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Southern geographic region and governate of Oman.

Dhufar comprises about one-third of the total area of Oman and is environmentally and ethnically distinct from the rest of the sultanate. Its mountainous interior receives monsoon winds, resulting in a wet, temperate climate suited to cattle grazing. Dhufar also produces frankincense and possesses several oil fields. Many of the 125,600 (1993 census) residents speak ancient South Arabian dialects that predate, but are similar to, Arabic.

After a period of nominal control beginning in the 1820s, the Al Bu Saʿid dynasty of Oman began to assert more permanent authority over Dhufar in the 1890s. The province remained administratively distinct, even having its own coinage. An uprising erupted in the late 1960s due to Dhufari dissatisfaction with Al Bu Saʿid rule. The more enlightened reign of Sultan Qabus ibn Saʿid after 1970 removed much of that dissatisfaction, and by 1976 the separatists were defeated. The province, along with Muscat and Masandam, remains under a governor who reports directly to the sultan, but it has been integrated more fully into Oman through economic and social development. Salala serves as a secondary capital and Raysut is now the second largest port in Oman.

See also Dhufar Rebellion.


Allen, Calvin H., Jr., and Rigsbee, W. Lynn. Oman under Qaboos: From Coup to Constitution, 19701996. Portland, OR; London: Frank Cass, 2000.

Anthony, John Duke. Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates of Eastern Arabia. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1976.

malcolm c. peck updated by calvin h. allen, jr.