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Middle East :: Oman
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  • 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 his father, and has since ruled as sultan, but he has never designated a successor. 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. Inspired by the popular uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa beginning in January 2011, some Omanis began staging marches, demonstrations, and sit-ins calling mostly for more jobs and economic benefits and an end to corruption. In response to those protester demands, QABOOS in 2011 pledged to implement economic and political reforms, such as granting legislative and regulatory powers to the Majlis al-Shura and introducing unemployment benefits. Additionally, in August 2012, the Sultan announced a royal directive mandating the speedy implementation of a national job creation plan for thousands of public and private sector jobs. As part of the government's efforts to decentralize authority and allow greater citizen participation in local governance, Oman successfully conducted its first municipal council elections in December 2012. Announced by the Sultan in 2011, the municipal councils will have the power to advise the Royal Court on the needs of local districts across Oman's 11 governorates. The Sultan returned to Oman in March 2015 after eight months in Germany, where he received medical treatment.
  • Geography :: OMAN

  • Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE
    21 00 N, 57 00 E
    Middle East
    total: 309,500 sq km
    land: 309,500 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    slightly smaller than Kansas
    total: 1,561 km
    border countries (3): Saudi Arabia 658 km, UAE 609 km, Yemen 294 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
    agricultural land: 4.7%
    arable land 0.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 4.5%
    forest: 0%
    other: 95.3% (2011 est.)
    588.5 sq km (2004)
    1.4 cu km (2011)
    total: 1.32 cu km/yr (10%/1%/88%)
    per capita: 515.8 cu m/yr (2003)
    summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
    rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; limited natural freshwater 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 and Society :: OMAN

  • noun: Omani(s)
    adjective: Omani
    Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
    Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
    Muslim (official; majority are Ibadhi, lesser numbers of Sunni and Shia)) 85.9%, Christian 6.5%, Hindu 5.5%, Buddhist 0.8%, Jewish <.1, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.2%
    note: approximately 75% of Omani citizens, who compose almost 70% of the country's total population, are Ibadhi Muslims; the Omani government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation (2013) (2010 est.)
    note: immigrants make up just over 30% of the total population, according to UN data (2013) (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 30.4% (male 501,352/female 476,333)
    15-24 years: 19.9% (male 335,404/female 304,261)
    25-54 years: 42.6% (male 801,539/female 569,187)
    55-64 years: 3.9% (male 67,085/female 58,254)
    65 years and over: 3.3% (male 53,320/female 53,040) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 34.4%
    youth dependency ratio: 30.4%
    elderly dependency ratio: 3.9%
    potential support ratio: 25.4% (2014 est.)
    total: 24.9 years
    male: 26.1 years
    female: 23.4 years (2014 est.)
    2.06% (2014 est.)
    24.47 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    3.38 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    -0.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 77.2% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 8.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    MUSCAT (capital) 812,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.41 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.2 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.22 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    11 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 14 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 14.29 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 13.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 74.97 years
    male: 73.07 years
    female: 76.97 years (2014 est.)
    2.86 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    24.4% (2007/08)
    2.6% of GDP (2013)
    2.43 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    1.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 95.5% of population
    rural: 86.1% of population
    total: 93% of population
    urban: 4.5% of population
    rural: 13.9% of population
    total: 7% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 97.3% of population
    rural: 94.7% of population
    total: 96.6% of population
    urban: 2.7% of population
    rural: 5.3% of population
    total: 3.4% of population (2012 est.)
    26.5% (2014)
    8.6% (2009)
    4.2% of GDP (2009)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 91.1%
    male: 93.6%
    female: 85.6% (2015 est.)
    total: 14 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 14 years (2011)
  • 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
    name: Muscat
    geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat); Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Buraymi, Al Wusta, Az Zahirah, Janub al Batinah (Al Batinah South), Janub ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah South), Masqat (Muscat), Musandam, Shamal al Batinah (Al Batinah North), Shamal ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah North), Zufar (Dhofar)
    1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
    Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
    previous 1996 (The Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); latest amended by royal decree in 2011 (2011)
    mixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces by law cannot 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 Ruling Family Council determines a successor from the Sultan's extended family; if the Council cannot form a consensus within three days of the Sultan's death or incapacitation, the Defense Council will relay a predetermined heir as chosen by the Sultan
    description: bicameral Council of Oman or Majlis Oman consists of the Council of State or Majlis al-Dawla (83 seats; members appointed by the sultan from among former government officials and prominent educators, businessmen, and citizens) and the Consultative Assembly or Majlis al-Shura (84 seats; members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms); note - following political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Assembly is submitted to the Council of State for passage and amendments
    elections: (Majlis al-Shura) last held on 15 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; note - three prominent figures from the Arab Spring 2011 protests won seats; one woman also won a seat
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the 9-member Supreme Judicial Council (chaired by the monarch) and appointed by the monarch; judge tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; sharia courts; magistrates' courts
    political parties are illegal
    chief of mission: Ambassador Hunaina bint Sultan bin Ahmad al-MUGHAIRI (since 9 November 2005)
    chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933
    chief of mission: Ambassador Greta C. HOLTZ (since 27 September 2012)
    embassy: Jamait Ad Duwal Al Arabiyya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
    mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
    telephone: [968] 24-643-400
    FAX: [968] 24-64-37-40
    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; white represents peace and prosperity, red recalls battles against foreign invaders, and green symbolizes the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains) and fertility
    khanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords; national colors: red, white, green
    name: "Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani" (The Sultan's Anthem)
    lyrics/music: Rashid bin Uzayyiz al KHUSAIDI/James Frederick MILLS, arranged by Bernard EBBINGHAUS
    note: adopted 1932; new lyrics written after QABOOS bin Said al Said gained power in 1970; first performed by the band of a British ship as a salute to the Sultan during a 1932 visit to Muscat; the bandmaster of the HMS Hawkins was asked to write a salutation to the Sultan on the occasion of his ship visit
  • Economy :: OMAN

  • Oman is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources, which generates 77% of government revenue. It is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production. Muscat has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP from 46% to 9% by 2020. Muscat also is focused on creating more jobs to employ the rising numbers of Omanis entering the workforce. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy. However, increases in social welfare benefits, particularly since the Arab Spring, have challenged the government's ability to effectively balance its budget as oil prices decline. Despite government acknowledgement that Oman’s expansive social welfare benefits are unsustainable, Oman authorities are comfortable with short-term budget deficits and have approved an expansionary 2015 budget. Concurrently, Oman has expanded efforts to support the development of small and medium-size enterprises and entrepreneurship. Government agencies and large oligarchic group companies have announced new initiatives to spin off non-essential functions to entrepreneurs, incubate new businesses, train and mentor up and coming business people, and provide financing for start-ups.
    $163.6 billion (2014 est.)
    $158.2 billion (2013 est.)
    $151 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $80.54 billion (2014 est.)
    3.4% (2014 est.)
    4.8% (2013 est.)
    5.8% (2012 est.)
    $44,100 (2014 est.)
    $44,000 (2013 est.)
    $45,900 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 31
    38.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    39.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
    38.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 33.1%
    government consumption: 21.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 26.1%
    investment in inventories: 5.9%
    exports of goods and services: 62.1%
    imports of goods and services: -48.5%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 1.3%
    industry: 55.2%
    services: 43.5% (2014 est.)
    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
    2.7% (2014 est.)
    note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national (2007 est.)
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    15% (2004 est.)
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $40.09 billion
    expenditures: $37.65 billion (2014 est.)
    49.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    4.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    4.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
    calendar year
    2.8% (2014 est.)
    1.2% (2013 est.)
    2% (31 December 2010)
    0.05% (31 December 2009)
    5.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    5.41% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $11.18 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $10.28 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $34.21 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $30.79 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $33.72 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $28.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $20.19 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $19.07 billion (31 December 2013)
    $20.27 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $7.978 billion (2014 est.)
    $9.184 billion (2013 est.)
    $58.74 billion (2014 est.)
    $56.61 billion (2013 est.)
    petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
    China 38.2%, Japan 10.3%, UAE 10%, South Korea 8.7%, India 5.6% (2013)
    $34.37 billion (2014 est.)
    $30.46 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
    UAE 24.1%, Japan 11%, India 10.4%, China 6.7%, US 5.3% (2013)
    $17.85 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $15.95 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $11.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $10.83 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar -
    0.38 (2014 est.)
    0.38 (2013 est.)
    0.38 (2012 est.)
    0.38 (2011 est.)
    0.38 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: OMAN

  • 20.07 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    17.23 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    4.861 million kW (2011 est.)
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    944,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    833,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    5.5 billion bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    164,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    153,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    47,710 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    2,390 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    29.29 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    20.26 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    10.87 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    1.836 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    62.85 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: OMAN

  • 305,000 (2012)
    5.278 million (2012)
    general assessment: modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable; domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
    domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership both increasing with fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems
    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 (2008)
    1 state-run TV broadcaster; TV stations transmitting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen available via satellite TV; state-run radio operates multiple stations; first private radio station began operating in 2007 and 2 additional stations now operating (2007)
    AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)
    13 (plus 25 repeaters) (1999)
    14,531 (2012)
    1.465 million (2009)
  • Transportation :: OMAN

  • 132 (2013)
    total: 13
    over 3,047 m: 7
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 119
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 51
    914 to 1,523 m: 33
    under 914 m:
    26 (2013)
    3 (2013)
    condensate 106 km; gas 4,224 km; oil 3,558 km; oil/gas/water 33 km; refined products 264 km (2013)
    total: 60,240 km
    paved: 29,685 km (includes 1,943 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)
    total: 5
    by type: chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3
    registered in other countries: 15 (Malta 5, Panama 10) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar
    container port(s) (TEUs): Salalah (3,200,000)
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Qalhat
  • Military :: OMAN

  • Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF): Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Sultanat Oman) (2013)
    18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
    males age 16-49: 985,957
    females age 16-49: 737,812 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 837,886
    females age 16-49: 642,427 (2010 est.)
    male: 31,959
    female: 30,264 (2010 est.)
    8.61% of GDP (2012)
    6.13% of GDP (2011)
    8.61% of GDP (2010)
  • 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