The Sultanate of Oman or more commonly known as just Oman is the third major country in Arabia after Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Situated in the south-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula and borders on the indian ocean, this country is divided in five distinct geographical regions. These regions are the Musandam peninsula, the Batinah coastal strip, the Hajjar mountains, the Naj desert and Dhofar. The people living in the country belong to various groups devided on the basis of ethnicity, language or religion. The major groups on the basis of religion are Muslims, Sunni and Shia, Christians, Buddhists and Hinuds. On the basis of ethnicity, a lot of groups are present including Arabs, Bedouins, British, Americans, Behraini, Dhofari, Bengali, Yemeni and Turks.

Musandam peninsula is situated separately from the rest of the realm of Oman and is a rock-strewn headland adjoining the strait of Hormuz. Batina Coastline is situated between the mountains in the northern part of the country and the sea having the width of 20 to 25 km. It is the most densely populated region of Sultanate of Oman. The Hajjar mountains run in a belt parallel to the coastline in the northern part of the country. Most of the Oman gets it supply of water from this part of the country. Naj Sands separates the northern mountains from those of south. This area is densely populated by the nomadic bedouins. Wahiba sands is also included in this area which is a famous and perfect place for safari tours. Due to these safari tours, this area has become an important part for tourism in Oman. Dhofar, a mountainous region in the south of the country with a tropical climate is the only part of Arabia that experiences summer monsoons.

Due to the various reasons, Oman was not modernized till 1970s, being one of the reason why traditional architecture has survived better in Oman than in other Gulf States. Mud brick, baked brick, stone, mongrose pole, palm trees and lime are used as prime building materials in Oman, the combination of the materials employed being on the basis of region and type of the building. Baked brick is used pretty infrequently and is limited mostly to the port of Sohar. These were first used in early Islamic city and were used in nineteenth century to build houses though it is unclear whether they were made in Oman or imported from somewhere else.

Oman has a vast cultural heritage that is an example of excellent Islamic architecture. Grand Mosque, Mutrah Souq, Sultan’s Palace, Al-Jalali Fort, Al-Mirani Fort, Sultan’s armed forces museum, Sohar and Bait al-Baranda all can be considered the epitome of the Islamic architecture. Built in a Islamic sort of way, these places have a beauty of their own. The designs and the art work done on these structures attract tourists from whole over the world who travel to Oman to view these magnificent master pieces of Islamic architecture and get mesmerized by the beauty of the art and ways in which these structures were built.

Author's Bio: 

Sheikh Al Zubairi is an expert tourism consultant associated with Ministry of Tourism of Oman that specializes in Tourist Spots all over sultanate of Oman, Oman regions. The experience of Bedouin, Bayt al- safari tours and islamic architecture in Oman is really special for foreigners and tourists.