Arabs, Islam, and Oil: Oman

The absolute monarchy of Oman is ruled by a sultan. It is located on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and it controls the tip of land next to the Strait of Hormuz. All oil tankers leaving the Persian Gulf must pass through this point.

Oman uses its oil income to build infrastructure to benefit its people. The country receives international investments. Oman has a free-trade zone with a giant container port facility, luxury tourist hotels, a good road system, and a first-rate international airport. The sultan of Oman has widespread support. Though Oman is not a democracy, the sultan has been a positive role model for other monarchs. He has used Oman’s oil wealth to help his country develop and modernize. There is clean drinking water in the rural areas. The mountains of Oman have additional natural resources such as gold, marble, and copper.

A lack of fresh water is a concern for Oman. Fresh water is piped throughout most of the country, but shortages occur at times because of droughts and limited rainfall. Environmental problems have also arisen in Oman. For example, irrigation operations cause soil conditions such as salt buildup. Oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz and along the coast in the Gulf of Oman have leaked oil, which has washed up on coastal areas where attractive beaches are located. The increased misuse of the environment by a growing population has badly affected the fragile desert ecosystems. Mammals, birds, and other organisms are in danger of extinction, including the Arabian leopard, the mountain gazelle, and the Arabian oryx.

Source: Arabs, Islam, and Oil: Oman
By Saylor Academy, CC-BY 3.0

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