The Sharqiyah (North and South Governorates) includes within its ambit varying terrains; coastal areas, desert Governorates and the Island of Masirah.
Consisting of 11 Wilayats, the Governorate covers the area called the Ramlat Al Wahaybah or the Wahiba Sands, the towns of Ibra and Sur and the island of Masirah. Its biggest towns are Sur and Ibra. For centuries Sur was the boat building capital of the Governorate. A few score kilometers away from Sur is the Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve, a protected area for the endangered Green Turtle. Along with Masirah Island, this Governorate is perhaps the largest nesting place in the planet for both the Green Turtle and the Loggerhead Turtle. The Governorate also has the highest concentration of Bedouins in the country.
The main occupation of the people in the coastal areas is fishing, grazing and animal husbandry for the people of the desert, and agriculture and trade for people in the urban areas and near the wadis or river courses. Other occupations include gold and silver working - jewellery, Khanjars and swords.
The Total population of the Governorate is 350,514 of which around 85% are Omani nationals.