The infrastructure in Oman is modern and up-to-date, mainly because it is really new. This is due to the fact that in 1967, when the oil boom in the country slowly began, there was no real infrastructure. However, infrastructure development was necessary to bring about the progress that Sultan Quaboos envisioned for his country and which he has continued to push forward since taking power in 1970. Therefore, most of the roads in the country were not built until the 1970s or later.
The network of roads in Oman measures about 60 000 kilometers. Almost every town in the nation is connected to the network of paved roads. In recent years, more than 2000 kilometers of highways have been built, including some cross-country connections, which have led to a significant simplification of travel in the interior of Oman. However, the well-developed roads that lead through the desert and into even more remote Wadis to connect the individual metropolitan areas and smaller towns are considered controversial. While some praise the progress and enjoy the ease of the life that these infrastructure improvements provide, others criticize the ecological damage that can be a component of infrastructure development.
The days when people rode camels through the desert to get from one place to another in Oman have long been history. Most Omanis have their own car; driving newer models, mostly from Japan. Jeeps are also often seen on the streets – after all, there are still areas where you have to switch to off-road traffic. Of course, off-road tourism, one of the longstanding primary tourism sectors in Oman, is being curtailed by the continual expansion of the road network, and an increase in the number of guided tour buses.