Oman is slowly emerging from its hermit shell, revealing a land of friendly people and dramatic landscapes peppered with forts. Although it remains, in many ways, the most traditional country in the region, it's often more outward looking than it's given credit for. It was once an imperial power that vied first with Portugal and later with Britain for colonial influence. Its development since 1970 is all the more striking because the country's oil reserves are so limited, and because it has been kept sealed away from the outside world.
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