Oman is the site of pre-historic human habitation, stretching back over 100,000 years. The region was impacted by powerful invaders, including other Arab tribes, Portugal and Britain. Oman once possessed the island of Zanzibar, on the east coast of Africa as a colony. Arabic is the national language, but most Omanis will speak good to excellent English, particularly in major tourist areas and cities.
The culture of Oman is steeped in the religion of Islam. Oman has developed its own subsect of Islam, known as Ibadhism, however other strands of Islam such as Sunni and Shi'a are also practiced.