Photos of Oman

The Souq Muttrah is a traditional bazaar in the largest seaport in the region. Before the discovery of oil, Muttrah was the center of commerce in Oman.

Introduction

Background

The inhabitants of the area of present-day Oman have long prospered from 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, although the sultanate never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al Said overthrew his father and ruled as sultan for the next five decades. His extensive modernization program opened the country to the outside world. He prioritized strategic ties to the UK and US, and his moderate, independent foreign policy allowed Oman to maintain good relations with its neighbors and avoid external entanglements.

In 2011, the popular uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa inspired demonstrations in Oman that called for more jobs and economic benefits and an end to corruption. In response, QABOOS implemented economic and political reforms such as granting Oman’s legislative body more power and authorizing direct elections for its lower house. Additionally, the sultan increased unemployment benefits and issued a royal directive mandating a national public- and private-sector job creation plan. 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 2012. QABOOS, Oman's longest reigning monarch, died on in 2020. His cousin, HAYTHAM bin Tariq Al Said, former Minister of Heritage and Culture, was sworn in as Oman's new sultan the same day.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and the UAE

Geographic coordinates

21 00 N, 57 00 E

Map references

Middle East

Area

total: 309,500 sq km

land: 309,500 sq km

water: 0 sq km

comparison ranking: total 72

Area - comparative

twice the size of Georgia

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 1,561 km

border countries (3): Saudi Arabia 658 km; UAE 609 km; Yemen 294 km

Coastline

2,092 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south

Terrain

central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south

Elevation

highest point: Jabal Shams 3,004 m

lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 310 m

Natural resources

petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas

Land use

agricultural land: 4.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 4.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 0% (2018 est.)

other: 95.3% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,079 sq km (2020)

Major aquifers

Arabian Aquifer System

Population distribution

the vast majority of the population is located in and around the Al Hagar Mountains in the north of the country; another smaller cluster is found around the city of Salalah in the far south; most of the country remains sparsely poplulated

Natural hazards

summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts

Geography - note

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

Population

total: 3,901,992

male: 2,096,126

female: 1,805,866 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 132; male 128; total 130

Nationality

noun: Omani(s)

adjective: Omani

Ethnic groups

Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African

Languages

Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Swahili, Urdu, Indian dialects

major-language sample(s):
كتاب حقائق العالم، المصدر الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه للمعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Arabic audio sample:

Religions

Muslim 85.9%, Christian 6.4%, Hindu 5.7%, other and unaffiliated 2% (2020 est.)

note: Omani citizens represent approximately 56.4% of the population and are overwhelming Muslim (Ibadhi and Sunni sects each constitute about 45% and Shia about 5%); Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists account for roughly 5% of Omani citizens

MENA religious affiliation

Age structure

0-14 years: 29.8% (male 594,909/female 566,682)

15-64 years: 66.2% (male 1,428,141/female 1,155,438)

65 years and over: 4% (2024 est.) (male 73,076/female 83,746)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 42

youth dependency ratio: 38

elderly dependency ratio: 4

potential support ratio: 25.2 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 27.3 years (2024 est.)

male: 28.1 years

female: 26.3 years

comparison ranking: total 159

Population growth rate

1.75% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 52

Birth rate

21.1 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 62

Death rate

3.2 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 224

Net migration rate

-0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 121

Population distribution

the vast majority of the population is located in and around the Al Hagar Mountains in the north of the country; another smaller cluster is found around the city of Salalah in the far south; most of the country remains sparsely poplulated

Urbanization

urban population: 88.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.32% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

1.650 million MUSCAT (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.24 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.16 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

17 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 132

Infant mortality rate

total: 13.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 15.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 12.6 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 100

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.4 years (2024 est.)

male: 75.5 years

female: 79.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 91

Total fertility rate

2.64 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 64

Gross reproduction rate

1.29 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 97.9% of population

total: 99.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 2.1% of population

total: 0.3% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

5.3% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

1.77 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

1.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

27% (2016)

comparison ranking: 39

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.47 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.17 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.29 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 164

Tobacco use

total: 8% (2020 est.)

male: 15.5% (2020 est.)

female: 0.4% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 150

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

11.2% (2016/17)

comparison ranking: 52

Education expenditures

5.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 61

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.7%

male: 97%

female: 92.7% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 15 years (2021)

Environment

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources; high levels of soil and water salinity in the coastal plains; beach pollution from oil spills; industrial effluents seeping into the water tables and aquifers; desertificaiton due to high winds driving desert sand into arable lands

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate

dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south

Land use

agricultural land: 4.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 4.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 0% (2018 est.)

other: 95.3% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 88.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.32% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 174

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 167

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 34.88 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 63.46 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 5.6 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,734,885 tons (2014 est.)

Major aquifers

Arabian Aquifer System

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 130 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 240 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 1.55 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

1.4 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

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.)

Government type

absolute monarchy

Capital

name: Muscat

geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E

time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name, whose meaning is uncertain, traces back almost two millennia; two 2nd century A.D. scholars, the geographer PTOLEMY and the historian ARRIAN, both mention an Arabian Sea coastal town of Moscha, which most likely referred to Muscat

Administrative divisions

11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafaza); 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)

Independence

1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday

National Day, 18 November; note - celebrates Oman's independence from Portugal in 1650 and the birthday of Sultan QABOOS bin Said al Said, who reigned from 1970 to 2020

Constitution

history: promulgated by royal decree 6 November 1996 (the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); amended by royal decree in 2011

amendments: promulgated by the sultan or proposed by the Council of Oman and drafted by a technical committee as stipulated by royal decree and then promulgated through royal decree; amended by royal decree 2011, 2021

Legal system

mixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

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

Suffrage

21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces by law cannot vote

Executive branch

chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister HAITHAM bin Tarik Al Said (since 11 January 2020)

head of government: Sultan and Prime HAITHAM bin Tarik Al Said (since 11 January 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Council of Oman or Majlis Oman consists of:
Council of State or Majlis al-Dawla (87 seats including the chairman; members appointed by the sultan from among former government officials and prominent educators, businessmen, and citizens; members serve 4-year term)
Consultative Assembly or Majlis al-Shura (90 seats; members directly elected in single- and 2-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms)

elections: Council of State - last appointments on 8 November 2023 (next appointments in November 2027)
Consultative Assembly - last held on 29 October 2023 (next to be held in October 2027)

election results: Council of State - 87 nonpartisan members were appointed by the sultan; composition - men 68, women 18, percentage women 20.9%

Consultative Assembly percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; 90 nonpartisan members were elected (organized political parties in Oman are legally banned); composition - 90 men, 0 women, percentage women 0%; total Council of Oman percentage women 10.2%

Judicial branch

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; judges appointed for life

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Administrative Court; Courts of First Instance; sharia courts; magistrates' courts; military courts

Political parties and leaders

none; note - organized political parties are legally banned in Oman, and loyalties tend to form around tribal affiliations

International organization participation

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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Moosa Hamdan Moosa AL TAI (since 17 February 2021)

chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980

FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933

email address and website:
washington@fm.gov.om

Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman, Washington, USA - FM.gov.om

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ana ESCROGIMA (since 4 December 2023)

embassy: P.C. 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Muscat

mailing address: 6220 Muscat Place, Washington DC  20521

telephone: [968] 2464-3400

FAX: [968] 2464-3740

email address and website:
ConsularMuscat@state.gov

https://om.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three horizontal bands of white (top), 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 al Akhdar (Green Mountains) and fertility

National symbol(s)

khanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords; national colors: red, white, green

National anthem

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 5 (all cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Bahla Fort; Archaeological Sites of Bat; Land of Frankincense; Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman; Ancient Qalhat

Economy

Economic overview

high-income, oil-based economy; large welfare system; growing government debt; citizenship-based labor force growth policy; US free trade agreement; diversifying portfolio; high female labor force participation

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$161.712 billion (2022 est.)
$155.028 billion (2021 est.)
$150.378 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 76

Real GDP growth rate

4.31% (2022 est.)
3.09% (2021 est.)
-3.38% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 100

Real GDP per capita

$35,300 (2022 est.)
$34,300 (2021 est.)
$33,100 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 62

GDP (official exchange rate)

$114.667 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.81% (2022 est.)
1.55% (2021 est.)
-0.9% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 44

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2020)

Moody's rating: Ba3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B+ (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 46.4% (2017 est.)

services: 51.8% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 169; industry 16; agriculture 181

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 36.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 26.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 27.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 51.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -46.6% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

dates, tomatoes, milk, sorghum, vegetables, goat milk, cucumbers/gherkins, chilies/peppers, watermelons, cantaloupes/melons (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber

Industrial production growth rate

5.05% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 58

Labor force

2.261 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 123

Unemployment rate

1.53% (2022 est.)
1.9% (2021 est.)
2.94% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 14

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 14.6% (2021 est.)

male: 11.6%

female: 29.6%

comparison ranking: total 120

Average household expenditures

on food: 22.6% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 0.2% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Remittances

0.03% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.04% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.05% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $29.334 billion (2018 est.)

expenditures: $35.984 billion (2018 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-13.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 216

Public debt

46.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: excludes indebtedness of state-owned enterprises

comparison ranking: 118

Taxes and other revenues

31.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 25

Current account balance

$5.752 billion (2022 est.)
-$4.783 billion (2021 est.)
-$12.263 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 33

Exports

$69.701 billion (2022 est.)
$46.572 billion (2021 est.)
$35.691 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 57

Exports - partners

China 40%, India 11%, South Korea 6%, UAE 4%, US 4% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, fertilizers, semi-finished iron (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$46.326 billion (2022 est.)
$37.216 billion (2021 est.)
$33.827 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 69

Imports - partners

UAE 27%, Saudi Arabia 11%, India 10%, China 9%, Qatar 5% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, iron ore, milk, iron pipes (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$17.606 billion (2022 est.)
$19.731 billion (2021 est.)
$15.007 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 66

Debt - external

$46.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$27.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 72

Exchange rates

Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
0.385 (2022 est.)
0.385 (2021 est.)
0.385 (2020 est.)
0.385 (2019 est.)
0.385 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 8.601 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 32,320,020,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 3.717 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 71; transmission/distribution losses 158; imports 134; exports 117; consumption 61

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 115,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 115,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 978,800 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 234,200 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 779,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 5.373 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

229,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 48

Refined petroleum products - exports

33,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 60

Refined petroleum products - imports

6,041 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 165

Natural gas

production: 36,596,746,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 24,279,419,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 13,798,040,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 1,605,959,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 651.286 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

76.321 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 191,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 29.682 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 46.447 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 49

Energy consumption per capita

292.022 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 13

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 563,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 86

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6.75 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 113

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Oman has a modern mobile sector which comprises substantial coverage of both 3G and LTE networks; in February 2021 commercial 5G services were launched; the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a spike in mobile data traffic; while Oman’s fixed broadband infrastructure penetration is considered low, it is being improved with the building of fiber-based networks as part of Oman’s Vision 2040 program; Oman has also established itself as an important communications hub in the Middle East, with access to numerous submarine cables including the 2Africa submarine cable, which should become available during 2023-2024; the 9,800km Oman Australia Cable running from Muscat to Perth, with the potential for a branch line to Djibouti, is making progress and is expected to be completed in December 2021; this additional infrastructure will provide considerable additional bandwidth (2021)

domestic: fixed-line is 13 per 100 and mobile-cellular is 135 per 100 (2021)

international: country code - 968; landing points for GSA, AAE-1, SeaMeWe-5, Tata TGN-Gulf, FALCON, GBICS/MENA, MENA/Guld Bridge International, TW1, BBG, EIG, OMRAN/EPEG, and POI submarine cables providing connectivity to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

1 state-run TV broadcaster; TV stations transmitting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, and Yemen available via satellite TV; state-run radio operates multiple stations; first private radio station began operating in 2007 and several additional stations now operating (2019)

Internet users

total: 4.32 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 96% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 105

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 508,949 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 90

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 57

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 10,438,241 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 510.43 million (2018) mt-km

Airports

36 (2024)

comparison ranking: 110

Heliports

20 (2024)

Pipelines

106 km condensate, 4,224 km gas, 3,558 km oil, 33 km oil/gas/water, 264 km refined products (2013)

Roadways

total: 60,230 km

paved: 29,685 km (includes 1,943 km of expressways)

unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)

comparison ranking: total 78

Merchant marine

total: 57 (2023)

by type: general cargo 11, other 46

comparison ranking: total 117

Ports

total ports: 7 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 1

small: 4

very small: 2

ports with oil terminals: 6

key ports: Duqm, Khawr Khasab, Mina Al Fahl, Mina Raysut, Sohar

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF): Royal Army of Oman (RAO), Royal Navy of Oman (RNO), Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO), Royal Guard of Oman (RGO), Sultan's Special Forces

Royal Oman Police (ROP): Civil Defense, Immigration, Customs, Royal Oman Police Coast Guard, Special Task Force (2024)

note 1: the Sultan’s Special Forces and the ROP Special Task Force are Oman’s primary tactical counterterrorism response forces

note 2:
in addition to its policing duties, the ROP conducts many administrative functions similar to the responsibilities of a Ministry of Interior in other countries

Military expenditures

5.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
8% of GDP (2021 est.)
11% of GDP (2020 est.)
11.8% of GDP (2019 est.)
11.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 6

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 40,000 active-duty troops (25,000 Army, 5,000 Navy; 5,000 Air Force; 5,000 Royal Guard) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the SAF's inventory includes a mix of older and some more modern weapons systems from a variety of suppliers, particularly Europe and the US; in recent years, the UK has been the leading supplier of arms to Oman (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18 for voluntary military service for men and women (women have been allowed to serve since 2011); no conscription (2023)

Military - note

the SAF’s primary responsibility is external security; it is a small but well-equipped military that trains regularly, including with foreign partners such as the UK, US, and Gulf Cooperation Council countries; the SAF has a longstanding security relationship with the British military going back to the 18th century; the relationship was notable during the Dhofar Rebellion (1963-1976), when the British military provided considerable assistance to the SAF in their eventually successful counterinsurgency campaign; today, the SAF and the British maintain a joint training base in Oman and exercise together regularly; in 2017, Oman and the UK signed an agreement allowing the British military the use of facilities at Al Duqm Port; in 2019, the US obtained access to the port, expanding on previous military cooperation agreements in 2014, 2010, and 1980; Oman also allows other nations to use some of its maritime facilities, including China

the Omani Navy conducts maritime security operations along the country’s long coastline, including patrolling, ensuring freedom of navigation in the key naval chokepoint of the Strait of Hormuz, and countering piracy and smuggling; while Oman is not a member of the US-led, multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which operates task forces to counter piracy and smuggling, the Omani Navy has at times participated in CMF-led joint exercises; the Navy is a small but relatively modern force; its principal warships are five corvettes, which are supported by several offshore patrol ships, fast attack craft, and coastal patrol vessels

the Royal Army was formed as the Muscat Garrison in 1907; today, it has an armored brigade equipped with American and British tanks, two brigades of infantry, and a border guard brigade, as well as an airborne regiment; the Royal Guard is comprised of an infantry brigade and two special forces regiments; the Air Force has about three dozen modern European- and US-made multipurpose fighter aircraft (2023)

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 5,000 (Yemen) (2017)