Oman is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam enclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.
Though formerly under heavy influence from the United Kingdom, Oman was never formally part of the British Empire, or a British protectorate. British influence in the country was strong after the ousting of the Portugal, who laid claim to Oman in 1507. During this period of Portuguese colonial occupation, Omani forces still controlled most of the interior of the country, whilst the Portuguese only held on to coastal forts. Oman has been ruled by the Al Said dynasty since 1744 and has long-standing military and political ties with the United States and United Kingdom, although it maintains an independent foreign policy.
In November 2010, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) listed Oman as the most-improved nation over the last 40 years from among 135 countries worldwide. Oman is one of the most developed and stable countries in the region.