Oman possesses a rich and diverse topography that divides the country naturally into three distinct regions, each with its own identity. These regions range from rugged mountains and deep fjords in the north, through the spectacular dunes of the Sharqiyah (Wahiba) Sands and two large salt flats in the centre, to the lush green hills of the Dhofar region in the south. A rugged and varied coastline stretches from north to south.

The northern coastal strip along the Gulf of Oman is known as the Batinah Coast, a narrow fertile plain separated from the rest of the country by the Hajar Mountains. The highest peak in the Hajar is Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain) at 3,009m. The southern slopes of the range are notable for their oasis towns where date groves flourish in the dry desert air. In the south lies the second mountain range in Oman, the Qara mountains. These attract the light monsoon rains during the mid-summer months, turning them green with vegetation whose roots help delay the effects of erosion, resulting in a soft rolling landscape more akin to Central Africa. As in the north, a narrow fertile coastal plain lies between the mountains and the sea. The city of Salalah, capital of Dhofar, is surrounded by lush farmland and coconut groves.