Muscat: The Sultanate is a country of many surprises — full of spectacular natural wonders and architectural beauty. While it’s easy to assume that one knows everything there is to know Oman because of the recent explosion of sharing information in social media, there are still a few things that are quite not known especially by people outside of the Sultanate.
Here are five things that surprises many visitors when they come to Oman.
A long coastline of golden sands and stunning views
The coastline of Oman stretches 3,165 kilometers from the Yemeni border from the southwest to the Strait of Hormuz on the northern edge of the country. The coastline is even with few indented areas and has numerous picturesque beaches.
Muscat, the capital city of the Sultanate is historically one of the most important ports on the Indian Ocean
The capital city of the Sultanate, Muscat is also the country’s largest city. Central to the growth of this country, Muscat’s strategic location played a key role as an important trade point for civilizations for centuries. Muscat’s dominance in the region in trade and commerce was first recorded by Greek geographer, Ptolemy in the 1st century CE. Muscat grew in influence and prosperity over many centuries and later became the seat of government of the Sultanate.
Due to its prominence in marine trade over several centuries, Oman established a reputation for shipbuilding. Omanis didn’t only practice the industry of shipbuilding, but they perfected it. Their ships would sail around the world, and some Omani coastal cities like Sur, were globally known as centers of ships and ship repairs. Ancient wooden ships were constructed in Sur and had the capability to navigate all the way to East Africa, China, and India. Today Omanis are regarded some of the best shipbuilders on Earth.
The Arabian Oryx is the (unofficial) national animal of Oman
A white antelope with a unique shoulder bump, long straight horns and a tufted tail, the endangered Arabian Oryx is the national animals of the Sultanate. They live in the deserts of the Arab Peninsula, most famously in Oman. The Arabian Oryx or the White Oryx is referred to and called the Maha in Oman. Heavy poaching for illegal sale of oryx outside the country crashed the population to unsustainable levels, but with initiatives in place to help their survival, most projects have enjoyed considerable success and oryx numbers have since been steadily increasing.
Finest breeders of Arabian horses
Originating in the Arab Peninsula, The Arabian or the Arab Horse is a unique breed that is one of the oldest breeds in the world. It is one of the most desirable and recognizable breeds of horses. The Arabian Horse is known for its distinctive head shape and high tail carriage. These racing breeds are known for their great endurance riding, speed, refinement and strong bones. They are also popular because of their good nature and easy to train and ability to bond with their owners which makes them a much-wanted breed of horses, especially for those who enjoy racing.