Muscat and Oman
The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman is an independent sovereign state, situated in south-east Arabia. Its seaboard is nearly 1,000 miles long and extends from the Ras al Khaimah Shaikhdom near Tibat on the east side of the Musandum Peninsula to Ras Dharbat Ali, which marks the boundary between Muscat and Oman and the territory of the People’s Republic of South Yemen. A small strip of the coast on the east side of the Musandum Peninsula from Dibah to Khor Kalba is administered by 2 shaikhs of Trucial Oman, independent of the Sultan. The sultanate extends inland to the borders of the Rub’ al Khali (‘Empty Quarter’). Physically Muscat and Oman consists of three divisions—a coastal plain, a range of hills and a plateau. The coastal plain varies in width from 10 miles near Suwaiq to practically nothing in the vicinity of Matrah and Muscat towns, where the hills descend abruptly into the sea. The mountain range reaches its greatest height (of over 9,000 ft) in the Jebel Akdhar region. The hills are for the most part barren, but in the high area round Jebel Akdhar they are green and there is considerable cultivation. The plateau has an average height of 1,000 ft. With the exception of oases there is little or no cultivation. North-west of Muscat the coastal plain, known as the Batinah, is fertile and prosperous. The date gardens extend for over 150 miles. The Batinah dates are famous for their flavour; they ripen in the first half of July, well before the Basra dates. The coastline between Muscat and the province of Dhofar is barren. The fertile province of Dhofar lies on the south-eastern coast of Arabia. Sugar-cane is grown and cattle are raised. Its principal town is Salalah on the coast, while Murbat is the port.
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