Oman is on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. The country is cut into two by the Hajar Mountains. The northern part juts out into the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf. The very tip, the Musandem Peninsula, is at the Strait of Hormuz. It has a very mountainous and fiercely rugged landscape in contrast to the flat desert plains along the Batinah coast and the tropical vegetation in the south.
The highest peak Jebel Akhdar, a green mountain is 3075m.
There are also several islands which belong
Oman is one of the greenest of the Gulf countries. There are plant and wildlife protection schemes to preserve rare species like the Arabian oryx.
In the north and inland the climate is hot and dry; around the coast it is humid and in the
Till the 1960s the country mainly produced date, limes and fish.
Like most of the Middle Eastern country Oman also discovered oil which greatly improved the economy and way of life.
In 1989 and 1991 Oman discovered natural gas and it brings in more money than oil.
The first record of people living in Oman date back to the 3rd century BC. The south of Oman was one of the most economical places in the ancient world. The tree from which frankincense is extracted was discovered growing in the southern region of Oman. Frankincense in ancient times had more value than gold.
During the 7th century the Islamic religion was introduced in the northern region of Oman. By late 7th or early 8th the religion spread across Oman and it became the Ibadhi Islam sect, a strict division of Islam. Even today the country is still strictly Islamic.
Oman is ruled by the Sultan and no political parties are allowed. The dynasty goes back to the 18th century.
In 1991 a Consultative Council with 59 members selected by the palace and regional leaders was formed. It was the first step to democracy.