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Urban Areas

Omanis live mainly in rural areas, but urban locations also exist. The major city is Muscat, the capital. In the Al Batinah plain in the north, the largest town is Suhar. Farther south, in the hilly region of Aijabal al Akhdar, lies the town of Nazwah. Salalah is a major center for the Dhofar region. Opportunities in urban centers stimulated a rural-urban shift, reducing the number of individuals engaged in agricultural labor and contributing to the key role of the oil sector in the economy. On the one hand, an increasingly urbanized population has the potential to be better educated and better enumerated. On the other hand, the small indigenous population has necessitated the presence of a large foreign labor force. This has contributed to an informal caste system, with Omanis clearly ranked highest in the hierarchy, followed by Westerners, with non-Western foreigners at the bottom.



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