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Today's culture in Oman is affected by the past of the country as maritime-trade nation. There are still the traces of all cultural groups found in the sultanate which Oman dealth with during its history. Still today the Sultanate is a hub of cultures in the Indian Ocean.
The isolation policy of the father and predecessor of Sultan Qaboos had many negative effects but also one positive one: The culture of Oman stayed predominantly unaffected by the influences, trends and fads of the Western world till 1970.
The late opening of the country allowed for an analytical and critical view of negative developments in other countries. The administration for national heritage and culture, launched in 1976, took care that despite the economic gains acquired via the petrol trade, no senseless buildings of excessive opulence were erected; instead, historical buildings were restored and new buildings were created which were suitable to the local culture. A loss of cultural identity due to the fast increasing wealth was thus prevented after 1970.
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