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oman country

oman country

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Published by: Ryn Cat on Jan 23, 2013
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The Sultanate of Oman is a sovereign country located in Southwest Asia along the eastern coast of theArabian Peninsula.[1] Oman borders the United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on thewest and Yemen on the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the south and east andthe Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The country also contains Madha, an exclave enclosed by the UnitedArab Emirates, and Musandam, an exclave also separated by Emirati territory.
Geography of Oman
Oman is a country situated in Southwest Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and PersianGulf, between Yemen and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Oman is located in the southeastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula and covers a total land area of 309,500 square kilometers. The land area is composed of varying topographic features: valleys anddesert account for 82 percent of the land mass; mountain ranges, 15 percent; and the coastal plain, 3percent.The sultanate is flanked by the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, and the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter) of Saudi Arabia, all of which contributed to Oman's isolation. Historically, the country's contacts with therest of the world were by sea, which not only provided access to foreign lands but also linked the coastaltowns of Oman. The Rub al Khali, difficult to cross even with modern desert transport, formed a barrierbetween the sultanate and the Arabian interior. The Al Hajar Mountains, which form a belt between thecoast and the desert from the Musandam Peninsula (Ras Musandam) to the city of Sur at Oman'seasternmost point, formed another barrier. These geographic barriers kept the interior of Oman freefrom foreign military encroachments.
Geographic coordinates: 21°00′N 57°00′E
Geographical regions
Natural features divide the country into seven distinct areas: Ruus al Jibal, including the northernMusandam Peninsula; the Al Batinah plain running southeast along the Gulf of Oman coast; the Omaninterior behind the Al Batinah coast comprising the Al Hajar Mountains their foothills, and desert fringes;the coast from Muscat-Matrah around the Ras al Hadd point and down the Arabian Sea; the offshoreisland of Masirah; and finally the barren coastline south to the Dhofar region in the south.Except for the foggy and fertile Dhofar all of the coast and the lowlands around the Al Hajar mountainsare part of the Gulf of Oman desert and semi-desert ecoregion, while the mountains themselves are adistinct habitat.
Ruus al Jibal
The northernmost area, Ruus al Jibal, extends from the Musandam Peninsula to the boundary with theUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) at Hisn al Diba. It borders the Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman, and is separated from the rest of the sultanate by a strip of territory belonging tothe UAE. This area consists of low mountains forming the northernmost extremity of the Al Hajar alGharbi (Western Al Hajar) Mountains. Two inlets, Elphinstone (Khawr ash Shamm) and Malcom(Ghubbat al Ghazirah), cleave the coastline about one third of the distance from the Strait of Hormuzand at one point are separated by only a few hundred meters of land. The coastline is extremely rugged,and the Elphinstone Inlet, sixteen kilometers long and surrounded by cliffs 1,000 to 1,250 meters high,has frequently been compared with fjords in Norway.
Al Batinah
The UAE territory separating Ruus al Jibal from the rest of Oman extends almost as far south as thecoastal town of Shinas. A narrow, well-populated coastal plain known as Al Batinah runs from the pointat which the sultanate is reentered to the town of As Sib, about 140 kilometers to the southeast. Acrossthe plains, a number of wadis, heavily populated in their upper courses, descend from the Al Hajar alGharbi Mountains to the south. A ribbon of oases, watered by wells and underground channels (falaj),extends the length of the plain, about ten kilometers inland.
Muscat-Matrah coastal area
South of As Sib, the coast changes character. For about 175 kilometers, from As Sib to Ras al Hadd, it isbarren and bounded by cliffs almost its entire length; there is no cultivation and little habitation.Although the deep water off this coast renders navigation relatively easy, there are few natural harborsor safe anchorages. The two best are at Muscat and Matrah, where natural harbors facilitated thegrowth of cities centuries ago.
Coastal tract, and island of Masirah
The desolate coastal tract from Jalan to Ras Naws has no specific name. Low hills and wastelands meetthe sea for long distances. Midway along this coast and about fifteen kilometers offshore is the barrenMasirah island. Stretching about seventy kilometers, the island occupies a strategic location near theentry point to the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea. Because of its location, it became the site of military facilities used first by the British and then by the United States, following an access agreementsigned in 1980 by the United States and Oman.
Oman interior
West of the coastal areas lies the tableland of central Oman. The Al Hajar Mountains form two ranges:the Al Hajar al Gharbi Mountains and the Al Hajar ash Sharqi (Eastern Al Hajar) Mountains. They aredivided by the Wadi Samail (the largest wadi in the mountain zone), a valley that forms the traditionalroute between Muscat and the interior. The general elevation is about 1,200 meters, but the peaks of the high ridge known as Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain), rise to more than 3,000 m. Jabal Akhdar is theonly home of the Arabian tahr, a unique species of wild goat. In the hope of saving this rare animal,Sultan Qabus ibn Said has declared part of the mountain a national park. Behind the Al Hajar al GharbiMountains are two inland regions, Az Zahirah and Inner Oman, separated by the lateral range of the Rubal Khali. Adjoining the Al Hajar ash Sharqi Mountains are the sandy regions of Ash Sharqiyah and Jalan,which also border the desert.
Dhofar region
Dhofar region extends from Ras ash Sharbatat to the border of Yemen and north to the clearly definedborder with Saudi Arabia. Its capital, Salalah, was the permanent residence of Sultan Said ibn Taimur AlSaid and the birthplace of the present sultan, Qabus ibn Said. The highest peaks are about 2,000 meters.The coast of Dhofar is fertile, being watered by monsoonal fogs from the Indian Ocean and is part of theArabian Peninsula coastal fog desert ecoregion.Al Dharerah region consists of three parts:Dhank; Ibri; and Yanqul.
SeaWiFS captured this dust cloud blowing out over the Arabian Sea from Oman. March 12, 2000With the exception of Dhofar region, which has a strong monsoon climate and receives warm windsfrom the Indian Ocean, the climate of Oman is extremely hot and dry most of the year.Summer begins in mid-April and lasts until October. The highest temperatures are registered in theinterior, where readings of more than 53 °C (127.4 °F) in the shade are common. On the Al Batinah plain,summer temperatures seldom exceed 47 °C (116.6 °F), but, because of the low elevation, the humiditymay be as high as 90 percent. The mean summer temperature in Muscat is 33 °C (91.4 °F), but thegharbi (literally, western), a strong wind that blows from the Rub al Khali, can raise temperatures fromthe towns on the Gulf of Oman by 6 °C (10.8 °F) to 10 °C (18 °F).Winter temperatures are mild and pleasant, ranging between 18 and 26 °C (64.4 and 78.8 °F).Precipitation on the coasts and on the interior plains ranges from 20 to 100 millimeters (0.8 to 3.9 in) ayear and falls during mid- and late winter. Rainfall in the mountains, particularly over Jebel Akhdar, ismuch higher and may reach 900 millimeters (35.4 in).

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