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Oman

Oman is a peaceful, medium-sized country on the Arabian Peninsula at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Arabic and Balochi are the most commonly spoken languages. The terrain includes desert plains, mountains, and sea coast. Overall, Oman is arid and has high heat. The central desert provides interesting source material for scientific studies of meteorites. Native animal species include the Arabian Tahr and the rock dassie.

Oil makes up 99% of the economy, despite attempts to diversify from this flagging sector into agriculture, industry, and tourism. In a country where every city has a military fortress, there are many great sights. In and around the capital city of Muscat, view the extraordinary Grand Mosque, the ornate Royal Opera House, or the lively market of Mutrah Souq. Elsewhere, see the the ancient site of Al-Baleed and its Museum of the Frankincense Land at Salalah, or the Al-Hoota Cave near Nizwa with its own museum, which is interactive and specializing in geology.

In Omani cuisine, rice and wheat are popular starchy staples. Typical produce includes melons, bananas, dates, tomatoes, watercress, and eggplant. Chicken, fish, and mutton are commonly eaten. Rukhal is a thin, round bread that can be served with Omani honey for breakfast, or crumbled in curry as a dinner dish. Try mashuai, a spit-roasted kingfish served with lemon rice. You can find vegetarian Indian and Chinese food, stores with organic produce, a vegan restaurant or two, and juice bars. Offering guests kahwa (coffee) and halwa (a slightly spongy, jellylike dessert that may contain sugar, clarified butter, starch, and flavorings like nutmeg, cardamom, and rosewater) would be typical behavior for Omanis. Accepting their hospitality could lead to a very pleasurable experience.

Muscat

Muscat