Oman is a 1,000-mile-long (1,700-km) coastal plain at the southeast tip of the Arabian peninsula lying on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
The inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered on Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, a newly established sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Oman's dependence on British political and military advisors increased, but it never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said al-Said overthrew the restrictive rule of his father; he has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world while preserving the longstanding close ties with the UK.
Facts & Figures
Islamic absolute monarchy
Around 75% of the population consists of Ibadhi, a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations, 17% Shia Muslims and the Zikri forming the remaining 8% of the indigenous population, originating from Bahrain, Iran and the Ahsa province of Saudi Arabia, integrating well with the community, concentrated in the capital area and along the northern coast.
309,550 km2 (70th) 119,498 sq mi
2009 estimate 2,845,000 (139th) 2003 census 2,341,000
2009 estimate Total $74.431 billion
2009 estimate Total $53.395 billion
Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani