Page 4 - Staff Induction Handbook 2020-21
P. 4

Part One: The Sultanate of Oman and Dhofar Governorate

               1.1. About the Sultanate of Oman

               The Sultanate of Oman is an independent state covering 309,500 sq. kms. of the
               south east Arabian Peninsula in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. As of January
               2020,  it  has  an  estimated  population  of  4.975  million  including  nearly  45%
               expatriates. It was formerly known as Muscat and Oman. It is bordered in the west
               by Yemen and Saudi Arabia and on the north by the United Arab Emirates, which
               separates  the  major  portion  of  the  Sultanate  from  a  small  area  in  the  Strait  of
               Hormuz.  The  capital  and  largest  city  is  Muscat.  For  administrative  purposes,  the
               country  is  divided  into  eleven  governorates.  Within  the  governorates  Oman  is
               divided into sixty-one provinces called Wilayats.

               For the most part, Oman comprises a narrow coastal plain backed by hill ranges and
               an interior desert plateau. The highest point is Jebel Shams (9, 900 ft. / 3,018 m). In
               the  extreme  north,  dates,  limes,  nuts  and  vegetables  are  cultivated  and  in  the
               southwest there is an abundance of cattle and other livestock. Fishing is an important
               industry. The major product, however, is oil, which was discovered in Oman in 1964
               and  first  exported  in  1967.  Natural  gas  production  and  small  copper  mines  were
               developed  in  the  early  1980s  and  are  a  part  of  Oman's  growing  industries.  The
               inhabitants are mostly Arabs; there are also minorities of Pakistanis, Indians, Africans,
               Baluchis and migrant workers of various ethnicities.

               For more details, see:



               1.2. About the Dhofar Governorate

               Dhofar is a masterpiece of nature's artistry and generosity. It occupies the southern
               parts of the Sultanate of Oman. Bordered by the Al Wusta Governorate in the east, the
               Arabian Sea to the south, the Republic of Yemen in the south west and Saudi Arabia
               across the "Empty Quarter" or Al Rub'a Al Khali in the North West. It covers an area of
               100,000 sq. kms which is almost one third of Oman. Salalah is also the administrative
               capital of Oman with all modern facilities. Dhofar is climatically different from the rest
               of Oman due  to  the effects of the  monsoon rains  which occur between  June and
               September. The temperature is moderate, rarely exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. Dhofar
               is divided naturally into three areas: the coastal plain, the mountains and the desert.
               Freshwater  wells  and  natural  springs  originating  in  the  mountains  supply  an
               abundance  of  water  to  the  coastal  plain,  enabling  agriculture  to  thrive.  Bananas,
               coconuts, sugar cane, papaya, cereal and animal fodder crops are cultivated. Three
               mountain ranges run the length of Dhofar. With the impact of the monsoon, the whole
               area turns into a verdant paradise. The climate in Dhofar is perfect for the growth of
               the olibanum/ frankincense tree. History reflects that frankincense was an extremely
               precious commodity in ancient times. Transported by vast caravans across the Arabian
               Peninsula to Iraq and Egypt, it was then taken to Europe. The Queen of Sheba travelled

        Dhofar University Staff Induction Handbook (2020-21)                                                                                            Page 3 of 27
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