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Flag of Oman

Country Profile

Capital City: Muscat (pop. over 400 000)

Other Cities: Dhofar, Salalah, Nizwa, Sohar, Sur.

Local Time
: UTC +4h


Location: Middle East, Southeast Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and UAE.
Area: 309 500 sq. km
Terrain: Central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south.

Border countries
: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Climate: Hot, humid along the coast; hot, dry in the interior; summer monsoon in far south.

Type: Monarchy
Independence: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Constitution: On 6 November 1996, Sultan Qaboos issued a royal decree promulgating the Basic Law which, clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the government, establishes a bicameral legislature, and guarantees basic civil liberties for Omani citizens.
Political parties: None

Nationality: Noun--Oman. Adjective--Omani
Population: 2.4 million
GNI per capita PPP: $ 16 300 (year) Ethnic groups: Arab, Baluchi, East African (Zanzabari), South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) Religions: Ibadhi Muslim 75%; Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Hindu, Christian. Languages: Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Swahili, Hindi and Indian dialects.
Literacy: approx. 80% (total population)


Currency: Rial Omani (OMR)

Natural resources: Petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas.

Agriculture products: Dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish.

Industries: Crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper.

Exports partners:
South Korea 18.7%, China 18.5%, Japan 16.2%, Thailand 12.2%, UAE 7.8%, Iran 4.1% (2003)

Imports partners: UAE 21.6%, Japan 17.1%, USA 6.2%, UK 5.6%, Germany 4.4%, India 4.4% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Oman

State Council - Sultanate of Oman

Ministry of Information

Ministry of National Heritage & Culture

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Diplomatic Missions
Cultural Office of the Embassy of Oman in Washington DC

Embassy of The Sultanate of Oman

Oman Meteorological Department

Map of Oman

Map of the Middle East region



Background:  In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al Said ousted his father and has
ruled as sultan ever since.  His extensive modernization program has
opened the country to the outside world and has preserved a long-standing
political and military relationship with the UK. Oman's moderate,
independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with
all Middle Eastern countries.

Geography Oman

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

Geographic coordinates:  21 00 N, 57 00 E

Map references:  Middle East

Area:  total: 212,460 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 212,460 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries:  total: 1,374 km border countries: Saudi Arabia 676 km,
UAE 410 km, Yemen 288 km

Coastline:  2,092 km

Maritime claims:   200 NM territorial sea: 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 extremes:  lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m highest point: Jabal
Shams 2,980 m

Natural resources:  petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone,
chromium, gypsum, natural gas

Land use:  arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  620 sq km (1998 est.)

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

Environment - current issues:  rising soil salinity; beach pollution
from oil spills; very limited natural fresh water resources

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:  strategic location on Musandam Peninsula adjacent to
Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil

People Oman

Population:  2,713,462 note: includes 527,078 non-nationals (July
2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 41.9% (male 579,065; female 556,923) 15-64
years: 55.7% (male 914,494; female 597,948) 65 years and over: 2.4%
(male 34,555; female 30,477) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  3.41% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  37.76 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  4.03 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.53 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
1.13 male(s)/female total population: 1.29 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  21.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   74.57 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  5.99 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.11% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Omani(s) adjective: Omani

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

Religions:  Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu

Languages:  Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects

Literacy:  definition: NA total population: approaching 80% male: NA%
female: NA%

Government Oman

Country name:   Sultanate of Oman conventional short form:  form: Uman

Government type:  monarchy

Capital:  Muscat

Administrative divisions:  6 regions (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah)
and 2 governorates* (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al
Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*;
note - the US Embassy in Oman reports that Masqat is a governorate,
but this has not been confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

Independence:  1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday:  Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)

Constitution:  none; note - on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a
royal decree promulgating a new basic law which, among other things,
clarifies the royal succession, provides for a prime minister, bars
ministers from holding interests in companies doing business with the
government, establishes a bicameral legislature, and guarantees basic
civil liberties for Omani citizens

Legal system:  based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate
appeal to the monarch; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  in Oman's most recent elections in 2000, limited to
approximately 175,000 Omanis chosen by the government to vote in elections
for the Majlis ash-Shura

Executive branch:  chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS
bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); 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 (since 23 July 1970); note - the
monarch is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet
appointed by the monarch elections: none; the monarch is hereditary

Legislative branch:  bicameral Majlis Oman consists of an upper chamber
or Majlis al-Dawla (48 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has
advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis al-Shura (83 seats;
members elected by limited suffrage for three-year term, however, the
monarch makes final selections and can negate election results; body
has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only
advisory powers) elections:  results: NA; note - two women were elected
for the first time to the Majlis al-Shura, about 100,000 people voted

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court note: the nascent civil court system,
administered by region, has non-Islamic judges as well as traditional
Islamic judges

Political parties and leaders:  none

Political pressure groups and leaders:  none

International organization participation:  ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC,
IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed
Ali AL KHUSAIBY chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1981, 1988 FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Charge
d'Affaires Robert W. DRY embassy: Jameat A'Duwal
 international:  [968] 698989 FAX: [968] 699189

Flag description:  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 at the top of the
vertical band

Economy Oman

Economy - overview:  Oman's economic performance improved significantly
in 2000 due largely to the upturn in oil prices. The government is moving
ahead with privatization of its utilities, the development of a body of
commercial law to facilitate foreign investment, and increased budgetary
outlays. Oman continues to liberalize its markets and joined the World
Trade Organization (WTrO) in November 2000. GDP growth improved in 2001
despite the global slowdown.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $21.5 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  7.4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $8,200 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 3% industry: 40% services: 57%
(1999 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  920,000 (2002 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate:  NA%

Budget:  revenues: $9.2 billion expenditures: $6.9 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  crude oil production and refining, natural gas production,
construction, cement, copper

Industrial production growth rate:  4% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production:  8.1 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  7.533 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables;
camels, cattle; fish

Exports:  $10.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles

Exports - partners:  Japan 21%, Thailand 18%, China 16%, South Korea 12%,
UAE 12%, US 3% (2001)

Imports:  $5.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and transport equipment, manufactured
goods, food, livestock, lubricants

Imports - partners:  UAE 23% (largely reexports), Japan 16%, UK 13%,
Italy 7%, Germany 5%, US 5% (2001)

Debt - external:  $5.3 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $76.4 million (1995)

Currency:  Omani rial (OMR)

Currency code:  OMR

Exchange rates:  Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (fixed rate since

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Oman

Telephones - main lines in use:  201,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  59,822 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: modern system consisting
of open wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations;
limited coaxial cable domestic:  satellite system with 8 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)

Radios:  1.4 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  13 (plus 25 low-power repeaters) (1999)

Televisions:  1.6 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .om

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  90,000 (2001)

Transportation Oman

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 32,800 km paved: 9,840 km (including 550 km of
expressways) unpaved: 22,960 km (1996)

Waterways:  none

Pipelines:  crude oil 1,300 km; natural gas 1,030 km

Ports and harbors:  Matrah, Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Raysut

Merchant marine:  total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 17,291
GRT/9,457 DWT ships by type: cargo 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1 note:
includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience:
Singapore 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  143 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 6 over 3,047 m: 4 2,438 to 3,047 m:
1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:   36 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: Heliports:
1 (2001)

Military Oman

Military branches:  Royal Omani Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force),
Royal Omani Police

Military manpower - military age:  14 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 780,292 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 434,026
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 26,470
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $2,424,400,000 (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  12.2% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Oman

Disputes - international:  Oman signed a boundary treaty with the UAE in
1999, but the completed boundary is not expected until the end of 2002;
undefined segments of the Oman-UAE boundary remain with Ra's al-Khaymah
and Ash Shariqah (Sharjah) emirates, including the Musandam Peninsula,
where an administrative boundary substitutes for an international boundary

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Oman Arabic Daily

Oman News Agency (ONA)

Oman Observer

Times of Oman

Ministry of Information, Sultanate of Oman sites for TV and Radio

Arts & Culture
Museums in Oman

Traditional handicraft Oman

Business & Economy
Central Bank of Oman

National Bank of Oman

Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Knowledge Oasis Muscat


Oman Air

Destination Oman - Travel and Tour Guides
Welcome to Oman

Welcome to Oman (magazine)

Explore Oman

City Guides


Nizwa Net

Dhofar University

Nizwa University

Sohar University

Sultan Qaboos University - SQU

Oman Studies Centre

The History of Oman

ArabNet: Oman

Oman Information Center

Newsgroup of Oman




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