Oman is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding 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. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Its official religion is Islam.
The Arabian Peninsula is definitely not a destination I have traveled to before or even considered. I have always had an interest in visiting Dubai (located near Oman) to see its over the top everything. Tallest building in the world, mall with a ski slope in it and its iconic Burj al Arab - the 7 star hotel shaped like a sail. But as it turns out, Dubai was just a stop on the way to something more interesting and rewarding - an opportunity to experience Arabian Culture first hand. My choice, to go to Oman and travel the countryside. I could not have made a better choice. Oman is a very safe, friendly and beautiful country.
Follow my blogs as I tell my story of this fascinating destination. A county whose history and culture are guided by their religion - Islam.
Everywhere you go there are Sultan banners, wall paintings, flags, souvenirs - he is everywhere. There seems to be a genuine love for him. That is a good thing as the guy is really rich and doesn’t worry about living life large.
Qaboos bin Said
is the current Sultan of Oman. He acceded to the throne on 23 July 1970 following a successful coup against his father, with the aim of ending the country's isolation and to use its oil revenue for modernization and development. When he took over, Oman was a poorly developed country, severely lacking in infrastructure, healthcare, and education, with only six kilometres of paved roads and a population dependent on subsistence farming and fishing. Qaboos modernized the country using oil revenues. Schools and hospitals were built, and a modern infrastructure was laid down, with hundreds of miles of new roads paved. A telecommunications network was established, and completion of projects for a port and airport that had begun prior to his reign were completed. He would often travel the countryside asking local people what he could do to make their lives better.
His approach and the results were the opposite of his father’s reign. People soon saw dramatic changes to the benefits of his projects. Oman was quickly coming into the twentieth century as a developing nation. Like so many of the other Arabian Peninsula countries, it was oil revenues that allowed this to happen.
The Sultan of Oman has a net worth of about $US 1 billion dollars. He has two super yachts, the most recent cost 300 million to build and hosts 65 guests with a crew of 140. They are now moored in Muscats harbour.
He also has two private Boeing 747 jets at his disposal. To top off his lifestyle he has 8 beautiful palaces, fully staffed at all times.
When you look at his wealthy lifestyle you would think Omanis would question his extravagant lifestyle, but no. He has shared the good fortunes of the oil revenues with them and now he kind of represents the status, prosperity and independence Oman - which is like no other country in the Arabian Peninsula.
is the official religion of Oman. About 95% of the almost 5 million people living in Oman practice this faith. There are 16,000 registered mosques throughout Oman. I think you get the picture. The belief in and the practice of Islam is a huge part of Omanis culture. Several times we stoped for a coffee only to see a sign on the window, gone to prayers.
No better way to get a sense of how Islam effects Omani life then to visit the Grand Mosque in Muscat. This is one of the most beautiful mosques in all of the Muslim world.
Out in the countryside you will see the minarets that reveal another mosque, one of 16,000 in the country.
There was a well run visitors centre at the Grand Mosque in Muscat. You were served Omani tea and dates (fruit). Ladies were there to provide literature on Islam and answer any questions you might have.