Much of the sediment clouding the water in this image of the Persian Gulf is from the Shatt al Arab River, which enters the Gulf in the north along the Iran-Iraq border. The river drains the combined waters of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers of Iraq, and the Karun River of Iran. Though other rivers empty into the Persian Gulf, most of its fresh water comes from the Shatt al Arab. On the right edge of the image is the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea, part of the northern Indian Ocean. The Persian Gulf is flanked to the west by wedge-shaped Kuwait and by Saudi Arabia with its vast tan-, pink-, and white-sand deserts; to the south by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman; and to the east by the dry mountains of Iran. The wetlands and rivers of Mesopotamia border the Gulf on the north. The red dots mark gas flares in oil fields of Iran and Iraq. Image courtesy of NASA.
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Introduction

Background

The inhabitants of the area of 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 with the UK and US, and his moderate, independent foreign policy allowed Oman 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 Oman’s bicameral legislative body more power and authorizing direct elections for its lower house, which took place in November 2011. Additionally, the sultan increased unemployment benefits, and, in August 2012, issued a royal directive mandating the speedy implementation of a national job creation plan for thousands of public and private sector Omani 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 have the power to advise the Royal Court on the needs of local districts across Oman's 11 governorates. Sultan QABOOS, Oman's longest reigning monarch, died on 11 January 2020. His cousin, HAYTHAM bin Tariq bin Taimur 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

country comparison to the world: 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

590 sq km (2012)

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

Map description

Oman map showing major population centers as well as parts of surrounding countries and the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman.

People and Society

Population

3,764,348 (2022 est.)

note: immigrants make up approximately 46% of the total population (2019)

country comparison to the world: 131

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

Age structure

0-14 years: 30.15% (male 561,791/female 533,949)

15-24 years: 17.35% (male 331,000/female 299,516)

25-54 years: 44.81% (male 928,812/female 699,821)

55-64 years: 4.02% (male 77,558/female 68,427)

65 years and over: 3.68% (2020 est.) (male 64,152/female 69,663)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 33.3

youth dependency ratio: 30

elderly dependency ratio: 3.3

potential support ratio: 29.9 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 26.2 years

male: 27.2 years

female: 25.1 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Birth rate

22.11 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 59

Death rate

3.23 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 224

Net migration rate

-0.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 124

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: 87.8% of total population (2022)

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

Major urban areas - population

1.623 million MUSCAT (capital) (2022)

Sex ratio

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: 1.32 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 1.17 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

19 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Infant mortality rate

total: 14.45 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.9 years

male: 74.96 years

female: 78.93 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 97

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.)

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.)

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.)

country comparison to the world: 164

Tobacco use

total: 8% (2020 est.)

male: 15.5% (2020 est.)

female: 0.4% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 150

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: 14 years

female: 15 years (2020)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 13.7%

male: 10.3%

female: 33.9% (2016)

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

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 38.25 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 63.46 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 5.6 megatons (2020 est.)

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: 87.8% of total population (2022)

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

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 148

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 (2017 est.)

industrial: 135 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1.607 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

1.4 billion cubic meters (2017 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 HAYTHAM bin Tariq bin Taimur Al-Said (since 11 January 2020); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister HAYTHAM bin Tariq bin Taimur 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 (85 seats including the chairman; members appointed by the sultan from among former government officials and prominent educators, businessmen, and citizens)
Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (86 seats; members directly elected in single- and 2-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms); note - since political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Council is submitted to the Council of State for review by the Royal Court

elections: Council of State - last appointments on 11 July 2019 (next to be held in November 2023)
Consultative Assembly - last held on 27 October 2019 (next to be held in October 2023)

election results:
Council of State - composition - men 70, women 15, percent of women 17.6%
Consultative Council percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA (organized political parties in Oman are legally banned); composition men 84, women 2, percent of women 2.3%; note - total Council of Oman percent of women 9.9%

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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

https://www.culturaloffice.info/aboutomaniembassy

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie M. TSOU (since 19 January 2020)

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

Oman is heavily dependent on oil and gas resources, which can generate between and 68% and 85% of government revenue, depending on fluctuations in commodity prices. In 2016, low global oil prices drove Oman’s budget deficit to $13.8 billion, or approximately 20% of GDP, but the budget deficit is estimated to have reduced to 12% of GDP in 2017 as Oman reduced government subsidies. As of January 2018, Oman has sufficient foreign assets to support its currency’s fixed exchange rates. It is issuing debt to cover its deficit.

 

Oman is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production, but it has simultaneously pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP. The key components of the government's diversification strategy are tourism, shipping and logistics, mining, manufacturing, and aquaculture.

 

Muscat also has notably focused on creating more Omani jobs to employ the rising number of nationals entering the workforce. However, high social welfare benefits - that had increased in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring - have made it impossible for the government to balance its budget in light of current oil prices. In response, Omani officials imposed austerity measures on its gasoline and diesel subsidies in 2016. These spending cuts have had only a moderate effect on the government’s budget, which is projected to again face a deficit of $7.8 billion in 2018.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$135.79 billion (2019 est.)

$136.92 billion (2018 est.)

$135.696 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 80

Real GDP growth rate

-0.9% (2017 est.)

5% (2016 est.)

4.7% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 197

Real GDP per capita

$27,300 (2019 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars

$28,400 (2018 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars

$29,082 (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 70

GDP (official exchange rate)

$76.883 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.1% (2019 est.)

0.7% (2018 est.)

1.7% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2020)

Moody's rating: Ba3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B+ (2020)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 46.4% (2017 est.)

services: 51.8% (2017 est.)

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, vegetables, goat milk, milk, cucumbers, green chillies/peppers, watermelons, sorghum, melons

Industries

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

Labor force

2.255 million (2016 est.)

note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national

country comparison to the world: 118

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 4.7% NA

industry: 49.6% NA

services: 45% (2016 est.) NA

Budget

revenues: 22.14 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 31.92 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

46.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: excludes indebtedness of state-owned enterprises

country comparison to the world: 113

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$10.76 billion (2017 est.)

-$12.32 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Exports

$43.69 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$46.32 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 59

Exports - partners

China 46%, India 8%, Japan 6%, South Korea 6%, United Arab Emirates 6%, Saudi Arabia 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, iron products, fertilizers (2019)

Imports

$32.55 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$35.37 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 69

Imports - partners

United Arab Emirates 36%, China 10%, Japan 7%, India 7%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, gold, iron (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$16.09 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$20.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 64

Debt - external

$46.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$27.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

Exchange rates

Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar -

0.38505 (2020 est.)

0.38505 (2019 est.)

0.385 (2018 est.)

0.3845 (2014 est.)

0.3845 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 100% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 92% (2019)

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.)

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 barrels/day (2018 est.)

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

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

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.)

country comparison to the world: 49

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 594,550 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6,276,535 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 134 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 112

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: for many years Oman’s mobile market was a duopoly between the incumbent telco Omantel and its challenger Ooredoo Oman; in February 2021, Vodafone Group and Oman Future Telecommunications consortium secured a license to operate the Sultanate’s third network, with services being under the Vodafone Oman brand; the new operator has been able to extend its reach based on a tower leasing arrangement signed in 2020 with Oman Tower Company; Oman has a modern mobile sector which comprises substantial coverage of both 3G and LTE networks; in February 2021 Omantel launched commercial 5G services, while Ooredoo Group has a five-year framework agreement with Ericsson to develop its 5G platform across the Group’s ten markets, including Oman; the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a spike in mobile data traffic, which prompted Omantel to upgrade a number of sites from 3G to LTE, as well as build a number of additional 5G sites; 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 nearly 13 per 100 and mobile-cellular nearly 134 per 100; fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems (2020)

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)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

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: 4,851,291 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 95% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 93

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 508,949 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 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 - with paved runways

total: 13

over 3,047 m: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

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 (2021)

Heliports

3 (2021)

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 (2012)

paved: 29,685 km (2012) (includes 1,943 km of expressways)

unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)

country comparison to the world: 74

Merchant marine

total: 57

by type: general cargo 10, other 47 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 114

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar

container port(s) (TEUs): Salalah (4,109,000) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Qalhat

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); Royal Oman Police (ROP): Civil Defense, Immigration, Customs, Royal Oman Police Coast Guard (2022)

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

Military expenditures

8% of GDP (2021 est.)

11% of GDP (2020 est.)

11.8% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $12.1 billion)

11.2% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $11.8 billion)

12.3% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $12.7 billion)

country comparison to the world: 2

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) (2022)

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; since 2010, the UK and the US have been the leading suppliers of arms to Oman (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18-30 years of age for voluntary military service (women have been allowed to serve since 2011); no conscription (2022)

Military - note

the SAF has a longstanding security relationship with the British military going back to the 18th century; as of 2022, the SAF and the British maintained a joint training base in Oman and exercised together regularly; in 2017, Oman and the British signed an agreement allowing the British military the use of facilities at Al Duqm Port; in 2019, the US obtained access to the port (2022)

Maritime threats

the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2022-003 Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea-Threats to US and International Shipping from Iran) effective 28 February 2022, which states in part that "heightened military activities and increased political tensions in this region continue to present risk to commercial shipping...there is a continued possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take actions against US and partner interests in the region"; Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel has been established to provide escorts for commercial shipping transiting the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Oman-Saudi Arabia: none identified

Oman-UAE: 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; Oman and UAE signed the final demarcation of their land border in 2008

Oman-Yemen: Oman and Yemen signed a border agreement in 1992; demarcation of their border was completed in 1995

 

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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