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Introduction - Oman:




The inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered on Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, a newly established sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Omans dependence on British political and military advisors increased, but it never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said al-Said overthrew the restrictive rule of his father; he has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world while preserving the longstanding close ties with the UK. Omans moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.

Location - Oman:


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


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


2,092 km

Maritime claims

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

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: 0.12%
permanent crops: 0.14%
other: 99.74% (2005)

Irrigated land

720 sq km (2003)

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, 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

Geography note

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

People - Oman:


note: includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.7% (male 698,461/female 670,793)
15-64 years: 54.6% (male 1,026,686/female 723,712)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 47,534/female 37,711) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 18.9 years
male: 21.5 years
female: 16.5 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

3.234% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

35.76 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

3.78 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.041 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.419 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.26 male(s)/female
total population: 1.238 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 18.28 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.96 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 73.62 years
male: 71.37 years
female: 75.99 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.7 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.1% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

1,300 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

less than 200 (2003 est.)


noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani

Ethnic groups

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


Ibadhi Muslim 75%, other (includes Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Hindu) 25%


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


definition: NA
total population: 81.4%
male: 86.8%
female: 73.5% (2003 est.)

Government - Oman:

Country name

conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Muscat and Oman

Government type



name: Muscat
geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

5 regions (manatiq, singular - mintaqat) and 4 governorates* (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Buraymi*, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat*, Musandam*, Zufar (Dhofar)*


1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday

Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)


none; note - on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a basic law considered by the government to be a constitution 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


21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces are not allowed to vote

Executive branch

chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary

Legislative branch

bicameral Majlis Oman consists of Majlis al-Dawla (or upper chamber) (58 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and Majlis al-Shura (or lower chamber)(84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)
elections: last held 4 October 2003 (next to be held in October 2007)
election results: NA

Judicial branch

Supreme Court
note: the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has judges who practice secular and Sharia law

Political parties and leaders


Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Hunaina bint Sultan bin Ahmad al-MUGHAIRI
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: Ambassador Gary A. GRAPPO
embassy: Jameat ADuwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 24-698989
FAX: [968] 24-699771

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 near the top of the vertical band

Economy - Oman:

Economy overview

Oman is a middle-income economy in the Middle East with notable oil and gas resources, a substantial trade surplus, and low inflation. Sustained high oil prices in recent years have helped build Omans budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. Oman joined the World Trade Organization in November 2000 and continues to liberalize its markets. It ratified a free trade agreement with the US in September 2006 and, through the Gulf Cooperation Council, seeks similar agreements with the EU, China and Japan. To reduce unemployment and limit dependence on foreign labor, the government is encouraging the replacement of foreign expatriate workers with local workers. Oman actively seeks private foreign investors, especially in the industrial, information technology, tourism, and higher education fields. Industrial development plans focus on gas resources, metal manufacturing, petrochemicals, and international transshipment ports.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$44.53 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$27.25 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

6.6% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$14,400 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 38.8%
services: 58.7% (2006 est.)

Labor force

920,000 (2002 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment rate

15% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

3% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

14.2% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $14.33 billion
expenditures: $12.81 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

4.5% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

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

Industrial production growth rate

5.9% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

14.33 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

13.33 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

740,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil consumption

60,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

733,100 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

4.7 billion bbl (2006 est.)

Natural gas production

17.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

6.77 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

10.43 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

829.1 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

$7.097 billion (2006 est.)


$24.73 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles

Exports partners

China 23.7%, South Korea 18%, Japan 10.9%, Thailand 10.7%, South Africa 7.7%, UAE 6.3% (2006)


$10.29 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants

Imports partners

UAE 22.4%, Japan 16.4%, US 8.1%, Germany 5.4%, India 4.3% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$4.908 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external

$4.259 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$76.4 million (1995)

Currency code

Omani rial (OMR)

Exchange rates

Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (2006), 0.3845 (2005), 0.3845 (2004), 0.3845 (2003), 0.3845 (2002)

Communications - Oman:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

278,300 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

1.818 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable
domestic: open-wire, microwave, radiotelephone communications, and a domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
international: country code - 968; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations

AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)

Television broadcast stations

13 (plus 25 repeaters) (1999)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

3,555 (2006)

Internet users

319,200 (2006)

Transportation - Oman:


137 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 131
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 52
914 to 1,523 m: 35
under 914 m: 35 (2006)


1 (2006)


gas 4,072 km; oil 3,405 km (2006)


total: 34,965 km
paved: 9,673 km (includes 550 km of expressways)
unpaved: 25,292 km (2001)

Merchant marine

total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 10,797 GRT/5,040 DWT
by type: passenger 1
registered in other countries: 2 (Kazakhstan 2) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Mina Qabus, Salalah

Military - Oman:

Military branches

Royal Omani Armed Forces: Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Sultanat Oman, RAFO) (2006)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 719,871
females age 18-49: 508,621 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 581,444
females age 18-49: 435,107 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 26,391
females age 18-49: 25,466 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

11.4% (2005 est.)

Disputes international

boundary agreement reportedly signed and ratified with UAE in 2003 for entire border, including Omans Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah exclave, but details of the alignment have not been made public

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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