Sultanate of Oman is the third largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the West and the United Arab Emirates in the North East. The country has been experiencing rapid progress over the past 47 years under the visionary leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The Sultanate’s continued economic growth has also effectively resulted in the development of industrial, manufacturing and infrastructure sector.
Much of the country’s interior falls within the sandy, treeless, and largely waterless region of the Arabian Peninsula known as the Rubʿ al-Khali. The region is still the domain of Bedouin nomads, although today it is also crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines.
In contrast to the stark interior, the coastal regions are much more hospitable. Oman’s lush northern coast lies between the sea and inland mountains. This verdant, fertile region is known for its grapes and other produce, as is the Dhofar region in the country’s south. The capital, Muscat, lies along the northern coast. Blending modern and traditional architecture, the city commands a view of the Gulf of Oman and serves as a port and commercial centre.
Electrical power in Oman is supplied both by the public sector and by the private sector. In 1999 the total national production amounted to 5.2 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) with consumption reaching 4.9 billion kWh. In 1999 there were 31 power stations with a total installed capacity of 1,662 megawatts. The government-owned General Telecommunications Organization (GTO) was established in 1980 and was responsible for setting up the modern telephone system throughout the country. Thirty years ago there were only 500 lines in and around the capital and international telephone calls could be made only through radio channels. As of 1998, all the telephone exchanges became digital and one can now telephone all over the world. Oman has an overall telephone capacity of 420,000 lines, both fixed and mobile, and given the widespread use of the telephone, it is estimated that Oman will need about 500,000 telephone lines by the year 2020, which will require massive investment.