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Oman:
Geography

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Oman Page


Background
Definition
The inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered on Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, a newly established sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Oman's dependence on British political and military advisors increased, but it never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said al-Said overthrew the restrictive rule of his father; he has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world while preserving the longstanding close ties with the UK. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.
Location
Definition
Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE
Geographic coordinates
Definition
21 00 N, 57 00 E
Map references
Definition
Middle East
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 212,460 sq km
land: 212,460 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Kansas
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 1,374 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 676 km, UAE 410 km, Yemen 288 km
Coastline
Definition
2,092 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
Terrain
Definition
central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal Shams 2,980 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0.12%
permanent crops: 0.14%
other: 99.74% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
720 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
1 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 1.36 cu km/yr (7%/2%/90%)
per capita: 529 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; limited natural fresh water resources
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
strategic location on Musandam Peninsula adjacent to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil


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