Coat of Arms
Deputy Prime Minister
Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said
»309,501 km2 (70th)
» Per capita -$44,062
» Per capita -$21,687
Oman , officially the Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan.
The coast is formed by the Arabian Seaon the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam’s coastal boundaries.
From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to Iran and modern-day Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar (today part of Tanzania).
As its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean. Oman’s official religion is Ibadi Islam.
Oman is an absolute monarchy. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said is the self-appointed leader of the country since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East. Oman’s human rights record has been the subject of criticism.
Unlike its resource-rich neighbors, Oman has modest oil reserves, ranking at 25th globally. Nevertheless, in 2010 the UNDP ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. Additionally, Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 59th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index
Oman’s Basic Statute of the State expresses in Article 11 that the “national economy is based on justice and the principles of afree economy.”By regional standards, Oman has a relatively diversified economy, but remains dependent on oil exports.
Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in Oman. Other sources of income, agriculture and industry, are small in comparison and account for less than 1% of the country’s exports, but diversification is seen as a priority by the government. Agriculture, often subsistence in its character, produces dates, limes, grains, and vegetables, but with less than 1% of the country under cultivation, Oman is likely to remain a net importer of food.
Since a slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and is placing a greater emphasis on other areas of industry, namely tourism and infrastructure. Metkore Alloys is due to build a world-class 1,650,000-tonnes-per-annum capacity ferrochrome smelter in Oman with an envisaged investment of $80 million. A free-trade agreement with the United States took effect 1 January 2009, eliminating tariff barriers on all consumer and industrial products, and also providing strong protections for foreign businesses investing in Oman.
Tourism, another source of Oman’s revenue, is on the rise. A popular event is The Khareef Festival held in Salalah, Dhofar, which is 1,200 km from the capital city of Muscat, during the monsoon season (August) and is similar to Muscat Festival. During this latter event the mountains surrounding Salalah are popular with tourists as a result of the cool weather and lush greenery, rarely found anywhere else in Oman.
Oman is ranked 84 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of -0.274069
Top 5 Products exported by Oman
- Crude Petroleum (52%),
- Petroleum Gas (15%),
- Refined Petroleum (10%),
- Cyclic Hydrocarbons (2.5%),
- Nitrogenous Fertilizers (2.1%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Oman
Top 5 Products imported by Oman
- Cars (12%),
- Refined Petroleum (7.5%),
- Iron Ore (3.8%),
- Iron Pipes (2.5%),
- Delivery Trucks (2.1%)
Top 5 Import origins of Oman
- United Arab Emirates (23%),
- Japan (13%),
- United States (6.9%),
- India (5.9%),
- China (5.4%)
Tourism in Oman has grown considerably recently, and it is expected to be one of the largest industries in the country.
Oman has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various tourist attractions and is particularly well known for cultural tourism. The capital of Oman was named the second best city to visit in the world in 2012 by the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.Muscat also was chosen as the Capital of Arab Tourism of 2012.
- Oman is famous for its historic forts which are the country’s most striking cultural landmarks.
- There are over 500 forts and towers which were the traditional defence and lookout points to deter potential invaders.
- Some of the best examples are conveniently located in the capital, Muscat. Jalali and Mirani forts stand at the entrance to Muscat Bay and date from the early 16th century.
- Bahla Fort at the base of the Djebel Akhdar highlands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has 7 miles of walls. It was built in the 13th and 14th centuries when Bahla was a thriving oasis town.
- Oman’s rugged mountains offer some stunning scenery and probably the best opportunities for driving in dry wadis anywhere in the world. Many of the wadis have made roads (often unsurfaced but decent enough) while others require serious off-roading. You can easily get well off the beaten path into remote areas.
- Huge desert dunes roll for as far as the eye can see at Wahiba Sands.
- Oman’s beaches are major breeding locations for various species of sea turtle. Masirah Island is the perhaps best bet where four species breed, including the largest number of leatherbacks anywhere in the world.
- The country can boast not only vast expanses of desert, and hundreds of miles of uninhabited coastline, but also mountains of over 9000 feet.