Oman Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Oman

About 75% of the believing population of Oman profess Ibadi Islam. Approximately 15% of the population are Sunnis, less than 5% are Shiites. The rest of the believing population are adherents of Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.

Transport in Oman

The easiest way to get to Oman is by plane, the direct flight time is about 5 hours.

Most of the transportation within the country is carried out by road. Between the main cities of Oman, buses and fixed-route taxis of the state company and private companies run. The quality of the roads is excellent, the buses are modern and air-conditioned. There are daily buses from Muscat to Nizwa, Bahla, Ibri, Buraimi, Sur and Salalah. Tickets can be purchased at the box office of bus stations or from the driver. Oman is also connected by bus routes with the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi).

From Muscat to Khasab (Musandam Governorate) and Salalah (Dhofar Governorate) can be reached by planes of the national airline “Oman Air”. Compared to bus prices, airfare prices are quite high.

Within major cities, there are a small number of municipal bus routes. However, it is better to use the services of a taxi or fixed-route taxis. The price for a taxi ride should be negotiated with the driver before boarding.

In the main major cities of Oman car rental offices. To rent a car, you must be over 21 years of age, have an international driver’s license, driving experience of more than 1 year, a copy of your passport, a credit card or sufficient cash to pay the deposit.

Plant and Animal World in Oman

In the central part of Oman, the desert type of vegetation prevails. Forests are found only in the mountains of the northern part of the country (oak, plane tree, fig tree, tamarix). The southern plateau of Dhofar is occupied by acacia savannas with groves of coconut palms, Bosswellia, from which frankincense is produced, and oleander. The coast of the Arabian Sea is occupied by forbs.

Of the animals in Oman, the most numerous are rodents, reptiles and arachnids. Of the ungulates, the sand gazelle is most common, and of the predatory ones, the jackal, striped hyena and fox. Oryx, ibex, endemic Arabian tahr (mountain goat) and leopard live in the El-Akhdar mountains. Of the birds, there are falcons, eagles, vultures, storks, bustards, Arabian partridges and sunbirds.

Minerals in Oman

Oman has vast reserves of oil and gas, and the country also has deposits of copper and iron ores, chromium, coal, manganese, lead, gold and silver.

Banks in Oman

Banks are open from Saturday to Wednesday from 8:00 to 12:00, on Thursday – from 8:00 to 11:30. Friday is a non-working day.

Money in Oman

The national currency of Oman is the Omani rial. 1 rial is equal to 1000 beis. In circulation there are banknotes of 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 rials and 500, 250, 200 and 100 beis, as well as coins of 50, 25, 10 and 5 beis.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices. Credit cards are accepted everywhere. ATMs can be found in almost every city. Traveler’s checks are cashed at banks, exchange offices, airports or major hotels. Traveler’s checks are best purchased in US dollars to avoid additional exchange costs.

Rate: 1 Omani Riyal (OMR) = 2.35 USD

Political State in Oman

According to politicsezine, Oman is a sultanate, power here is inherited through the male line. The head of state is the sultan, who is also the spiritual head of the Ibadis – the imam. The Sultan appoints the members of the Government, together with whom he exercises executive power. Legislative power is concentrated in the hands of the Sultan. The interests of the people in the government are represented by the country’s supreme advisory body, Majlis al-Shura, which has only advisory functions.

Administratively, Oman is divided into 59 viloyats, which are combined into 5 regions (El-Dahiliya, Al-Batin, El-Wusta, Ash-Sharqiya and Ed-Dakhira) and 4 governorates (Muscat, Musandam, Buraimi and Dhofar).

Population in Oman

The vast majority of Omanis are Arabs (80%). Among the Arabs, pure-blooded Arabs “Arab-Ariba” and “mixed” Arabs “Musta-Ariba” (descendants of Arabized foreigners) are distinguished. The country is also inhabited by Baluchis, immigrants from South Asia and European countries.

The official language is Arabic. Balochi, Urdu and Swahili are also widely spoken. In the field of international business relations, English is used. Hotel staff along with English can be explained in German and French.

Cuisine in Oman

In the diet of local residents, the main place is occupied by rice and millet, from which porridges, barley or wheat cakes (“khubz”), and dates are prepared. Only wealthy Omanis can afford to eat meat every day, but on holidays meat dishes are an integral part of the table. Meat dishes are prepared mainly from lamb, sometimes from beef. The most popular dishes are shua ram roasted whole on charcoal in a pit, minced meat makadid, stone-roasted meat al-mudbi, charcoal-roasted meat lyakhm meshui, spit-roasted meat mishkak, mixed with meat or fish slices of bread “buryani”, lamb or goat meat with “uzi” rice, all kinds of fried and baked chicken meat “lyakhm nashif” stewed with tomatoes, onions and spices and rice with meat ” As a side dish, meat is served with okra bush pods stewed with tomato, boiled lentils with tomato paste “dal”, white peas “dengu”, crushed barley with curry “jarish”, stewed vegetables “fatta”, fried onions and rice. Of the fish dishes, it is worth trying whole charcoal-grilled fish “samak meshui”, fish with vegetable sauce “salunat samak”, dried shark meat “uaal”,hark meat soup “shorbat uaal”, dried fish “laham” and a wide variety of seafood. Do not forget that spices are widely used in Omani cuisine and many dishes are very spicy or have a specific taste that is unusual for Europeans.

For dessert, they serve cakes soaked in honey, candied dates “tamar”, halva “halua”, soft gozinaki “swirl” and “swirl sabal”.

The traditional Omani drink is strong coffee without sugar with cardamom, ground date pits or drops of rose water (“kahua”). Also, locals drink tea with milk (“shai bil khalib”), with mint (“shai bi naa”), with rose water (“shai bi maal-ward”) or with ginger (“shai bi zinjibil”). Alcohol is practically not consumed. Alcoholic products from other countries are offered in shops, restaurants and hotels. During Ramadan, you can buy alcohol only in hotels, provided that you drink it in your room.

Cuisine in Oman

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