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Geography in Oman
 
 
 

General

Oman is the second-largest country after Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Peninsula, with an area officially estimated at 212,460 km² (82,031 mi²). Comparatively, the area occupied by Oman is slightly smaller than Poland, or about three times the size of Iceland. Oman's territory includes the tip of the strategically important Ra's Musandam, which juts into the Strait of Hormuz. Oman's part of the peninsula is separated from the rest of the country by the territory of the United Arab Emirates. Oman proper extends 972 km (604 mi) northeast to southwest, and 513 km (319 mi) southeast to northwest. It is bordered on the north by the Strait of Hormuz, on the northeast by the Gulf of Oman, on the east and south by the Arabian Sea, on the southwest by the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), on the west by the Ar-Rub' al-Khali (Empty Quarter) and Saudi Arabia, and on the northwest by the UAE. The total estimated boundary length is 3,466 km (2,154 mi), of which 2,092 km (1,300 mi) is coastline.

Physically, Oman, except for the Dhofar (Zufar) region, consists of three divisions: a coastal plain, a mountain range, and a plateau. The coastal plain varies in width from 16 km (10 mi) to practically nothing near Muscat, where the hills descend abruptly to the sea. The highest point, Jabal Shams, is at 2,980 m (9,777 ft) in the Al Jabal range of the north. The plateau has an average height of about 300 m (1,000 ft) and is mostly stony and waterless, extending to the sands of the Ar-Rub' al-Khali. The coastline southward to Dhofar is barren and forbidding. From Salalah, a semicircular fertile plain extends to the foot of a steep line of hills, some 1,500 m (4,920 ft) high, and forms the edge of a stony plateau also extending to the sands of the Empty Quarter.

Annual rainfall in Muscat averages 10 cm (4 in), falling mostly in January. Dhofar is subject to the southwest monsoon, and rainfall up to 64 cm (25 in) has been recorded in the rainy season from late June to October. While the mountain areas receive more plentiful rainfall, some parts of the coast, particularly near the island of Masirah, sometimes receive no rain at all within the course of a year. The climate generally is very hot, with temperatures reaching 54°C (129°F) in the hot season, from May to October.

Overview

Location
Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE

Geographic coordinates
21 00 N, 57 00 E

Map references
Middle East

Area
total: 309,500 sq km
land: 309,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Poland, or about three times the size of Iceland

Land boundaries
total: 1,374 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 676 km, UAE 410 km, Yemen 288 km


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