Oman - General information


Bordering the desert countries of the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Saudi Arabia at the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman has only been open to visitors since the 1970s. Traditionally a great maritime nation, Oman is increasing in popularity as a visitor destination, with its friendly peoples doing their best to encourage tourism. First settled during the Stone Age and later developed for its copper mines, the Islamic country boast diverse ecosystems ranging from towering mountains, awe-inspiring wildernesses and desert dunes, lush coastal lowlands, oases and picturesque historic towns and small cities. The country's most famed landmarks are its many ancient, defensive forts, numbering more than 500 and dating from as early as the 13th century, with a fine example in Nizwa. Wahiba Sands holds massive, rolling dunes stretching to the horizon and the rugged mountainous regions lead off-roaders to dry wadis winding through the peaks. The beaches here are known as breeding locations for several sea turtle species, with Masirah Island best known for leatherbacks. From date-palm huts in the desert to five-star luxury Oman hotels in the historical capital of Muscat, lodging here encompasses all styles and budgets.

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