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Oman is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.
From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to Iran and modern-day Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar (today part of Tanzania). As its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean. Oman's official religion is Ibadi Islam.
Oman is an absolute monarchy. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said is the self-appointed leader of the country since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East. Oman's human rights record has been the subject of criticism.
Unlike its resource-rich neighbors, Oman has modest oil reserves, ranking at 25th globally. Nevertheless, in 2010 the UNDP ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. Additionally, Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 59th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index.
Omani nationals have free access to the country's public health care, though expatriates typically seek medical care in private sector clinics and hospitals . Generally, the standard of care in the public sector is high for a middle-income country. The country now has very low rate of diseases which was once common such as measles and typhoid. Due to rapidly increasing incomes, extended immunisation program and changing lifestyles and diet, the levels of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes are an increasing problem.
The hospitals in Oman generally provide a high quality of health care. Most of the largest and most advanced hospitals and health centres are located in Muscat, such as the Royal Hospital of Oman and the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital. There are about 1100 government health centers spread throughout the country so that every person in Oman has an access to a primary care facility.
Though the Omanis have a high life expectancy of 73.8 the nation's medical industry can not be compared to other more developed countries. Still the government is trying to develop this sector and encourage students to study medicine. Although a sizeable portion of the healthcare workforce is foreign born, due to an aggressive government policy of "Omanization", this is beginning to change. The country now has an accredited medical university and many Omani doctors have obtained their medical training in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
There is one governmental medical college in Oman which is a part of Sultan Qaboos University. It has a well-established Undergraduate and postgraduate program. The MD curriculum is newly changed and has been accredited by a Canadian institute. It is based on case-based learning and integration which constitutes of 3 years for pre-clinical phases and three years for clinical phases.
In 2013 the colleges’ “Quality development standards” was considered as “Best Practice “by the World Federation For Medical Education, It has also won the Best Medical college in the Arab World Award instituted by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai UAE.
Taxis can be found around Muscat, however, if you need to go somewhere specific, our nmo members will do their best to take you around. One could even rent a car for a fair price.
Royal Opera House Muscat
Wadi Bani Khaled
Wadi Bani Shab
The Omani culture is steeped in the religion of Islam. For men the national dress is an ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves called the dishdasha. Women wear hijab and abaya. Some women cover their faces and hands, but most do not.The dominant indigenous language is a dialect of Arabic and the country has also adopted English as a second language. Almost all signs and writings appear in both Arabic and English.
A very important part of Omani culture is hospitality. If invited into an Omani house, a visitor is likely to be greeted with a bowl of dates, qahwa (coffee with cardamom - standard Arabic )and fruit. The coffee is served fairly weak in a small cup, which should be shaken after three servings to show that you have finished. The dates are in lieu of sugar. Halwa and other sweets are often given at celebrations such as Eids.