Oman is an Asian country, which adorns the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Forming a part of southwest Asia, it stands bordered by United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on the west and Yemen on the southwest. Arabian Sea, falling on the south and east, and the Gulf of Oman, falling on the northeast, provide coast to this Arab country. Madha - an exclave enclosed by the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, and separated by Emirati territory, also forms a part of Oman. In case you want to know more about Oman, make use of the fun and interesting facts provided in the lines below.
Image: Hendrik Dacquin@flickr
Fun and Interesting Facts About Oman
- Oman is officially known as the 'Sultanate of Oman'.
- Oman, the capital of Muscat, is also the country's largest city.
- The official language of Oman is Arabic. Apart from that, English, Baluchi, Urdu, Hindi and other dialects are also spoken here.
- Oman follows the system of 'Absolute Monarchy'.
- Oman gained independence from the Portuguese empire in 1651.
- Omani Arab is the main ethnic group in Oman, followed by Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi. Iranian, Egyptian, Somali and others are in a minority.
- Ibadi Muslim (Islam) is the official religion of Oman. However, Shia and Sunni Muslims, Hindus and Christians also reside there.
- Yalainous, who lived from 23-79 AD, is one of the earliest Roman historians to have mentioned Oman (more precisely, Omana).
- In the past, Oman used to be one of the richest countries in the world, with the wealth mainly originating from the incense trade.
- In Oman, Frankincense trees only grow in the wild.
- It is said that Ubar, the legendary city believed to be in control of Frankincense trade, got buried under the desert. The reason cited for this is that its wealth made people astray and led them away from religion.
- There is a shrub in Oman, known as myrtus communis or yas. Its leaves are used for making perfume.
- Oman was the home of ship building thousands of years ago, when it was mainly involved in the incense trade.
- The highlands of Oman have raised irrigation system. Through it, water is carried from mountain streams. Known as the ' Aflaj Irrigation Systems', it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Oman is traditionally known for breeding Arab horses.
- Omani men wear long robes known as dishdashas, while the womenfolk wear Omani burqa masks.
- Omani men can be found wearing the traditionally curved dagger, known as khanja. Their national dress also includes the 'turban'.
- Oman joined the League of Arab States in 1971.
- The national flag of Oman, adopted in 1971, is red, white and green.
- Oman joined the United Nations in 1971.
- Oman allowed tourists to enter its territory only at the beginning of the 1990s.
- Every two years, an Omani person is chosen by UNESCO, for the most noteworthy contribution to environment. He is then awarded a prize by the ' Sultan of Oman'.