Oman is in south-west Asia, on the south-east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders with United Arab Emirates to the north-west, Saudi Arabia to the west and Yemen to the south west. It has coasts on the Arabian Sea to the south and east, and the Gulf of Oman to the north-east. It also has two enclaves: the Musandam peninsula to the north of United Arab Emirates, and Madha to the east of the Emirates.
Oman has almost 1,600 km of coastline and four natural regions: the coastal plain; a vast, flat desert covering most of the centre of the country; Dhofar to the south, where the city of Salalah is located; and the mountain range along the north coast. The highest mountain is Jabel Sham, with an altitude of 3,000 metres. Between the mountains and the north coast is a narrow strip where most of the country’s main cities are located – Muscat (the capital), Sohar and Sur. The climate of Oman is hot and dry inland but humid along the coasts.
The Musandam peninsula, strategically located on the Strait of Ormuz, is separated from the rest of the country by United Arab Emirates. Not all of Oman’s frontiers with this country have been defined. Oman also has an exclave within the UEA, the city of Madha.
Inland, to the west, is the Rub al Khali desert, one of the earth’s most inhospitable regions. Together with the Wahiba sands, further to the east, this desert forms part of the ecoregion called desert and xeric shrublands of Arabia and Sinai. The climate gradually becomes more humid towards the south coast, as the ecoregions change from Red Sea tropical desert and semi-desert, to south-western Arabian foothills savannah and Arabian peninsula cloudy coastal desert. Towards the west, the biomes can be distinguished by their altitude: the coast and low areas form part of the desert and semi-desert of the Gulf of Oman, whereas in the mountainous areas the biome is Al Hajar montane woodlands.