Middle East :: Oman
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Oman
Location of Oman
 
Map of Oman
Introduction ::Oman
The inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered on Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, a newly established sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Oman's dependence on British political and military advisors increased, but it never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said al-Said overthrew the restrictive rule of his father; he has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world while preserving the longstanding close ties with the UK. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.
Geography ::Oman
Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE
21 00 N, 57 00 E
total: 309,500 sq km
country comparison to the world: 70
land: 309,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km
slightly smaller than Kansas
total: 1,374 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 676 km, UAE 410 km, Yemen 288 km
2,092 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal Shams 2,980 m
petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
arable land: 0.12%
permanent crops: 0.14%
other: 99.74% (2005)
720 sq km (2003)
1 cu km (1997)
total: 1.36 cu km/yr (7%/2%/90%)
per capita: 529 cu m/yr (2000)
summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; limited natural fresh water resources
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
strategic location on Musandam Peninsula adjacent to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil
People ::Oman
3,418,085
country comparison to the world: 133
note: includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2009 est.)
0-14 years: 42.7% (male 744,265/female 714,116)
15-64 years: 54.5% (male 1,079,511/female 783,243)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 55,180/female 41,770) (2009 est.)
total: 18.8 years
male: 21.1 years
female: 16.7 years (2009 est.)
3.138% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
34.79 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
3.65 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
0.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
urban population: 72% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.38 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.32 male(s)/female
total population: 1.22 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 16.88 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 119
male: 19.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 74.16 years
country comparison to the world: 91
male: 71.87 years
female: 76.55 years (2009 est.)
5.53 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
1,300 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani
Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Ibadhi Muslim 75%, other (includes Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Hindu) 25%
Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
definition: NA
total population: 81.4%
male: 86.8%
female: 73.5% (2003 census)
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2006)
4% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 103
Government ::Oman
conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Muscat and Oman
monarchy
name: Muscat
geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
5 regions (manatiq, singular - mintaqat) and 4 governorates* (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Buraymi*, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat (Muscat)*, Musandam*, Zufar (Dhofar)*
1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
none; note - on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a basic law considered by the government to be a constitution which, among other things, clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the government, establishes a bicameral legislature, and guarantees basic civil liberties for Omani citizens
based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate appeal to the monarch; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces are not allowed to vote
chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary
bicameral Majlis Oman consists of Majlis al-Dawla or upper chamber (71 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and Majlis al-Shura or lower chamber (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; body has only advisory powers)
elections: last held 27 October 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: new candidates won 46 seats and 38 members of the outgoing Majlis kept their positions; none of the 20 female candidates were elected
Supreme Court
note: the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has judges who practice secular and Sharia law
none
none
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
chief of mission: Ambassador Hunaina bint Sultan bin Ahmad al-MUGHAIRI
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933
chief of mission: Ambassador Gary A. GRAPPO
embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 24-643-400
FAX: [968] 24-699771
three horizontal bands of white, red, and green of equal width with a broad, vertical, red band on the hoist side; the national emblem (a khanjar dagger in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords in scabbards) in white is centered near the top of the vertical band
Economy ::Oman
Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources, but sustained high oil prices in recent years have helped build Oman's budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. As a result of its dwindling oil resources, Oman is actively pursuing a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020. Some of these projects may be in jeopardy, however, because Muscat overestimated its ability to produce or secure the natural gas needed to power them. Oman actively seeks private foreign investors, especially in the industrial, information technology, tourism, and higher education fields. Industrial development plans focus on gas resources, metal manufacturing, petrochemicals, and international transshipment ports. The drop in oil prices and the global financial crisis in 2008 will affect Oman's fiscal position and it may post a deficit in 2009 if oil prices stay low. In addition, the global credit crisis is slowing the pace of investment and development projects - a trend that probably will continue into 2009.
$66.98 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
$62.95 billion (2007 est.)
$59.5 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$52.58 billion (2008 est.)
6.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
5.8% (2007 est.)
7.5% (2006 est.)
$20,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$19,600 (2007 est.)
$19,200 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 36.1%
services: 61.8% (2008 est.)
968,800 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 139
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
15% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
27.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
revenues: $18.13 billion
expenditures: $15.95 billion (2008 est.)
2.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
10.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
12.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
5.9% (2007 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 134
1.98% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 116
7.29% (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 67
$5.044 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 60
$11.04 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 79
$13.88 billion (31 December 2007)
$14.91 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 67
$23.06 billion (31 December 2007)
$16.16 billion (31 December 2006)
dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
3.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
13.58 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
11.36 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
761,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
81,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
593,700 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
17,290 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
5.5 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
24 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
13.46 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
10.89 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 18
350 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$9.361 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
$1.933 billion (2007 est.)
$37.71 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$24.72 billion (2007 est.)
petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
China 31.4%, Japan 15.9%, South Korea 13.6%, Thailand 7.8%, UAE 7.2% (2008)
$16.66 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$14.34 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Japan 19.5%, UAE 17.9%, US 7%, Germany 6.8% (2008)
$11.58 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
$9.524 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$6.879 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
$5.297 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$NA
$NA
Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar - 0.3845 (2008 est.), 0.3845 (2007), 0.3845 (2006), 0.3845 (2005), 0.3845 (2004)
Communications ::Oman
274,200 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 116
3.219 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
general assessment: modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable
domestic: fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems; fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership both increasing; open-wire, microwave, radiotelephone communications, and a domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
international: country code - 968; the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2007)
AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)
13 (plus 25 repeaters) (1999)
.om
6,346 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 133
465,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 110
Transportation ::Oman
128 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 45
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)
total: 118
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 52
914 to 1,523 m: 33
under 914 m: 25 (2009)
3 (2009)
gas 4,126 km; oil 3,558 km; refined products 263 km (2008)
total: 42,300 km
country comparison to the world: 85
paved: 16,500 km (includes 550 km of expressways)
unpaved: 25,800 km (2005)
total: 3
country comparison to the world: 142
by type: chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1
registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2008)
Mina' Qabus, Salalah
Military ::Oman
Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF): Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (2008)
18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)
males age 16-49: 802,455
females age 16-49: 626,841 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 675,454
females age 16-49: 563,890 (2009 est.)
male: 35,647
female: 34,407 (2009 est.)
11.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
Transnational Issues ::Oman
boundary agreement reportedly signed and ratified with UAE in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah exclave, but details of the alignment have not been made public
current situation: Oman is a destination country for men and women primarily from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan who migrate willingly, but some of whom become victims of trafficking when subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers; mistreatment includes non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement and withholding of passports, threats, and physical or sexual abuse; Oman may also be a destination country for women from Asia, Eastern Europe, and North Africa for commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 3 - Oman was rated as Tier 3 for the second consecutive year because it did not report any law enforcement efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses in 2007 and continues to lack victim protection services or a systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking (2008)