Oman, officially Oman Sultanate has a strategic position on southeast end of the Arabic Peninsula. At northwest, Oman borders with Saudi Arabia and United Emirates and on west with Yemen. Oman’s north faces Iran and Pakistan across the Gulf of Oman. Oman has 4.4 million people; all are Muslims and the official language is Arabic. Oman has only a moderate oil and gas production and large lime mines and quarries. Oman is ruled by Sultan Qaboos, who is much bellowed and respected by all his subjects. Sultan Qaboos is also the longest ruling monarch at the Middle East.
From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with the Portuguese Empire and the British Empire for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar.
The gateway to Oman’s capital Muscat, a city of 1.4 million people. Muscat was an important port from two centuries before Christ.
It seems that the city is built with snow-white cubes with splashes of green islands. Rugged and dry mountains rise behind the city, and a wide desert behind them.
A wide promenade leads in a long horseshoe around the bay of the city seashore, and is full of shops (souks), restaurants and sidewalk caffes.
Along the promenade are numerous and beautifully decorated mosques.
The city is very clean, with very white buildings. Locals are friendly and care-free. They adore their benevolent ruler Sultan Qaboos.
Many ancient dhows bob in the waters of the bay.
Old two-thousand-year-old Portuguese Mirani fort guarded the entrance into the bay, along with another redoubt Ali Jalali built on an island in the bay.
A skilled woman sidewalk artist at work in one of the side streets.
A large bazaar is a labyrinth of souks, eateries and caffes. Most vendors speak some English, French, and German.
Almost anything you want; you can find it here…
Be sure to check out next month's Lift Line for Part 2