Geographically, the Musandam peninsula juts into the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow entry into the Persian Gulf, from the Arabian Peninsula. The Musandam peninsula is an exclave of Oman, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. Its location gives Oman partial control, shared with Iran, of the strategic strait. In the northern section of Musandam, around Kumzar, the language is Kumzari, which is one of the south-western Iranian languages and related to Luri and Persian. The Musandam Peninsula has an area of 1,800 square kilometers (695 sq mi) and a population of 31,425 people.
Musandam is a picturesque region separated from the rest of Oman, with its scenery being quite attractive to tourists. Access to the peninsula was formerly rather difficult, with the only options being limited flights or a ten hour drive through four immigration posts. The world's fastest passenger ferry service between Muscat and Musandam was launched in August 2008 to alleviate this problem and make the region more accessible. 1
The Musandam Governorate consists of four districts (wilayat):
- Dibba Al-Baya
- Madha, itself an exclave, located half-way between the rest of Musandam and Oman proper
Khasab town is the regional center of the Governorate.
The area has great strategic importance owing to its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz.
The administrative head of Governorate is called Muhafiz(محافظ)/Governor. The current Muhafiz is H.E Al-Sayyid Khalifa Bin Murdas Bin Ahmad Al-Busaidi (السید خلیفہ بن مرداس بن احمد البوسیدی).
The rugged coastline resembles the glacier-carved coasts of polar regions, but in this case, the coast was shaped by the movement of Earth’s crust. The Arabian plate is slowly pushing under the Eurasian plate, creating the earthquake-prone mountains of Iran. On the leading edge of the Arabian plate, the Musandam Peninsula is sinking. The higher elevation mountains remain above the water, but the sea has rushed in to fill the valleys with fingers of water.
- "World's fastest passenger ferry". theweek. July 30, 2008.