• John Scott Keltie
  • M. Epstein
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


An independent State, in South-eastern Arabia, whose integrity has been guaranteed by Great Britain and France. Oman extends along the southern shore of the gulf of that name from the entrance into the Persian Gulf to the extreme eastern point of Arabia, and thence S. W. as far as Ras Sajir, lat. 16° 8″ N. The coast line is nearly 1,000 miles long. Inland Oman is bounded on the S. W. by the great desert. Area, 82,000 square miles; population, estimated at 500,000, chiefly Arabs, but there is a strong infusion of negro blood, especially along the coast The towns of Muskat and Muttrah hardly contain an Arab, being inhabited almost entirely by Baluchis and Negroes. The capital, Muskat, and the adjacent town of Muttrah have together about 24,000 inhabitants. Muskat was occupied by the Portuguese from 1508 to the middle of the seventeenth century. After various vicissitudes it was recovered in the eighteenth century by Ahmed bin Sa’eed, of Yemenite origin, who was elected Imam in 1741, and whose family have since ruled. Since 1913, the last year of the reign of the late Sultan, the interior of Oman proper has been in rebellion. The tribes have elected an Imam whose authority, assisted by a council of Shaikhs, is paramount, and the Sultan’s power extends practically only along the sea coast. He has however, control of the Customs and the ports. The interior has at all times been turbulent and upset, and the power of the Sultans shadowy. The title of Imam, which has a religious signification, has fallen out of use during the last three generations.

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1920

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Scott Keltie
  • M. Epstein

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations