence_259

The only approved method of decreasing the stray dog population is shooting by police officers. Oman_sentence_260

The Oman government has refused to implement a spay and neuter programme or create any animal shelters in the country. Oman_sentence_261

Cats, while seen as more acceptable than dogs, are viewed as pests and frequently die of starvation or illness. Oman_sentence_262

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Oman as the least polluted country in the Arab world, with a score of 37.7 in the pollution index. Oman_sentence_263

The country ranked 112th in Asia among the list of highest polluted countries. Oman_sentence_264

Politics Oman_section_20

Main articles: Politics of Oman and Human rights in Oman Oman_sentence_265

Oman is a unitary state and an absolute monarchy, in which all legislative, executive and judiciary power ultimately rests in the hands of the hereditary Sultan. Oman_sentence_266

Consequently, Freedom House has routinely rated the country "Not Free". Oman_sentence_267

The sultan is the head of state and directly controls the foreign affairs and defence portfolios. Oman_sentence_268

He has absolute power and issues laws by decree. Oman_sentence_269

Legal system Oman_section_21

Oman is an absolute monarchy, with the Sultan's word having the force of law. Oman_sentence_270

The judiciary branch is subordinate to the Sultan. Oman_sentence_271

According to Oman's constitution, Sharia law is one of the sources of legislation. Oman_sentence_272

Sharia court departments within the civil court system are responsible for family-law matters, such as divorce and inheritance. Oman_sentence_273

Oman does not have separation of powers. Oman_sentence_274

All power is concentrated in the Sultan, who is also chief of staff of the armed forces, Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Central Bank. Oman_sentence_275

All legislation since 1970 has been promulgated through royal decrees, including the 1996 Basic Law. Oman_sentence_276

The Sultan appoints judges, and can grant pardons and commute sentences. Oman_sentence_277

The Sultan's authority is inviolable and the Sultan expects total subordination to his will. Oman_sentence_278

The administration of justice is highly personalized, with limited due process protections, especially in political and security-related cases. Oman_sentence_279

The Basic Statute of the State is supposedly the cornerstone of the Omani legal system and it operates as a constitution for the country. Oman_sentence_280

The Basic Statute was issued in 1996 and thus far has only been amended once, in 2011, in response to protests. Oman_sentence_281

Though Oman's legal code theoretically protects civil liberties and personal freedoms, both are regularly ignored by the regime. Oman_sentence_282

Women and children face legal discrimination in many areas. Oman_sentence_283

Women are excluded from certain state benefits, such as housing loans, and are refused equal rights under the personal status law. Oman_sentence_284

Women also experience restrictions on their self-determination in respect to health and reproductive rights. Oman_sentence_285

The Omani legislature is the bicameral Council of Oman, consisting of an upper chamber, the Council of State (Majlis ad-Dawlah) and a lower chamber, the Consultative Council (Majlis ash-Shoura). Oman_sentence_286

Political parties are banned. Oman_sentence_287

The upper chamber has 71 members, appointed by the Sultan from among prominent Omanis; it has only advisory powers. Oman_sentence_288

The 84 members of the Consultative Council are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms, but the Sultan makes the final selections and can negotiate the election results. Oman_sentence_289

The members are appointed for three-year terms, which may be renewed once. Oman_sentence_290

The last elections were held on 27 October 2019, and the next is due in October 2023. Oman_sentence_291

Oman's national anthem, As-Salam as-Sultani is dedicated to former Sultan Qaboos. Oman_sentence_292

Human rights Oman_section_22

Main article: Human rights in Oman Oman_sentence_293

See also: LGBT rights in Oman Oman_sentence_294

Homosexual acts are illegal in Oman. Oman_sentence_295

The practice of torture is widespread in Oman state penal institutions and has become the state's typical reaction to independent political expression. Oman_sentence_296

Torture methods in use in Oman include mock execution, beating, hooding, solitary confinement, subjection to extremes of temperature and to constant noise, abuse and humiliation. Oman_sentence_297

There have been numerous reports of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by Omani security forces on protesters and detainees. Oman_sentence_298

Several prisoners detained in 2012 complained of sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and solitary confinement. Oman_sentence_299

Omani authorities kept Sultan al-Saadi, a social media activist, in solitary confinement, denied him access to his lawyer and family, forced him to wear a black bag over his head whenever he left his cell, including when using the toilet, and told him his family had "forsaken" him and asked for him to be imprisoned. Oman_sentence_300

The Omani government decides who can or cannot be a journalist and this permission can be withdrawn at any time. Oman_sentence_301

Censorship and self-censorship are a constant factor. Oman_sentence_302

Omanis have limited access to political information through the media. Oman_sentence_303

Access to news and information can be problematic: journalists have to be content with news compiled by the official news agency on some issues. Oman_sentence_304

Through a decree by the Sultan, the government has now extended its control over the media to blogs and other websites. Oman_sentence_305

Omanis cannot hold a public meeting without the government's approval. Oman_sentence_306

Omanis who want to set up a non-governmental organisation of any kind need a licence. Oman_sentence_307

To get a licence, they have to demonstrate that the organisation is "for legitimate objectives" and not "inimical to the social order". Oman_sentence_308

The Omani government does not permit the formation of independent civil society associations. Oman_sentence_309

Human Rights Watch issued on 2016, that an Omani court sentenced three journalists to prison and ordered the permanent closure of their newspaper, over an article that alleged corruption in the judiciary. Oman_sentence_310

The law prohibits criticism of the Sultan and government in any form or medium. Oman_sentence_311

Oman's police do not need search warrants to enter people's homes. Oman_sentence_312

The law does not provide citizens with the right to change their government. Oman_sentence_313

The Sultan retains ultimate authority on all foreign and domestic issues. Oman_sentence_314

Government officials are not subject to financial disclosure laws. Oman_sentence_315

Libel laws and concerns for national security have been used to suppress criticism of government figures and politically objectionable views. Oman_sentence_316

Publication of books is limited and the government restricts their importation and distribution, as with other media products. Oman_sentence_317

Merely mentioning the existence of such restrictions can land Omanis in trouble. Oman_sentence_318

In 2009, a web publisher was fined and given a suspended jail sentence for revealing that a supposedly live TV programme was actually pre-recorded to eliminate any criticisms of the government. Oman_sentence_319

Faced with so many restrictions, Omanis have resorted to unconventional methods for expressing their views. Oman_sentence_320

Omanis sometimes use donkeys to express their views. Oman_sentence_321

Writing about Gulf rulers in 2001, Dale Eickelman observed: "Only in Oman has the occasional donkey… been used as a mobile billboard to express anti-regime sentiments. Oman_sentence_322

There is no way in which police can maintain dignity in seizing and destroying a donkey on whose flank a political message has been inscribed." Oman_sentence_323

Some people have been arrested for allegedly spreading fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic in Oman. Oman_sentence_324

Omani citizens need government permission to marry foreigners. Oman_sentence_325

The Ministry of Interior requires Omani citizens to obtain permission to marry foreigners (except nationals of GCC countries); permission is not automatically granted. Oman_sentence_326

Citizen marriage to a foreigner abroad without ministry approval may result in denial of entry for the foreign spouse at the border and preclude children from claiming citizenship rights. Oman_sentence_327

It also may result in a bar from government employment and a fine of 2,000 rials ($5,200). Oman_sentence_328

In August 2014, The Omani writer and human rights defender Mohammed Alfazari, the founder and editor-in-chief of the e-magazine Mowatin "Citizen", disappeared after going to the police station in the Al-Qurum district of Muscat. Oman_sentence_329

For several months the Omani government denied his detention and refused to disclose information about his whereabouts or condition. Oman_sentence_330

On 17 July 2015, Alfazari left Oman seeking political asylum in UK after a travel ban was issued against him without providing any reasons and after his official documents including his national ID and passport were confiscated for more than 8 months. Oman_sentence_331

There were more reports of politically motivated disappearances in the country. Oman_sentence_332

In 2012, armed security forces arrested Sultan al-Saadi, a social media activist. Oman_sentence_333

According to reports, authorities detained him at an unknown location for one month for comments he posted online critical of the government. Oman_sentence_334

Authorities previously arrested al-Saadi in 2011 for participating in protests and again in 2012 for posting comments online deemed insulting to Sultan Qaboos. Oman_sentence_335

In May 2012 security forces detained Ismael al-Meqbali, Habiba al-Hinai and Yaqoub al-Kharusi, human rights activists who were visiting striking oil workers. Oman_sentence_336

Authorities released al-Hinai and al-Kharusi shortly after their detention but did not inform al-Meqbali's friends and family of his whereabouts for weeks. Oman_sentence_337

Authorities pardoned al-Meqbali in March. Oman_sentence_338

In December 2013, a Yemeni national disappeared in Oman after he was arrested at a checkpoint in Dhofar Governorate. Oman_sentence_339

Omani authorities refuse to acknowledge his detention. Oman_sentence_340

His whereabouts and condition remain unknown. Oman_sentence_341

The National Human Rights Commission, established in 2008, is not independent from the regime. Oman_sentence_342

It is chaired by the former deputy inspector general of Police and Customs and its members are appointed by royal decree. Oman_sentence_343

In June 2012, one of its members requested that she be relieved of her duties because she disagreed with a statement made by the Commission justifying the arrest of intellectuals and bloggers and the restriction of freedom of expression in the name of respect for "the principles of religion and customs of the country". Oman_sentence_344

Since the beginning of the "Omani Spring" in January 2011, a number of serious violations of civil rights have been reported, amounting to a critical deterioration of the human rights situation. Oman_sentence_345

Prisons are inaccessible to independent monitors. Oman_sentence_346

Members of the independent Omani Group of Human Rights have been harassed, arrested and sentenced to jail. Oman_sentence_347

There have been numerous testimonies of torture and other inhumane forms of punishment perpetrated by security forces on protesters and detainees. Oman_sentence_348

The detainees were all peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly. Oman_sentence_349

Although authorities must obtain court orders to hold suspects in pre-trial detention, they do not regularly do this. Oman_sentence_350

The penal code was amended in October 2011 to allow the arrest and detention of individuals without an arrest warrant from public prosecutors. Oman_sentence_351

In January 2014, Omani intelligence agents arrested a Bahraini actor and handed him over to the Bahraini authorities on the same day of his arrest. Oman_sentence_352

The actor has been subjected to a forced disappearance. Oman_sentence_353

His whereabouts and condition remain unknown. Oman_sentence_354

Migrant workers Oman_section_23

Main article: Migrant workers in the Gulf region Oman_sentence_355

The plight of domestic workers in Oman is a taboo subject. Oman_sentence_356

In 2011, the Philippines government determined that out of all the countries in the Middle East, only Oman and Israel qualify as safe for Filipino migrants. Oman_sentence_357

In 2012, it was reported that every 6 days, an Indian migrant in Oman commits suicide. Oman_sentence_358

There has been a campaign urging authorities to check the migrant suicide rate. Oman_sentence_359

In the 2014 Global Slavery Index, Oman is ranked No. Oman_sentence_360

45 due to 26,000 people in slavery. Oman_sentence_361

The descendants of servant tribes and slaves are victims of widespread discrimination. Oman_sentence_362

Oman was one of the last countries to abolish slavery, in 1970. Oman_sentence_363

Foreign policy Oman_section_24

Main article: Foreign relations of Oman Oman_sentence_364

Since 1970, Oman has pursued a moderate foreign policy, and has expanded its diplomatic relations dramatically. Oman_sentence_365

Oman is among the very few Arab countries that have maintained friendly ties with Iran. Oman_sentence_366

WikiLeaks disclosed US diplomatic cables which state that Oman helped free British sailors captured by Iran's navy in 2007. Oman_sentence_367

The same cables also portray the Omani government as wishing to maintain cordial relations with Iran, and as having consistently resisted US diplomatic pressure to adopt a sterner stance. Oman_sentence_368

Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah is the Sultanate's Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs. Oman_sentence_369

Oman allowed the British Royal Navy and Indian Navy access to the port facilities of Al Duqm Port & Drydock. Oman_sentence_370

Military Oman_section_25

Main article: Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces Oman_sentence_371

SIPRI's estimation of Oman's military and security expenditure as a percentage of GDP in 2019 was 8.8 percent, making it the world's highest rate in that year, higher than Saudi Arabia (8 percent). Oman_sentence_372

Oman's on-average military spending as a percentage of GDP between 2016 and 2018 was around 10 percent, while the world's average during the same period was 2.2 percent. Oman_sentence_373

Oman's military manpower totalled 44,100 in 2006, including 25,000 men in the army, 4,200 sailors in the navy, and an air force with 4,100 personnel. Oman_sentence_374

The Royal Household maintained 5,000 Guards, 1,000 in Special Forces, 150 sailors in the Royal Yacht fleet, and 250 pilots and ground personnel in the Royal Flight squadrons. Oman_sentence_375

Oman also maintains a modestly sized paramilitary force of 4,400 men. Oman_sentence_376

The Royal Army of Oman had 25,000 active personnel in 2006, plus a small contingent of Royal Household troops. Oman_sentence_377

Despite a comparative large military spending, it has been relatively slow to modernise its forces. Oman_sentence_378

Oman has a relatively limited number of tanks, including 6 M60A1, 73 M60A3 and 38 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, as well as 37 aging Scorpion light tanks. Oman_sentence_379

The Royal Air Force of Oman has approximately 4,100 men, with only 36 combat aircraft and no armed helicopters. Oman_sentence_380

Combat aircraft include 20 aging Jaguars, 12 Hawk Mk 203s, 4 Hawk Mk 103s and 12 PC-9 turboprop trainers with a limited combat capability. Oman_sentence_381

It has one squadron of 12 F-16C/D aircraft. Oman_sentence_382

Oman also has 4 A202-18 Bravos and 8 MFI-17B Mushshaqs. Oman_sentence_383

The Royal Navy of Oman had 4,200 men in 2000, and is headquartered at Seeb. Oman_sentence_384

It has bases at Ahwi, Ghanam Island, Mussandam and Salalah. Oman_sentence_385

In 2006, Oman had 10 surface combat vessels. Oman_sentence_386

These included two 1,450-ton Qahir class corvettes, and 8 ocean-going patrol boats. Oman_sentence_387

The Omani Navy had one 2,500-ton Nasr al Bahr class LSL (240 troops, 7 tanks) with a helicopter deck. Oman_sentence_388

Oman also had at least four landing craft. Oman_sentence_389

Oman ordered three Khareef class corvettes from the VT Group for £400 million in 2007. Oman_sentence_390

They were built at Portsmouth. Oman_sentence_391

In 2010 Oman spent US$4.074 billion on military expenditures, 8.5% of the gross domestic product. Oman_sentence_392

The sultanate has a long history of association with the British military and defence industry. Oman_sentence_393

According to SIPRI, Oman was the 23rd largest arms importer from 2012 to 2016. Oman_sentence_394

According to BICC, as of 2018, Oman was the 27th most militarised country in the world, after Cuba and Lithuania. Oman_sentence_395

Administrative divisions Oman_section_26

Main article: Regions and governorates of Oman Oman_sentence_396

The Sultanate is administratively divided into eleven governorates. Oman_sentence_397

Governorates are, in turn, divided into 60 wilayats. Oman_sentence_398

Oman_unordered_list_0

Economy Oman_section_27

Main article: Economy of Oman Oman_sentence_399

Oman's Basic Statute of the State expresses in Article 11 that the "national economy is based on justice and the principles of a free economy." Oman_sentence_400

By regional standards, Oman has a relatively diversified economy, but remains dependent on oil exports. Oman_sentence_401

In terms of monetary value, mineral fuels accounted for 82.2 percent of total product exports in 2018. Oman_sentence_402

Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in Oman. Oman_sentence_403

Other sources of income, agriculture and industry, are small in comparison and account for less than 1% of the country's exports, but diversification is seen as a priority by the government. Oman_sentence_404

Agriculture, often subsistence in its character, produces dates, limes, grains and vegetables, but with less than 1% of the country under cultivation, Oman is likely to remain a net importer of food. Oman_sentence_405

Oman's socio-economic structure is described as being hyper-centralized rentier welfare state. Oman_sentence_406

The largest 10 percent of corporations in Oman are the employers of almost 80 percent of Omani nationals in the private sector. Oman_sentence_407

Half of the private sector jobs are classified as elementary. Oman_sentence_408

One third of employed Omanis are in the private sector, while the remaining majority are in the public sector. Oman_sentence_409

A hyper-centralized structure produces a monopoly-like economy, which hinders having a healthy competitive environment between businesses. Oman_sentence_410

Since a slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and is placing a greater emphasis on other areas of industry, namely tourism and infrastructure. Oman_sentence_411

Oman had a 2020 Vision to diversify the economy established in 1995, which targeted a decrease in oil's share to less than 10 percent of GDP by 2020, but it was rendered obsolete in 2011. Oman_sentence_412

Oman then established 2040 Vision. Oman_sentence_413

A free-trade agreement with the United States took effect 1 January 2009, eliminated tariff barriers on all consumer and industrial products, and also provided strong protections for foreign businesses investing in Oman. Oman_sentence_414

Tourism, another source of Oman's revenue, is on the rise. Oman_sentence_415

A popular event is The Khareef Festival held in Salalah, Dhofar, which is 1,200 km from the capital city of Muscat, during the monsoon season (August) and is similar to Muscat Festival. Oman_sentence_416

During this latter event the mountains surrounding Salalah are popular with tourists as a result of the cool weather and lush greenery, rarely found anywhere else in Oman. Oman_sentence_417

Oman's foreign workers send an estimated US$10 billion annually to their home states in Asia and Africa, more than half of them earning a monthly wage of less than US$400. Oman_sentence_418

The largest foreign community is from the Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and the Punjab, representing more than half of entire workforce in Oman. Oman_sentence_419

Salaries for overseas workers are known to be less than for Omani nationals, though still from two to five times higher than for the equivalent job in India. Oman_sentence_420

In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), total investments in 2017 exceeded US$24billion. Oman_sentence_421

The highest share of FDI went to the oil and gas sector, which represented around US$13billion (54.2 percent), followed by financial intermediation, which represented US$3.66billion (15.3 percent). Oman_sentence_422

FDI is dominated by the United Kingdom with an estimated value of US$11.56billion (48 percent), followed by the UAE USD 2.6billion (10.8 percent), followed by Kuwait USD 1.1billion (4.6 percent). Oman_sentence_423

Oman, in 2018 had a budget deficit of 32 percent of total revenue and a government debt to GDP of 47.5 percent. Oman_sentence_424

Oman's military spending to GDP between 2016 and 2018 averaged 10 percent, while the world's average during the same period was 2.2 percent. Oman_sentence_425

Oman's health spending to GDP between 2015 and 2016 averaged 4.3 percent, while the world's average during the same period was 10 percent. Oman_sentence_426

Oman's research and development spending between 2016 and 2017 averaged 0.24 percent, which is significantly lower than the world's average (2.2 percent) during the same period. Oman_sentence_427

Oman's government spending on education to GDP in 2016 was 6.11 percent, while the world's average was 4.8 percent (2015). Oman_sentence_428

Oil and gas Oman_section_28

Oman's proved reserves of petroleum total about 5.5 billion barrels, 25th largest in the world. Oman_sentence_429

Oil is extracted and processed by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), with proven oil reserves holding approximately steady, although oil production has been declining. Oman_sentence_430

The Ministry of Oil and Gas is responsible for all oil and gas infrastructure and projects in Oman. Oman_sentence_431

Following the 1970s energy crisis, Oman doubled their oil output between 1979 and 1985. Oman_sentence_432

In 2018, oil and gas represented 71 percent of the government's revenues. Oman_sentence_433

In 2016, oil and gas share of the government's revenue represented 72 percent. Oman_sentence_434

The government's reliance on oil and gas as a source of income dropped by 1 percent from 2016 to 2018. Oman_sentence_435

Oil and gas sector represented 30.1 percent of the nominal GDP in 2017. Oman_sentence_436

Between 2000 and 2007, production fell by more than 26%, from 972,000 to 714,800 barrels per day. Oman_sentence_437

Production has recovered to 816,000 barrels in 2009, and 930,000 barrels per day in 2012. Oman_sentence_438

Oman's natural gas reserves are estimated at 849.5 billion cubic metres, ranking 28th in the world, and production in 2008 was about 24 billion cubic metres per year. Oman_sentence_439

In September 2019, Oman was confirmed to become the first Middle Eastern country to host the International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC 2020). Oman_sentence_440

This 16th iteration of the event will be held between 24 and 26 February 2020, in collaboration with Oman LNG, under the auspices of the Ministry of Oil and Gas. Oman_sentence_441

Tourism Oman_section_29

Main article: Tourism in Oman Oman_sentence_442

Tourism in Oman has grown considerably recently, and it is expected to be one of the largest industries in the country. Oman_sentence_443

The World Travel & Tourism Council stated that Oman is the fastest growing tourism destination in the Middle East. Oman_sentence_444

Tourism contributed 2.8 percent to the Omani GDP in 2016. Oman_sentence_445

It grew from RO 505 million (US$1.3 billion) in 2009 to RO 719 million (US$1.8 billion) in 2017 (+42.3 percent growth). Oman_sentence_446

Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Omanis who are residing outside of Oman, represent the highest ratio of all tourists visiting Oman, estimated to be 48 percent. Oman_sentence_447

The second highest number of visitors come from other Asian countries, who account for 17 percent of the total number of visitors. Oman_sentence_448

A challenge to tourism development in Oman is the reliance on the government-owned firm, Omran, as a key actor to develop the tourism sector, which potentially creates a market barrier-to-entry of private-sector actors and a crowding out effect. Oman_sentence_449

Another key issue to the tourism sector is deepening the understanding of the ecosystem and biodiversity in Oman to guarantee their protection and preservation. Oman_sentence_450

Oman has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various tourist attractions and is particularly well known for adventure and cultural tourism. Oman_sentence_451

Muscat, the capital of Oman, was named the second best city to visit in the world in 2012 by the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet. Oman_sentence_452

Muscat also was chosen as the Capital of Arab Tourism of 2012. Oman_sentence_453

In November 2019, Oman made the rule of visa on arrival an exception and introduced the concept of e-visa for tourists from all nationalities. Oman_sentence_454

Under the new laws, visitors were required to apply for the visa in advance by visiting Oman's online government portal. Oman_sentence_455

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Oman_section_30

In industry, innovation and infrastructure, Oman is still faced with "significant challenges", as per United Nations Sustainable Development Goals index, as of 2019. Oman_sentence_456

Oman has scored high on the rates of internet use, mobile broadband subscriptions, logistics performance and on the average of top 3 university rankings. Oman_sentence_457

Meanwhile, Oman scored low on the rate of scientific and technical publications and on research & development spending. Oman_sentence_458

Oman's manufacturing value added to GDP rate in 2016 was 8.4 percent, which is lower than the average in the Arab world (9.8 percent) and world average (15.6 percent). Oman_sentence_459

In terms of research & development expenditures to GDP, Oman's share was on average 0.20 percent between 2011 and 2015, while the world's average during the same period was 2.11 percent. Oman_sentence_460

The majority of firms in Oman operate in the oil and gas, construction and trade sectors. Oman_sentence_461

Oman_table_general_1

Non-hydrocarbon GDP growthOman_header_cell_1_0_0 2015Oman_header_cell_1_0_1 2016Oman_header_cell_1_0_2 2017Oman_header_cell_1_0_3 2018Oman_header_cell_1_0_4
Value (%)Oman_cell_1_1_0 4.8Oman_cell_1_1_1 6.2Oman_cell_1_1_2 0.5Oman_cell_1_1_3 1.5Oman_cell_1_1_4

Oman is refurbishing and expanding the ports infrastructure in Muscat, Duqm, Sohar and Salalah to expand tourism, local production and export shares. Oman_sentence_462

Oman is also expanding its downstream operations by constructing a refinery and petrochemical plant in Duqm with a 230,000 barrels per day capacity projected for completion by 2021. Oman_sentence_463

The majority of industrial activity in Oman takes place in 8 industrial states and 4 free-zones. Oman_sentence_464

The industrial activity is mainly focused on mining-and-services, petrochemicals and construction materials. Oman_sentence_465

The largest employers in the private-sector are the construction, wholesale-and-retail and manufacturing sectors, respectively. Oman_sentence_466

Construction accounts for nearly 48 percent of the total labour force, followed by wholesale-and-retail, which accounts for around 15 percent of total employment and manufacturing, which accounts for around 12 percent of employment in the private sector. Oman_sentence_467

The percentage of Omanis employed in the construction and manufacturing sectors is nevertheless low, as of 2011 statistics. Oman_sentence_468

Oman, as per Global Innovation Index (2019) report, scores "below expectations" in innovation relative to countries classified under high income. Oman_sentence_469

Oman in 2019 ranked 80 out of 129 countries in innovation index, which takes into consideration factors, such as, political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. Oman_sentence_470

Innovation, technology-based growth and economic diversification are hindered by an economic growth that relies on infrastructure expansion, which heavily depends on a high percentage of 'low-skilled' and 'low-wage' foreign labour. Oman_sentence_471

Another challenge to innovation is the dutch disease phenomenon, which creates an oil and gas investment lock-in, while relying heavily on imported products and services in other sectors. Oman_sentence_472

Such a locked-in system hinders local business growth and global competitiveness in other sectors, and thus impedes economic diversification. Oman_sentence_473

The inefficiences and bottlenecks in business operations that are a result of heavy dependence on natural resources and 'addiction' to imports in Oman suggest a 'factor-driven economy'. Oman_sentence_474

A third hindrance to innovation in Oman is an economic structure that is heavily dependent on few large firms, while granting few opportunities for SMEs to enter the market, which impedes healthy market-share competition between firms. Oman_sentence_475

The ratio of patent applications per million people was 0.35 in 2016 and the MENA region average was 1.50, while the 'high-income' countries' average was approximately 48.0 during the same year. Oman_sentence_476

Oman_table_general_2

Patent GrantsOman_header_cell_2_0_0 2014Oman_header_cell_2_0_1 2015Oman_header_cell_2_0_2 2016Oman_header_cell_2_0_3 2017Oman_header_cell_2_0_4
TotalOman_cell_2_1_0 2Oman_cell_2_1_1 4Oman_cell_2_1_2 6Oman_cell_2_1_3 14Oman_cell_2_1_4

Agriculture and fishing Oman_section_31

Oman's fishing industry contributed 0.78 percent to the GDP in 2016. Oman_sentence_477

Fish exports between 2000 and 2016 grew from US$144 million to US$172 million (+19.4 percent). Oman_sentence_478

The main importer of Omani fish in 2016 was Vietnam, which imported almost US$80 million (46.5 percent) in value, and the second biggest importer was the United Arab Emirates, which imported around US$26 million (15 percent). Oman_sentence_479

The other main importers are Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China. Oman_sentence_480

Oman's consumption of fish is almost two times the world's average. Oman_sentence_481

The ratio of exported fish to total fish captured in tons fluctuated between 49 and 61 percent between 2006 and 2016. Oman_sentence_482

Omani strengths in the fishing industry comes from having a good market system, a long coastline (3,165 km) and wide water area. Oman_sentence_483

Oman, on the other hand, lacks sufficient infrastructure, research and development, quality and safety monitoring, together with a limited contribution by the fishing industry to GDP. Oman_sentence_484

Dates represent 80 percent of all fruit crop production. Oman_sentence_485

Further, date farms employ 50 percent of the total agricultural area in the country. Oman_sentence_486

Oman's estimated production of dates in 2016 is 350,000 tons, making it the 9th largest producer of dates. Oman_sentence_487

The vast majority of date production (75 percent) comes from only 10 cultivars. Oman_sentence_488

Oman's total export of dates was US$12.6 million in 2016, almost equivalent to Oman's total imported value of dates, which was US$11.3 million in 2016. Oman_sentence_489

The main importer is India (around 60 percent of all imports). Oman_sentence_490

Oman's date exports remained steady between 2006 and 2016. Oman_sentence_491

Oman is considered to have good infrastructure for date production and support provision to cultivation and marketing, but lacks innovation in farming and cultivation, industrial coordination in the supply chain and encounter high losses of unused dates. Oman_sentence_492

Demographics Oman_section_32

Main article: Demographics of Oman Oman_sentence_493

As of 2014, Oman's population is over 4 million, with 2.23 million Omani nationals and 1.76 million expatriates. Oman_sentence_494

The total fertility rate in 2011 was estimated at 3.70. Oman_sentence_495

Oman has a very young population, with 43 percent of its inhabitants under the age of 15. Oman_sentence_496

Nearly 50 percent of the population lives in Muscat and the Batinah coastal plain northwest of the capital. Oman_sentence_497

Omani people are predominantly of Arab, Baluchi and African origins. Oman_sentence_498

Omani society is largely tribal and encompasses three major identities: that of the tribe, the Ibadi faith and maritime trade. Oman_sentence_499

The first two identities are closely tied to tradition and are especially prevalent in the interior of the country, owing to lengthy periods of isolation. Oman_sentence_500

The third identity pertains mostly to Muscat and the coastal areas of Oman, and is reflected by business, trade, and the diverse origins of many Omanis, who trace their roots to Baloch, Al-Lawatia, Persia and historical Omani Zanzibar. Oman_sentence_501

Consequently, the third identity is generally seen to be more open and tolerant towards others, and is often in tension with the more traditional and insular identities of the interior. Oman_sentence_502

Religion Oman_section_33

Main articles: Islam in Oman and Religion in Oman Oman_sentence_503

Even though the Oman government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation, statistics from the US's Central Intelligence Agency state that adherents of Islam are in the majority at 85.9%, with Christians at 6.5%, Hindus at 5.5%, Buddhists at 0.8%, Jews less than 0.1%. Oman_sentence_504

Other religious affiliations have a proportion of 1% and the unaffiliated only 0.2%. Oman_sentence_505

Most Omanis are Muslims, most of whom follow the Ibadi school of Islam, followed by the Twelver school of Shia Islam, the Shafi`i school of Sunni Islam, and the Nizari Isma'ili school of Shia Islam. Oman_sentence_506

Virtually all non-Muslims in Oman are foreign workers. Oman_sentence_507

Non-Muslim religious communities include various groups of Jains, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus and Christians. Oman_sentence_508

Christian communities are centred in the major urban areas of Muscat, Sohar and Salalah. Oman_sentence_509

These include Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and various Protestant congregations, organising along linguistic and ethnic lines. Oman_sentence_510

More than 50 different Christian groups, fellowships and assemblies are active in the Muscat metropolitan area, formed by migrant workers from Southeast Asia. Oman_sentence_511

There are also communities of ethnic Indian Hindus and Christians. Oman_sentence_512

There are also small Sikh and Jewish communities. Oman_sentence_513

Languages Oman_section_34

Arabic is the official language of Oman. Oman_sentence_514

It belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. Oman_sentence_515

There are several dialects of Arabic spoken, all part of the Peninsular Arabic family: Dhofari Arabic (also known as Dhofari, Zofari) is spoken in Salalah and the surrounding coastal regions (the Dhofar Governorate); Gulf Arabic is spoken in parts bordering the UAE; whereas Omani Arabic, distinct from the Gulf Arabic of eastern Arabia and Bahrain, is spoken in Central Oman, although with recent oil wealth and mobility has spread over other parts of the Sultanate. Oman_sentence_516

According to the CIA, besides Arabic, English, Baluchi (Southern Baluchi), Urdu and various Indian languages are the main languages spoken in Oman. Oman_sentence_517

English is widely spoken in the business community and is taught at school from an early age. Oman_sentence_518

Almost all signs and writings appear in both Arabic and English at tourist sites. Oman_sentence_519

Baluchi is the mother tongue of the Baloch people from Balochistan in western Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. Oman_sentence_520

It is also used by some descendants of Sindhi sailors. Oman_sentence_521

A significant number of residents also speak Urdu, due to the influx of Pakistani migrants during the late 1980s and 1990s. Oman_sentence_522

Additionally, Swahili is widely spoken in the country due to the historical relations between Oman and Zanzibar. Oman_sentence_523

Prior to Islam, Central Oman lay outside of the core area of spoken Arabic. Oman_sentence_524

Possibly Old South Arabian speakers dwelled from the Bāṭinah to Ẓafār. Oman_sentence_525

Rare Musnad inscriptions have come to light in central Oman and in the Emirate of Sharjah, but the script says nothing about the language which it conveys. Oman_sentence_526

A bilingual text from the 3rd century BCE is written in Aramaic and in musnad Hasiatic, which mentions a 'king of Oman' (mālk mn ʿmn). Oman_sentence_527

Today the Mehri language is limited in its distribution to the area around Ṣalālah in Ẓafār and westward into the Yemen. Oman_sentence_528

But until the 18th or 19th century it was spoken further north, perhaps into Central Oman. Oman_sentence_529

Baluchi (Southern Baluchi) is widely spoken in Oman. Oman_sentence_530

Endangered indigenous languages in Oman include Kumzari, Bathari, Harsusi, Hobyot, Jibbali and Mehri. Oman_sentence_531

Omani Sign Language is the language of the deaf community. Oman_sentence_532

Oman was also the first Arab country in the Persian Gulf to have German taught as a second language. Oman_sentence_533

The Bedouin Arabs, who reached eastern and southeastern Arabia in migrational waves—the latest in the 18th century, brought their language and rule including the ruling families of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Oman_sentence_534

Education Oman_section_35

Main article: Education in Oman Oman_sentence_535

Oman_table_general_3

The Human Capital IndexOman_table_caption_3
RankOman_header_cell_3_0_0 EconomyOman_header_cell_3_0_1 scoreOman_header_cell_3_0_2
56Oman_cell_3_1_0 AlbaniaOman_cell_3_1_1 0.62Oman_cell_3_1_2
55Oman_cell_3_2_0 MalaysiaOman_cell_3_2_1 0.62Oman_cell_3_2_2
54Oman_cell_3_3_0 OmanOman_cell_3_3_1 0.62Oman_cell_3_3_2
53Oman_cell_3_4_0 TurkeyOman_cell_3_4_1 0.63Oman_cell_3_4_2
52Oman_cell_3_5_0 MauritiusOman_cell_3_5_1 0.63Oman_cell_3_5_2

Oman scored high as of 2019 on the percentage of students who complete lower secondary school and on the literacy rate between the age of 15 and 24, 99.7 percent and 98.7 percent, respectively. Oman_sentence_536

However, Oman's net primary school enrollment rate in 2019, which is 94.1 percent, is rated as "challenges remain" by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) standard. Oman_sentence_537

Oman's overall evaluation in quality of education, according to UNSDG, is 94.8 ("challenges remain") as of 2019. Oman_sentence_538

Oman's higher education produces a surplus in humanities and liberal arts, while it produces an insufficient number in technical and scientific fields and required skill-sets to meet the market demand. Oman_sentence_539

Further, sufficient human capital creates a business environment that can compete with, partner or attract foreign firms. Oman_sentence_540

Accreditation standards and mechanisms with a quality control that focuses on input assessments, rather than output, are areas of improvement in Oman, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2014 report. Oman_sentence_541

The transformation Index BTI 2018 report on Oman recommends that the education curriculum should focus more on the "promotion of personal initiative and critical perspective". Oman_sentence_542

The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 86.9%. Oman_sentence_543

Before 1970, only three formal schools existed in the entire country, with fewer than 1,000 students. Oman_sentence_544

Since Sultan Qaboos' ascension to power in 1970, the government has given high priority to education to develop a domestic work force, which the government considers a vital factor in the country's economic and social progress. Oman_sentence_545

Today, there are over 1,000 state schools and about 650,000 students. Oman_sentence_546

Oman's first university, Sultan Qaboos University, opened in 1986. Oman_sentence_547

The University of Nizwa is one of the fastest growing universities in Oman. Oman_sentence_548

Other post-secondary institutions in Oman include the Higher College of Technology and its six branches, six colleges of applied sciences (including a teachers' training college), a college of banking and financial studies, an institute of Sharia sciences, and several nursing institutes. Oman_sentence_549

Some 200 scholarships are awarded each year for study abroad. Oman_sentence_550

According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are Sultan Qaboos University (1678th worldwide), the Dhofar University (6011th) and the University of Nizwa (6093rd). Oman_sentence_551

Health Oman_section_36

Main article: Healthcare in Oman Oman_sentence_552

Since 2003, Oman's undernourished share of the population has dropped from 11.7 percent to 5.4 percent in 2016, but the rate remains high (double) the level of high-income economies (2.7 percent) in 2016. Oman_sentence_553

The UNSDG targets zero hunger by 2030. Oman_sentence_554

Oman's coverage of essential health services in 2015 was 77 percent, which is relatively higher than the world's average of approximately 54 percent during the same year, but lower than high-income economies' level (83 percent) in 2015. Oman_sentence_555

Since 1995, the percentage of Omani children who receive key vaccines has consistently been very high (above 99 percent). Oman_sentence_556

As for road incident death rates, Oman's rate has been decreasing since 1990, from 98.9 per 100,000 individuals to 47.1 per 100,000 in 2017, however, the rate remains significantly above average, which was 15.8 per 100,000 in 2017. Oman_sentence_557

Oman's health spending to GDP between 2015 and 2016 averaged 4.3 percent, while the world's average during the same period averaged 10 percent. Oman_sentence_558

As for mortality due to air pollution (household and ambient air pollution), Oman's rate was 53.9 per 100,000 population as of 2016. Oman_sentence_559

Life expectancy at birth in Oman was estimated to be 76.1 years in 2010. Oman_sentence_560

As of 2010, there were an estimated 2.1 physicians and 2.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Oman_sentence_561

In 1993, 89% of the population had access to health care services. Oman_sentence_562

In 2000, 99% of the population had access to health care services. Oman_sentence_563

During the last three decades, the Oman health care system has demonstrated and reported great achievements in health care services and preventive and curative medicine. Oman_sentence_564

Oman has been making strides in health research too recently. Oman_sentence_565

Comprehensive research on the prevalence of skin diseases was performed in North batinah governorate. Oman_sentence_566

In 2000, Oman's health system was ranked number 8 by the World Health Organization. Oman_sentence_567

Largest Cities Oman_section_37

1) Muscat (Capital City of Oman), Muscat Governorate Oman_sentence_568

2) Seeb, Muscat Governorate Oman_sentence_569

3) Salalah, Dhofar Governorate Oman_sentence_570

4) Bawshar, Muscat Governorate Oman_sentence_571

5) Sohar, Al Batinah North Governorate Oman_sentence_572

6) As Suwayq, Al Batinah North Governorate Oman_sentence_573

7) Ibri, Az Zahirah Governorate Oman_sentence_574

8) Saham, Al Batinah North Governorate Oman_sentence_575

9) Rustaq, Al Batinah South Governorate Oman_sentence_576

10) Buraimi, Al Buraimi Governorate Oman_sentence_577

11) Nizwa, Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate Oman_sentence_578

12) Sur, Southeastern Governorate Oman_sentence_579

Culture Oman_section_38

Main article: Culture of Oman Oman_sentence_580

Outwardly, Oman shares many of the cultural characteristics of its Arab neighbours, particularly those in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Oman_sentence_581

Despite these similarities, important factors make Oman unique in the Middle East. Oman_sentence_582

These result as much from geography and history as from culture and economics. Oman_sentence_583

The relatively recent and artificial nature of the state in Oman makes it difficult to describe a national culture; however, sufficient cultural heterogeneity exists within its national boundaries to make Oman distinct from other Arab States of the Persian Gulf. Oman_sentence_584

Oman's cultural diversity is greater than that of its Arab neighbours, given its historical expansion to the Swahili Coast and the Indian Ocean. Oman_sentence_585

Oman has a long tradition of shipbuilding, as maritime travel played a major role in the Omanis' ability to stay in contact with the civilisations of the ancient world. Oman_sentence_586

Sur was one of the most famous shipbuilding cities of the Indian Ocean. Oman_sentence_587

The Al Ghanja ship takes one whole year to build. Oman_sentence_588

Other types of Omani ship include As Sunbouq and Al Badan. Oman_sentence_589

In March 2016 archaeologists working off Al Hallaniyah Island identified a shipwreck believed to be that of the Esmeralda from Vasco da Gama's 1502–1503 fleet. Oman_sentence_590

The wreck was initially discovered in 1998. Oman_sentence_591

Later underwater excavations took place between 2013 and 2015 through a partnership between the Oman Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Blue Water Recoveries Ltd., a shipwreck recovery company. Oman_sentence_592

The vessel was identified through such artifacts as a "Portuguese coin minted for trade with India (one of only two coins of this type known to exist) and stone cannonballs engraved with what appear to be the initials of Vincente Sodré, da Gama's maternal uncle and the commander of the Esmeralda." Oman_sentence_593

Dress Oman_section_39

The male national dress in Oman consists of the dishdasha, a simple, ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves. Oman_sentence_594

Most frequently white in colour, the dishdasha may also appear in a variety of other colours. Oman_sentence_595

Its main adornment, a tassel (furakha) sewn into the neckline, can be impregnated with perfume. Oman_sentence_596

Underneath the dishdasha, men wear a plain, wide strip of cloth wrapped around the body from the waist down. Oman_sentence_597

The most noted regional differences in dishdasha designs are the style with which they are embroidered, which varies according to age group. Oman_sentence_598

On formal occasions a black or beige cloak called a bisht may cover the dishdasha. Oman_sentence_599

The embroidery edging the cloak is often in silver or gold thread and it is intricate in detail. Oman_sentence_600

Omani men wear two types of headdress: Oman_sentence_601

Oman_unordered_list_1

  • the ghutra, also called "Musar" a square piece of woven wool or cotton fabric of a single colour, decorated with various embroidered patterns.Oman_item_1_11
  • the kummah, a cap that is the head dress worn during leisure hours.Oman_item_1_12

Some men carry the assa, a stick, which can have practical uses or is simply used as an accessory during formal events. Oman_sentence_602

Omani men, on the whole, wear sandals on their feet. Oman_sentence_603

The khanjar (dagger) forms part of the national dress and men wear the khanjar on all formal public occasions and festivals. Oman_sentence_604

It is traditionally worn at the waist. Oman_sentence_605

Sheaths may vary from simple covers to ornate silver or gold-decorated pieces. Oman_sentence_606

It is a symbol of a man's origin, his manhood and courage. Oman_sentence_607

A depiction of a khanjar appears on the national flag. Oman_sentence_608

Omani women wear eye-catching national costumes, with distinctive regional variations. Oman_sentence_609

All costumes incorporate vivid colours and vibrant embroidery and decorations. Oman_sentence_610

In the past, the choice of colours reflected a tribe's tradition. Oman_sentence_611

The Omani women's traditional costume comprises several garments: the kandoorah, which is a long tunic whose sleeves or radoon are adorned with hand-stitched embroidery of various designs. Oman_sentence_612

The dishdasha is worn over a pair of loose fitting trousers, tight at the ankles, known as a sirwal. Oman_sentence_613

Women also wear a head shawl most commonly referred to as the lihaf. Oman_sentence_614

As of 2014 women reserve wearing their traditional dress for special occasions, and instead wear a loose black cloak called an abaya over their personal choice of clothing, whilst in some regions, particularly amongst the Bedouin, the burqa is still worn. Oman_sentence_615

Women wear hijab, and though some women cover their faces and hands, most do not. Oman_sentence_616

The Sultan has forbidden the covering of faces in public office. Oman_sentence_617

Music and cinema Oman_section_40

Music of Oman is extremely diverse due to Oman's imperial legacy. Oman_sentence_618

There are over 130 different forms of traditional Omani songs and dances. Oman_sentence_619

The Oman Centre for Traditional Music was established in 1984 to preserve them. Oman_sentence_620

In 1985, Sultan Qaboos founded the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, an act attributed to his love for classical music. Oman_sentence_621

Instead of engaging foreign musicians, he decided to establish an orchestra made up of Omanis. Oman_sentence_622

On 1 July 1987 at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel's Oman Auditorium the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert. Oman_sentence_623

The cinema of Oman is very small, there being only one Omani film Al-Boom (2006) as of 2007. Oman_sentence_624

Oman Arab Cinema Company LLC is the single largest motion picture exhibitor chain in Oman. Oman_sentence_625

It belongs to the Jawad Sultan Group of Companies, which has a history spanning more than 40 years in the Sultanate of Oman. Oman_sentence_626

In popular music, a seven-minute music video about Oman went viral, achieving 500,000 views on YouTube within 10 days of being released on YouTube in November 2015. Oman_sentence_627

The a cappella production features three of the region's most popular talents: Kahliji musician Al Wasmi, Omani poet Mazin Al-Haddabi and actress Buthaina Al Raisi. Oman_sentence_628

Media Oman_section_41

The government has continuously held a monopoly on television in Oman. Oman_sentence_629

Oman TV is the only state-owned national television channel broadcaster in Oman. Oman_sentence_630

It began broadcasting for the first time from Muscat on 17 November 1974 and separately from Salalah on 25 November 1975. Oman_sentence_631

On 1 June 1979, the two stations at Muscat and Salalah linked by satellite to form a unified broadcasting service. Oman_sentence_632

Oman TV broadcasts four HD channels, including Oman TV General, Oman TV Sport, Oman TV Live and Oman TV Cultural. Oman_sentence_633

Although private ownership of radio and television stations is permitted, Oman has only one privately owned television channel. Oman_sentence_634

Majan TV is the first private TV channel in Oman. Oman_sentence_635

It began broadcasting on January 2009. Oman_sentence_636

However, Majan TV's official channel website was last updated in early 2010. Oman_sentence_637

Moreover, the public has access to foreign broadcasts since the use of satellite receivers is allowed. Oman_sentence_638

Oman Radio is the first and only state-owned radio channel. Oman_sentence_639

It began broadcasting on the 30th, July 1970. Oman_sentence_640

It operates both Arabic and English networks. Oman_sentence_641

Other private channels include Hala FM, Hi FM, Al-Wisal, Virgin Radio Oman FM and Merge. Oman_sentence_642

In early 2018, Muscat Media Group (MMG), trend-setting media group founded by late Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali, launched a new private radio stations in hopes of catering educative and entertaining programmes to the youth of the Sultanate. Oman_sentence_643

Oman has nine main newspapers, five in Arabic and four in English. Oman_sentence_644

Instead of relying on sales or state subsidies, private newspapers depend on advertising revenues to sustain themselves. Oman_sentence_645

The media landscape in Oman has been continuously described as restrictive, censored, and subdued. Oman_sentence_646

The Ministry of Information censors politically, culturally, or sexually offensive material in domestic or foreign media. Oman_sentence_647

The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders ranked the country 127th out of 180 countries on its 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Oman_sentence_648

In 2016, the government drew international criticism for suspending the newspaper Azamn and arresting three journalists after a report on corruption in the country's judiciary. Oman_sentence_649

Azamn was not allowed to reopen in 2017 although an appeal court ruled in late 2016 that the paper can resume operating. Oman_sentence_650

Art Oman_section_42

Traditional art in Oman stems from its long heritage of material culture. Oman_sentence_651

Art movements in the 20th century reveal that the art scene in Oman began with early practices that included a range of tribal handicrafts and self-portraiture in painting since the 1960s. Oman_sentence_652

However, since the inclusion of several Omani artists in international collections, art exhibitions, and events, such Alia Al Farsi, the first Omani artist to show at the last Venice Biennale and Radhika Khimji, the first Omani artist to exhibit at both the Marrakesh and Haiti Ghetto biennale, Oman's position as a newcomer to the contemporary art scene in recent years has been more important for Oman's international exposure. Oman_sentence_653

Bait Muzna Gallery is the first art gallery in Oman. Oman_sentence_654

Established in 2000 by Sayyida Susan Al Said, Bait Muzna has served as a platform for emerging Omani artists to showcase their talent and place themselves on the wider art scene. Oman_sentence_655

In 2016, Bait Muzna opened a second space in Salalah to branch out and support art film and the digital art scene. Oman_sentence_656

The gallery has been primarily active as an art consultancy. Oman_sentence_657

The Sultanate's flagship cultural institution, the National Museum of Oman, opened on 30 July 2016 with 14 permanent galleries. Oman_sentence_658

It showcases national heritage from the earliest human settlement in Oman two million years ago through to the present day. Oman_sentence_659

The museum takes a further step by presenting information on the material in Arabic Braille script for the visually impaired, the first museum to do this in the Gulf region. Oman_sentence_660

The Omani Society for Fine Arts, established in 1993, offers educational programmes, workshops and artist grants for practitioners across varied disciplines. Oman_sentence_661

In 2016, the organisation opened its first exhibition on graphic design. Oman_sentence_662

It also hosted the "Paint for Peace" competition with 46 artists in honour of the country's 46th National Day, where Mazin al-Mamari won the top prize. Oman_sentence_663

The organisation has additional branches in Sohar, Buraimi and Salalah. Oman_sentence_664

Bait Al- Zubair Museum is a private, family-funded museum that opened its doors to the public in 1998. Oman_sentence_665

In 1999, the museum received Sultan Qaboos’ Award for Architectural Excellence. Oman_sentence_666

Bait Al Zubair displays the family's collection of Omani artifacts that spans a number of centuries and reflect inherited skills that define Oman's society in the past and present. Oman_sentence_667

Located within Bait Al-Zubair, Gallery Sarah, which opened in October 2013, offers an array of paintings and photographs by established local and international artists. Oman_sentence_668

The gallery also occasionally holds lectures and workshops. Oman_sentence_669

Food Oman_section_43

Main article: Omani cuisine Oman_sentence_670

Omani cuisine is diverse and has been influenced by many cultures. Oman_sentence_671

Omanis usually eat their main daily meal at midday, while the evening meal is lighter. Oman_sentence_672

During Ramadan, dinner is served after the Taraweeh prayers, sometimes as late as 11 pm. Oman_sentence_673

However, these dinner timings differ according to each family; for instance, some families would choose to eat right after maghrib prayers and have dessert after taraweeh. Oman_sentence_674

Arsia, a festival meal served during celebrations, consists of mashed rice and meat (sometimes chicken). Oman_sentence_675

Another popular festival meal, shuwa, consists of meat cooked very slowly (sometimes for up to 2 days) in an underground clay oven. Oman_sentence_676

The meat becomes extremely tender and it is infused with spices and herbs before cooking to give it a very distinct taste. Oman_sentence_677

Fish is often used in main dishes too, and the kingfish is a popular ingredient. Oman_sentence_678

Mashuai is a meal consisting of a whole spit-roasted kingfish served with lemon rice. Oman_sentence_679

Rukhal bread is a thin, round bread originally baked over a fire made from palm leaves. Oman_sentence_680

It is eaten at any meal, typically served with Omani honey for breakfast or crumbled over curry for dinner. Oman_sentence_681

Chicken, fish, and lamb or mutton are regularly used in dishes. Oman_sentence_682

The Omani halwa is a very popular sweet, basically consisting of cooked raw sugar with nuts. Oman_sentence_683

There are many different flavors, the most popular ones being black halwa (original) and saffron halwa. Oman_sentence_684

Halwa is considered as a symbol of Omani hospitality, and is traditionally served with coffee. Oman_sentence_685

As is the case with most Arab states of the Persian Gulf, alcohol is only available over-the-counter to non-Muslims. Oman_sentence_686

Muslims can still purchase alcoholic drinks. Oman_sentence_687

Alcohol is served in many hotels and a few restaurants. Oman_sentence_688

Sports Oman_section_44

Main article: Sport in Oman Oman_sentence_689

In October 2004, the Omani government set up a Ministry of Sports Affairs to replace the General Organisation for Youth, Sports and Cultural Affairs. Oman_sentence_690

The 19th Arabian Gulf Cup took place in Muscat, from 4 to 17 January 2009 and was won by the Omani national football team. Oman_sentence_691

The 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup that took place in Kuwait, from 22 December 2017 until 5 January 2018 with Oman winning their second title, defeating the United Arab Emirates in the final on penalties following a goalless draw. Oman_sentence_692

The first "El Clasico" to be played outside of Spain, was played on March 14, 2014 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. Oman_sentence_693

Real Madrid F.C. starting eleven consisted of: Contreras, Míchel Salgado, Pavón, Belenguer, Fernando Sanz, Velasco, Fernando Hierro, De la Red, Amavisca, Sabido and Alfonso. Oman_sentence_694

Emilio Álvarez, García Cortés, Torres Mestre, Morán, Álex Pérez, and Iván Pérez also played. Oman_sentence_695

FC Barclona played with: Felip, Coco, Roberto, Nadal, Goicochea, Milla, Víctor Muñoz, Gaizka Mendieta, Giuly, Ezquerro and Luis García. Oman_sentence_696

Moner, Ramos, Albert Tomás, Mulero, Arpón, Lozano and Christiansen also played. Oman_sentence_697

The match ended with a score of 2 to 1 in favor of FC Barcelona. Oman_sentence_698

Oman's traditional sports are dhow racing, horse racing, camel racing, bull fighting and falconry. Oman_sentence_699

Association football, basketball, waterskiing and sandboarding are among the sports that have emerged quickly and gained popularity among the younger generation. Oman_sentence_700

Ali Al-Habsi is an Omani professional association football player. Oman_sentence_701

As of 2020, he plays in the Football League Championship as a goalkeeper for West Brom. Oman_sentence_702

The International Olympic Committee awarded the former GOYSCA its prestigious prize for Sporting excellence in recognition of its contributions to youth and sports and its efforts to promote the Olympic spirit and goals. Oman_sentence_703

The Oman Olympic Committee played a major part in organising the highly successful 2003 Olympic Days, which were of great benefit to the sports associations, clubs and young participants. Oman_sentence_704

The football association took part, along with the handball, basketball, rugby union, hockey, volleyball, athletics, swimming and tennis associations. Oman_sentence_705

In 2010 Muscat hosted the 2010 Asian Beach Games. Oman_sentence_706

Oman also hosts tennis tournaments in different age divisions each year. Oman_sentence_707

The Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex stadium contains a 50-meter swimming pool which is used for international tournaments from different schools in different countries. Oman_sentence_708

The Tour of Oman, a professional cycling 6-day stage race, takes place in February. Oman_sentence_709

Oman hosted the Asian 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers, where 11 teams competed for three spots at the FIFA World Cup. Oman_sentence_710

Oman hosted the Men's and Women's 2012 Beach Handball World Championships at the Millennium Resort in Mussanah, from 8 to 13 July. Oman_sentence_711

Oman has competed repeatedly for a position in the FIFA World Cup, but have yet qualified to compete in the tournament. Oman_sentence_712

Oman, along with Fujairah in the UAE, are the only regions in the Middle East that have a variant of bullfighting, known as 'bull-butting', organised within their territories. Oman_sentence_713

Al-Batena area in Oman is specifically prominent for such events. Oman_sentence_714

It involves two bulls of the Brahman breed pitted against one another and as the name implies, they engage in a forceful barrage of headbutts. Oman_sentence_715

The first one to collapse or concede its ground is declared the loser. Oman_sentence_716

Most bull-butting matches are short affairs and last for less than 5 minutes. Oman_sentence_717

The origins of bull-butting in Oman remain unknown, but many locals believe it was brought to Oman by the Moors of Spanish origin. Oman_sentence_718

Yet others say it has a direct connection with Portugal, which colonised the Omani coastline for nearly two centuries. Oman_sentence_719

In Cricket, Oman qualified for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 by securing sixth place in 2015 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. Oman_sentence_720

They have also been granted T20I status as they were among the top six teams in the qualifiers. Oman_sentence_721

On 30 October 2019, they qualified for 2020 T20 Cricket World Cup which will be hosted by Australia. Oman_sentence_722

See also Oman_section_45

Oman_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oman.