The Sultanate of Oman occupies the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It also includes the tip of the Musandam Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Hormuz.

While most of the coast along the Arabian Sea is barren, the southeast province of Zufar (also known as Dhofar) has tropical vegetation.

Until 1970, Oman was a backward country compared to its oil-rich Gulf neighbours. In 1970, Qaboos bin Said Al Said ousted his father and has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world and has preserved a long-standing political and military relationship with the UK. Oman’s moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.

Oil accounts for over 90% of Oman’s export revenues. Huge natural gas deposits were discovered in 1991 that were equal to all the finds of the previous 20 years. Although less than 1% of the land is cultivated, agriculture provides a living for half of the people. Major crops include alfalfa, bananas, coconuts, dates, tobacco, and wheat.