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About Oman

Official Name : Sultanate of Oman

Head of State: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said (since 1970)

Currency: (OMR): OMANI RIALS. (1US$=0,384 OMR)

Capital: Muscat

Main Cities: Muscat, Nizwa, Sur, Salalah, Sohar, Buraimi

Population: 2.773.479 (2010)

Total Surface: 309,500 Km 2.

Neighboring Countries: Yemen Arab Republic, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Time: GMT + 4 hour

 

Location:

Oman is situated in the south eastern part of Arabian Peninsula, surrounded by United Arab Emirates (U .A.E) from north west, Saudi Arabia from the west, sea of Oman and Arabian sea from the east and south east. Oman is a leader in the Region in the fields of water resources assessment and management and has excellent record in related institutional capacity-building. Optimization and strategic management of the water sector was seen as a key dimension of the Omani Economic Diversification Strategy at the vision "2020"

Area:

Oman is situated in the south eastern part of Arabian Peninsula, surrounded by United Arab Emirates (U .A.E) from north west, Saudi Arabia from the west, sea of Oman and Arabian sea from the east and south east. Oman is a leader in the Region in the fields of water resources assessment and management and has excellent record in related institutional capacity-building. Optimization and strategic management of the water sector was seen as a key dimension of the Omani Economic Diversification Strategy at the vision "2020"
 

Religion: Islam

Language: ARABIC is the native Language of the country. However, English is widely spoken (as a second native language). Those involved in tourism speak German & French.
 

Population:

Oman's population reached 2.773.479 according to the most recent census executed on 2010. The capital Muscat has the highest population with 28% of the total population, Al Batinah 27.9%, As Sharqiyah 12.6%, Ad Dakhliyah 11.8%, Dhofar 9%, Ad Dhahirah 5.5%, Al Buraimi 2.6, Al Wusta 1.5% and Musandam 1.1%. Omani represents 71% of the total population.

Credit Card currently used:

Visa, Master Card, American Express... All major credit cards are accepted in main hotels, stores, and most shops but in traditional souks, cash is the most preferred means for transaction.

Public Holidays:

National Day & Birthday of HM Sultan Qaboos (18th Nov, Two days)

Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year, one day)

Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet, One day)

Leilat Al Meiraj (Ascension of the Prophet, One day)

Renaissance Day (July 23, one day)

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan, 4 days)

Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice, 4 days)

Visa: Citizens of over 60 countries may obtain visit Visas valid for one-month stay on arrival. More...

Hotels:

5 Star

InterContinental Muscat

The Chedi Muscat

Shangri-La´s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa

Grand Hyatt Muscat

Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel

4 Star

Crowne Plaza Hotel MUSCAT

Hotel Muscat Holiday

Golden Tulip Seeb

Ramee Guestline Hotel Qurum

Ramada Muscat

Park Inn Muscat

Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat

Water Resources:

Groundwater is the main water source representing 92% of the total renewable water resources. The natural water resources comprise two main resources "renewable" and "non-renewable". The "renewable” resources replenished from rainfall and stored in under groundwater aquifers, the quality of groundwater from aflaj and wells located in the upper reaches of catchments throughout Northern Oman is generally suitable for domestic and agricultural purposes. Groundwater becomes brackish and saline toward the coast, and there is similar deterioration of water quality in the interior particularly in the lower reaches of the wadis. In the Najd (Southern Oman), groundwater occurs within four distinct limestone formations and the water quality within them varies from potable to brackish. Total replenished of the renewable resources is estimated to be about 1.300 Mm3/yr. Recovery level is currently about 70%; the balance is lost through seepage across submarine or national

The “non-renewable" resources comprise underground fossil water located at carbonate formations within the Interior basin. The storage is very large but their renewable yields are low and largely restricted to the groundwater through-flow.

As a result of rapid economic growth, combined with a rapidly growing population, expansion of the productive capacity of all the economic sectors, improvement in living standard, the demand on the limited water resources will increase during the next 20 years resulting in a large deficit in water balance.

In Oman agriculture is by far the largest water consumer, estimated to account for 1,124 Mm3/yr which is 78% of the annual national demand of 1,430 Mm3. This water irrigates a cropped area of 59,448 ha with approximately 64% and 36% supplied principally from wells and Aflaj respectively. Cropped area, particularly on the Al Batinah and Salalah coastal plains expanded during the l980´s and early 90‘s as part of land allocation and development programmes, resulting in increased water abstraction. While domestic and industrial water use is currently a relatively small proportion (15%) of total demand it is expected to increase rapidly over the next 20 years.

Agriculture production in Oman is almost fully dependent on irrigation in which more than one third of irrigation water is supplied by Falaj. Prior to the 1970s, Aflaj (singular of Falaj) systems were the backbone of agriculture in the northern parts of Oman. There are three types of falaj in Oman: ghaili, da´udi and Ayni. Among these three types, only the da´udi Falaj is similar to qanat irrigation systems of Iran.

Aflaj are conduits dug in the ground to convey water by gravity from one place to another; there are more than 4,000 Falaj in the Sultanate of Oman, of which 3,017 are active. Many Aflaj in Oman were built over 1,500 years ago and some of them may date back over 2,500 years. There was a major period of construction during the Ya´ariba Dynasty, by Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Yarubi between 1,060 and 1,070 Hijri (1,650-1,660 AD). However, several Aflaj were constructed only 150 years ago.

The Falaj systems are still focal to agricultural communities in Oman as they represent 36% of the total water consumed in the agricultural sector and 38% of the total available fresh water. Because of their historical and cultural importance, five representative falaj systems, together with associated structures such as defensive towers, mosques sundials and buildings for water auctions, have recently been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Sustainability was the way of life of our ancestors: because falaj systems use gravity flow, water use never exceeded water supply. The Sultanate´s traditional methods of water management provide important lessons for the future. Using water fairly in times of plenty and times of scarcity is one of these lessons. Matching water use to water availability, a fundamental characteristic of the falaj system, is an essential element in planning water management in Oman´s climatic conditions.