ntil Sultan Qaboos bin Said exiled the previous Sultan in 1970, Oman was an under-developed nation, and almost completely closed to visitors. Since that time, education, public works and tourism have taken off throughout the country.
Omanis are friendly people and are very helpful to tourists. In turn, tourists should respect the ways and traditions of the Omani people.
Omanis are proud of both their country’s rapid progress and their heritage as one of the great sea-faring nations. Excellent schools and hospitals, good governance, and on-going infrastructure improvement are all important characteristics of this once introverted and closed nation.
The oldest known human settlement in Oman dates to the Stone Age.
Sumerian tablets refer to a country called Magan, a name thought to refer to Oman’s ancient copper mines. The present-day name of the country is believed to originate from the Arab tribes who migrated to its territory from the Uman region of Yemen. Many tribes settled in Oman making a living by fishing, herding or stock breeding and some present day Omani families are able to trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Arabia.
From the 6th century BC to the arrival of Islam in the 7th century AD, Oman was controlled and/or influenced by three Persian dynasties, the Achaemenids, Parthians and Sassanids. By about 250 B.C. the Parthian dynasty brought the Persian Gulf under their control and extended their influence as far as Oman and established garrisons in Oman. In the third century A.D. the Sasanids succeeded the Parthians and held the area until the rise of Islam four centuries later.
The climate of Oman is tropical desert, similar to that of cities such as Dubai and La Paz (Mexico). Summers are very hot and humid, with temperatures during the day reaching 38°C (100°F) and night time lows of 29°C (85°F). Springs and autumns are still warm-to-hot, with night time temperatures in the 21°C (70°F) and daytime temperatures anywhere from 29-35°C (85-95°F). Winters are pleasant, with nights around 16°C (60°F), low humidity, and days around 24°C (75°F). Oman is known for its beaches, with their white sand, turquoise waters, and year-round warm ocean temperatures.