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Sultanate of Oman located in Southwest Asia, surrounded by the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and the UAE. It covers a total land area of approximately 300,000 sq km. The land area is composed of varying topographic features such as valleys and desert, mountain ranges and the coastal plain. The sultanate is also bordered by the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter) of Saudi Arabia. The Rub al Khali and Al Hajar Mountains formed a barrier for the Sultanate and kept the interior of Oman free from foreign military encroachments.

Natural features of Oman divide the country into 7 distinct areas, namely, Ruus al Jibal; Al Batinah coastal plain; Muscat-Matrah coastal area; Oman interior; Dhofar region in the south and the offshore island of Masirah.


Oman holds an exceptional position among all the Gulf countries in terms of Basic Law of the State promulgated in December 1996, which guarantees the freedom of worship to all its inhabitants, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Such liberal policy of the government has made it possible that presently there are two Hindu temples where congregations are held regularly. One of these temples is more than hundred years old. The Hindus have been granted the rights of cremation as per their religious rites. There are nearly four temporary gurudwaras (2 in Muscat, 1 in Salalah and Sohar each), which have been built in the labour camps. Oman also has seven churches for various Christian sects living in this country. Recently the Omani government has allowed the Indian Community to build a permanent gurudwara and a temple in Oman of the likes that are seen in India itself (The current temples and gurudwaras are small, temporary, and bounded to a compound).[2]


The Indian community in Oman is regarded to be among the prosperous communities in the country. At present, the Indians constitute almost 14% of Oman's total population i.e. 2.3 million, as it is the largest expatriate community in this country. The Indians in Oman belong to various professions and businesses. Almost 25% of them are unskilled workers, 30% of them comprises semi-skilled and 35% are the skilled ones. The rest 10% consists of professionals such as engineers, bankers, financial experts, managers/executives and businessmen. There are around 2,000 Indian doctors in Oman, who work in different hospitals and healthcare centres of the country.

Some of them are working with the local newspapers and journals; particularly those being published in English language. The majority of the Indians in Oman come from South India, constituting almost 80% of all Indians living in the country; out of these, there are Malayalees who alone account for 60% of the population. The high professional caliber of the Indians is quite obvious from the fact that the Indian companies have come to hold a quite distinct position; a number of joint venture projects have already been accomplished and many are still in the process.

Indians in Oman

The community of Indians in Oman includes Indian expatriates in Oman, as well as Omani citizens of Indian origin or descent.

Although Indian migration to Oman is apparently for the purpose of spreading their commercial activities and mutually sharing the profits, their mutual good relations are believed to have existed as early as the 7th century. It was however, in 15th century since when the Indian merchants had started undertaking commercial activities in Muscat in a quite systematic manner. The Indian community then consisted essentially of traders and financiers from Kutch and Sindh. It was during the 19th century that some Khojas reached there, and who are presently well-integrated in Oman; some of them hold even ministerial positions. A few Indian families, which have been living in Oman since many centuries, have developed their enterprises into the colossal business houses.[1]

Admittedly, the settlement of the Indian migrants in Oman has become possible only because of Omani government's liberal policy in granting its citizenship to foreign nationals. It is conceivably the only Arab country in Arabian Peninsula, which has taken such dynamic initiative, which has proved to be enormously beneficial to them in many respects. Any person irrespective of his religion or race, who has completed at least 20 years in Oman, is treated as eligible to apply for its citizenship. That's why, about a thousand Indians have so far became Omani citizens.

About the Christian Community in Oman

The Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Arabia (Latin: Vicariatus Apostolicus Arabiae) is a Roman Catholic apostolic vicariate located in the United Arab Emirates. It is a territorial jurisdiction of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church covering the following countries of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The superior of the vicariate is the Swiss born Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap. It was established in 1888 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Aden and changed to its current name in 2011. The See of the jurisdiction was in Aden until 1973, when it was transferred to St. Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi. [1] Since 1916 it has been in the care of the Capuchins of Florence.

Christian communities are centered in the major urban areas of Muscat, Sohar, and Salalah and are represented by Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and various Protestant congregations. These groups tend to organize along linguistic and ethnic lines. More than 50 different Christian groups, fellowships, and assemblies are active in the Muscat metropolitan area. Services are held on Fridays here as most people work Saturday-Wednesday and so Thursday and Friday are the weekend here. In Muscat, there are 2 church compounds: one in the district of Ghala and the other in Ruwi. Ruwi is more of the touristy, popular area and the St.Peter and Paul Catholic Church located here. The church members are extremely friendly and helpful.