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Middle East :: Oman
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Oman
  • Introduction :: OMAN

  • The inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered on Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, the nascent 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 and US. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with its neighbors and to avoid external entanglements. Inspired by the popular uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa beginning in January 2011, some Omanis staged demonstrations, calling 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 increasing 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 and has since appeared publicly on a few occasions.
  • 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
    country comparison to the world: 71
    twice the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Kansas
    Area comparison map:
    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
    mean elevation: 310 m
    elevation extremes: 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.)
    590 sq km (2012)
    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
    consists of Oman proper and two northern exclaves, Musandam and Al Madhah; the former is a peninsula that occupies a strategic location adjacent to the 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 <0.1, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.2% (2010 est.)
    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)
    religious affiliation:
    3,286,936 (July 2015 est.)
    note: immigrants make up over 40% of the total population, according to UN data (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    0-14 years: 30.23% (male 509,465/female 484,068)
    15-24 years: 19.51% (male 336,286/female 304,994)
    25-54 years: 43% (male 822,302/female 590,937)
    55-64 years: 3.9% (male 68,460/female 59,756)
    65 years and over: 3.37% (male 55,081/female 55,587) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 30%
    youth dependency ratio: 26.7%
    elderly dependency ratio: 3.4%
    potential support ratio: 29.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 25.1 years
    male: 26.3 years
    female: 23.7 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    2.07% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    24.44 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    3.36 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    -0.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    urban population: 77.6% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 8.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    MUSCAT (capital) 838,000 (2015)
    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: 1.39 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.2 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    17 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    total: 13.55 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 13.85 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 13.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    total population: 75.21 years
    male: 73.29 years
    female: 77.23 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    2.86 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    24.4% (2007/08)
    2.6% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    2.43 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    1.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 95.5% of population
    rural: 86.1% of population
    total: 93.4% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.5% of population
    rural: 13.9% of population
    total: 6.6% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 97.3% of population
    rural: 94.7% of population
    total: 96.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.7% of population
    rural: 5.3% of population
    total: 3.3% of population (2015 est.)
    0.16% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    2,400 (2014 est.)
    less than 100 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    26.5% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    9.7% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    5% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    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: Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
    etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it apparently dates back at least 2,000 years since an "Omana" is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.) and an "Omanon" by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)
    absolute monarchy
    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)
    1996 (the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); amended by royal decree in 2011 (2016)
    mixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Oman
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
    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 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/appointments: the Ruling Family Council determines a successor from the sultan's extended family; if the Council cannot form a consensus within 3 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 (85 seats including the chairman; members appointed by the sultan from among former government officials and prominent educators, businessmen, and citizens) and the Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (85 seats; members directly elected in single- and two-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms); note - following political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Council is submitted to the Council of State for review by the Royal Court
    elections: Consultative Assembly - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
    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
    none
    ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), 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 (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    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 Marc J. SIEVERS (since 7 January 2016)
    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 its dwindling oil resources, which generate 84% of government revenue. In 2015, low global oil prices drove Oman’s budget deficit to $6.5 billion, or nearly 11% of GDP. Oman has limited foreign assets and is issuing debt to cover its deficit.
    Oman is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production and 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% at present to 9% by 2020. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy.
    Muscat also is focused on creating more jobs to employ the rising number of Omanis entering the workforce. Increases in social welfare benefits, however, particularly since the Arab Spring, have challenged the government's ability to effectively balance its budget, as oil prices decline. Omani officials intend to reduce social entitlements to cut the deficit, but have faced stiff public opposition to spending cuts, hindering their implementation.
    $171.4 billion (2015 est.)
    $164.6 billion (2014 est.)
    $159.9 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 67
    $58.49 billion (2015 est.)
    4.1% (2015 est.)
    2.9% (2014 est.)
    4.7% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    $44,600 (2015 est.)
    $44,300 (2014 est.)
    $44,500 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 33
    16.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    34.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    34.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    household consumption: 35.8%
    government consumption: 23.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 31.8%
    investment in inventories: -0.9%
    exports of goods and services: 57.1%
    imports of goods and services: -47.6% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 1.4%
    industry: 52%
    services: 46.6% (2015 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
    1.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    968,800
    note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    15% (2004 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $30.13 billion
    expenditures: $36.62 billion (2015 est.)
    50.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    -10.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    4.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    calendar year
    0.2% (2015 est.)
    1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    2% (31 December 2010)
    0.05% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    5.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
    5.08% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    $13.76 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $12.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    $39.85 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $35.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    $37.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $33.69 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    $20.19 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $19.07 billion (31 December 2013)
    $20.27 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    -$7.373 billion (2015 est.)
    $4.699 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    $39.14 billion (2015 est.)
    $53.22 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
    China 43%, UAE 10.3%, South Korea 8.2% (2014)
    $25.1 billion (2015 est.)
    $27.18 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
    UAE 32.5%, Japan 12.2%, China 4.8%, India 4.3%, US 4.3%, Saudi Arabia 4.1% (2014)
    $15.72 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $16.32 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    $10.18 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $11.33 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    $NA
    $NA
    Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar -
    0.3845 (2015 est.)
    0.3845 (2014 est.)
    0.3845 (2013 est.)
    0.3845 (2012 est.)
    0.3845 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: OMAN

  • 23.77 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    20.36 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    5.809 million kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    943,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    833,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    5.151 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    216,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    172,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    44,300 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    6,529 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    31.92 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    21.92 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    11.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    1.95 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    62.85 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
  • Communications :: OMAN

  • total subscriptions: 380,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    total: 6.2 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 192 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    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)
    .om
    14,531 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    total: 2.1 million
    percent of population: 65.8% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
  • Transportation :: OMAN

  • 132 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    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: 60,230 km
    paved: 29,685 km (includes 1,943 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    total: 5
    by type: chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3
    registered in other countries: 15 (Malta 5, Panama 10) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    major seaport(s): Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar
    container port(s) (TEUs): Salalah (3,200,000)
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Qalhat
  • Military and Security :: 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)
    11.8% of GDP (2014)
    15% of GDP (2013)
    8.61% of GDP (2012)
    6.13% of GDP (2011)
    8.61% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 3
  • 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
    refugees (country of origin): 5,000 (Yemen) (2016)
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