Oman Geography


Location

The Sultanate of Oman strategically occupies the south eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula and lies between Latitudes 16° 40' and 26° 20' North, and Longitudes 51° 50' and 59° 40' East.

The coastline extends 3,165 Km from the Strait of Hormuz in the north, to the borders of the Republic of Yemen in the south and overlooks three seas: the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

The Sultanate borders Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the West; the United Arab Emirates in the Northeast, the Republic of Yemen in the Southwest; the Strait of Hormuz in the North and the Arabian Sea in the East. It has several islands such as Salama Island, Halanyat and Masirah Islands in the Arabian Sea.

The total land area is approximately 309,500 Km2 and it is the third largest country in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Musandam Peninsula forms the country's northern tip, and includes the only coast the Sultanate has on the Arabian Gulf. Musandam is just over 50 Km south of the Islamic Republic of Iran across the Strait of Hormuz.


Topography

Oman possesses a rich diverse topography that divides the country naturally into three distinct regions, each with its own identity. These regions range from rugged mountains and rocky deep water fjords in the North, to the spectacular dunes of Sharqiyah (Wahiba) Sands and two large salt flats in the Centre, to the lush green hills of Dhofar region in the South, with rugged coasts and placid beaches stretching along the 3,165 Km coastline.

The northern coastal strip along the Gulf of Oman is known as the Batinah Coast; a narrow fertile plain separated from the rest of the country by the Hajar Mountains. The highest peak is Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain) at 3,009 m. The southern slopes of the range are notable for their oasis towns where date groves flourish in the dry desert air.

In the south lies the second mountain range in Oman; the Qara mountains, which attracts the light monsoon rains during the mid-summer months, turning them green with vegetation whose roots help delay the effects of erosion, resulting in a soft rolling landscape more akin to Central Africa. As in the north, a narrow fertile coast plain lies between the mountains and the sea at whose centre Salalah lies, surrounded by lush vegetable farms and coconut groves.