The Sultanate of Oman
The Sultanate is much larger, with an area of some 260,000 square kilometres, and has a bigger national population than most of the Gulf states. The Sultanate has changed rapidly over the past seven years, but before 1970, when it was called Muscat and Oman, it had stagnated under the reactionary rule of Sultan Said bin Taimur. The lowest estimate of the Omani national population to be commonly quoted is 330,000. The figure stems from a programme of cholera inoculation in 1971, when teams could only find this number of Omanis to inoculate throughout the country. The paucity and inadequacy of Omani statistics are well illustrated by the available demographic data. Considerable disagreement still remains over the size of the population. Oman, although often considered one of the Gulf states, is in reality quite different from them. Ranking about eleventh in the league of Middle Eastern Oil exporters, Oman’s rate of extraction is already falling.