Traveling in Oman
The region around the capital city Muscat is densely populated. It is also the economic and political center of the country. The region is bordered on the east by the city of Seeb and on the west by Quriat. To the west, there is a shallow coastline with beautiful sandy beaches stretching to Ras al-Hamra. The coast to the east is dominated by rocks reaching to the sea and small bays created by them. Muscat is located in one of these bays.
The northern coastal plain west of the capital region is the Batinah Plain. It is the main growing area for agricultural products. It stretches 250 kilometers into the north to the United Arab Emirates. The shallow coast is about 15 – 30 kilometers wide. Behind it lie the Hadjar Mountains. There are sandy beaches by the sea, behind which there is a wall protecting the villages from the water. Behind the wall, a lagoon strip has formed, in which there are gardens with fruits. Due to the fertility of the region, the Batinah is densely populated. The people here make a living with agriculture and fishing.
The Al Dakhiliyah region is not located on the coast and is mainly characterized by the mountains of the Hadjar Mountains. In this region, the mountain range Jebel Akhdar with the Jebel Shams (“Sun Mountain” in English) is located, which is the highest mountain of the Sultanate of Oman with its 3000 meters altitude. In the southern parts of the region, there are deep wadis that carry water underground. They form the basis for the Omani irrigation system “Falaj”.
In the eastern region of Al-Sharqiyah, there are parts of the Hadjar Mountains as well. The area is characterized by limestone cliffs and deep wadis. In the south of the mountains, there are some oases that are the most densely populated area of the region. On the one side, Al-Sharqiyah borders on the Wahiba Sands desert, on the other, there is a rocky and steep coastline.
The interior, the area between the north of Oman and the Dhofar, is sparsely populated. The region is also called Jiddat al-Harasis, after a resident Bedouin tribe. The desert plain between the sea and the Rub al-Khali desert is about 250 – 300 kilometers wide. Due to the extreme situation of temperature and vegetation, the area is almost uninhabited, except for Bedouins and the workers on the oilfields.
The Dhofar is the southernmost region of the Sultanate of Oman and makes up about one-third of the country’s surface. A large part of the region consists of a barren desert landscape. The coastal plain around Salalah, the largest city in the region, is the most fertile part of the area and is used for plantation cultivation. Small villages near the coast make a living by fishing. The Dhofar Mountains run parallel to the sea and are characterized by plateaus and deep wadis. The sea-side slopes are regularly blooming with the winds and rain of the southwest monsoon (“Khareef”). In the hinterland, the incense tree has optimal growth conditions.
Musandam is an Omani exclave on the Strait of Hormuz. The United Arab Emirates separate Musandam from the rest of Oman. The 2000 square kilometer region has a breathtaking mountain landscape of limestone cliffs. The highest peak in the area is the Jebel Harim at 2087 meters altitude. The mountains stretch to the coast, where there is a deep drop and a fjord-like landscape with countless small bays. This extraordinary nature is the reason for Musandam’s nickname of “Norway of Arabia”.