The Sultanate of ‘Oman is one of the most isolated parts of Arabia. It is surrounded on all sides by sea, on the north and east by the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, and on the south and west by the sea of sand, the fearful Rub' al Khali. It raises one of the best breeds of camels in Arabia. In the mountains of ‘Oman exist tribes which represent an older civilization than Islam. The rulers of ‘Oman always leaned toward Britain, and in 1939 the longstanding treaty of friendship with Britain was reaffirmed. North of ‘Oman along the Pirate Coast or the Trucial Coast are a number of independent shaykhdoms which are ruled in medieval fashion. Religiously the inhabitants of ‘Oman are earnest and faithful in all observances of their own faith; none indeed are more so, but they are tolerant and open-minded to a degree unknown elsewhere in Arabia.