The Sultanate of Oman can be described as Dubai’s lesser-known and more traditional cousin. It is a stunning country with dramatic geography and architecture. They have around 1,700km (1,000 miles) of unspoilt beaches full of exotic sea life, staggering mountain ranges and plenty of beautiful nature reserves to visit and enjoy.
Strategically located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, Oman is boarded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Araba to the west and Yemen to the southwest. It also shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan to the north and northeast respectively.
- Capital: Muscat
- Population: 4.6 million (Muscat: 25,000)
- Area: 309,500 sq. km (119, 500 sq. miles)
- Languages: Arabic (official), English
- Religion: Islam & Muslim
- Currency: Oman Rial (OMR)
- Demonym: Omani
- Time zone: Gulf Standard Time (GST) (UTC +4hours)
- Working week: Sunday – Thursday
- Drive on the: Right
- Calling Code: +968
Source: UN World Bank
Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world and continues to be one of the more traditional counties within the Gulf region – although they have beautifully balanced their traditional past with modernisation and development. Until the late 1970’s Oman was one of the most isolated countries in the world.
Oman’s capital, Muscat is a port that sits on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by mountains and desert. With the history dating back to antiquity, it mixes high-rises and upscale shopping malls with clifftop landmarks such as the 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, looming over Muscat Harbour. Pictured: The Mirani Fort, Muscat, Oman.
Since the turn of the millennium, Oman has been focused on driving economic growth and in 2007 it gained status as a high-income economy by the World Bank.
Tourism is the fastest-growing sector of the Omani economy, which has been aided by Oman’s status as the 74th most peaceful country in the world in the latest Global Peace Index.
Are you a tax professional looking for an exciting career change? Want to know more about Oman? Check out our other guides on the country: “Must knows before moving to Oman” and “Living and Working in Oman“.
Thinking about relocating? Discover more about living in the Middle East.