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Monday 27th March
Oman Information - Page 1
Geography
The Sultanate of Oman is in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen on land and by the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The capital is Muscat. There is a deep-water port at Matrah.

The terrain of Oman is varied although most of the country is desert. The Indian monsoon rains, as they pass over, provide enough moisture for the Dhofar Mountains to be green five months of the year. Oman's high mountains and long beaches make it very different from the other Gulf States.

There is variation in the climate depending on the geographical region. It is mainly arid but the weather is more pleasant along the coast.

Environment
The desert is not completely barren; the moisture in the night mists supports some plants and animals. Other wildlife has, like the camel, adapted to the lack of water.

The Arabian oryx, a type of antelope, has been brought back from extinction by a captive breeding programme.

Among the birds of Oman are bee-eaters, eagles, flamingoes, green shanks, kingfishers, plovers, spoonbills and storks.

Over thirteen types of whales and dolphins are found in the the waters off Oman.

The fish stocks of the shoreline have been depleted by over fishing and the fisherman have been compelled to sail further for their catches.

The environment has also been damaged by rising soil salinity and oil spills on the beaches.

Architecture
In many areas the traditional mud-brick village housing has been replaced by concrete buildings. Muscat, the capital, has modern architecture as well as the traditional geometric shapes and designs. Modernization has, however, been carefully controlled and modern commercial buildings and housing are contained within selected areas. Among the most famous old buildings of Oman are its old forts. Bahla Fort in the Oasis at Bahla is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Population
The population of Oman was estimated at 3,027,959 in 2011. There are a number of expatriate workers. The majority of the population lives in Northern Oman.

Languages
Arabic is the national language. Some English is spoken, especially in government and business. Swahili and Urdu are among the other languages in use.

Religion
Oman is an Islamic country, dominated by the Ibadhi sect with a Sunni minority.

Food
The traditional cuisine of Oman consists of foods such as goat's meat, fish, bread and fruit. Indian food is readily available, because of the large number of migrant workers.

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