Oman is a country no visitor forgets. The ancient land of copper and frankincense, hub of sea and land routes linking India, Arabia and the Mediterranean; a country of rich ports, merchant houses and castles, Oman's heritage has beguiled and intrigued visitors for centuries. Its mountain ranges, fertile coastal strips, vast deserts and incense-bearing hills, once possessed a trading empire of its own. A century ago, the country was in decline. Only on the accession of Sultan Qaboos in 1970 and the appropriate exploitation of its mineral wealth did the country begin to flower once more. Oman has since undergone a dazzling renaissance, economically, socially and culturally. In this acclaimed book, now in its sixth edition, Sir Donald Hawley, Britain's first ambassador to Oman in the 1970s and an acknowledged authority on the country chronicles the remarkable changes that have taken place in the last 30 years. Since Sir Donald's death in 2008, his work has been updated by the hand of one of his successors.