Best Bitcoin Card for Oman
The Sultanate of Oman is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. With an area of 309 500 km² the country is about as big as Italy. In the northwest Oman borders on the United Arab Emirates, in the west on Saudi Arabia and in the southwest on Yemen. The northern part of the peninsula Ruus Al Jibal, which lies in the north of the United Arab Emirates, belongs as an exclave to the national territory of Oman, from here the country supervises the so-called Strait of Hormus, a strait that connects the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea and thus represents one of the most important shipping routes. Oman also includes the Kuria-Muria Islands and the Masirah Island off the east coast of the country.
In the north-east of the country, between the city of Maskat and the border with the neighbouring country United Arab Emirates, lies a fertile coastal plain (Al Batina), which is about 300 km long and between 15 and 30 km wide. To the south is the Oman Mountains (Al Hajar) with altitudes of over 3 000 m (the highest peak in the country is Jabal Akhdar with 3 018 m). Further south is the Inner Desert (Jiddat al Harasis), which occupies the central part of Oman. In the west, gravel and stone deserts merge into the Great Arab Desert (Rub al Khali), most of which lies on Saudi Arabian territory. The desert extends to the coast of the Arabian Sea. In the province of Dhofar in the south of the country, the Karaberge mountains reach heights of up to 1,600 metres. The capital, Maskat, is located on the north-eastern coast of the Gulf of Oman.
The Sultanate of Oman is an absolute hereditary monarchy with a constitution from 1996. The Sultan (since 1970 Qaboos bin Said Al Said) is head of state and at the same time head of government. He appoints the members of the Cabinet and the 59 members of the State Council (Majlis al-Dawla), which has an advisory function. There is also a consultative assembly (Madjlis al-Shura) with 84 seats. Its deputies are elected in general elections for three years. Their powers were considerably extended in October 2011. Both chambers have the right to initiate legislation. Political parties are banned, but trade unions have been registered since 2006. The jurisdiction is based on Islamic law. Oman is divided into eleven governorates (muhafazat), which in turn are divided into districts (wilayat).
Oman’s prosperity is based on oil production. Since the second half of the 1960s, oil has been produced, the most important deposits being in the province of Dhofar and in the south of the Oman Mountains. The government is making some efforts to diversify the economy as deposits are expected to be depleted by 2020 and production has been declining since 2004 due to geological problems. Natural gas production began at the end of the 1970s and a gas liquefaction plant was completed in 1998, allowing exports to commence. Other important factors for Oman’s economy are the large copper deposits (completion of a copper smelter in 1994) and efficient agriculture. The high unemployment rate remains problematic, which the government is trying to counter by “Omanisation” (the replacement of foreign workers by Omani ones).
About 5% of the state’s land is used for agriculture. Thanks to large underground water reservoirs, irrigation of the fields is possible. The main crops are dates, tomatoes, melons, wheat, maize, olives, citrus fruits and cotton. The population’s own food needs can be met in many areas. Livestock farming is partly in the hands of nomadic Bedouins. Fisheries also play an important role in the supply of food.
The only moderately developed industry focuses on processing crude oil and natural gas. In addition, mainly building materials such as cement are produced. The industry generates about 57 % of the gross domestic product.
About 80 % of the export volume is accounted for by crude oil and natural gas, dates and incense are also exported. The main imports are machinery, vehicles and industrial goods. The most important trading partners are Japan, the United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea and the USA.
In recent years Oman has developed a state-sponsored tourism industry. The country’s main ports are Maskat and Matra, international airports are also near the capital, Maskat, and Salalah on the southwest coast. The currency is the Oman Rial, which has a fixed exchange rate to the US dollar.