World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Economy of Oman


Economy of Oman

Economy of Oman
Currency Riyal Omani
Calendar year
Trade organisations
GDP $76.460 billion (2012 est.)[1]
GDP rank 64th (nominal) / 74th (PPP)
GDP growth
5.0% (2012 est.)[2]
GDP per capita
$24,700 (2012 est.)[3]
GDP by sector
agriculture 2.1%, industry 37.2%, services 60.7% (2008 est.)
3.5% (2012 est.)[4]
Labour force
968,000 (2007 est.)
Unemployment 15% (2004 est)
Main industries
crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
Exports $48.4 billion (2012 est.)[6]
Export goods
petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Main export partners
 China 31.9%
 Japan 12.9%
 United Arab Emirates 10.1%
 South Korea 10.0%
 Thailand 4.4%
 Singapore 4.4% (2012 est.)[7]
Imports $23.4 billion (2012 est.)[8]
Import goods
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Main import partners
 United Arab Emirates 23.6%
 Japan 12.6%
 India 8.5%
 China 6.4%
 United States 6.1% (2012 est.)[9]
Public finances
2.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
Revenues $18.41 billion (2008 est.)
Expenses $$14.74 billion (2008 est.)
Economic aid donor: pledged $1 million to Darfur refugees (2008)
Standard & Poor's:[10]
A (Domestic)
A (Foreign)
AA- (T&C Assessment)
Outlook: Stable[11]
Outlook: Stable

All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Oman is a country in the Middle East. Current GDP per capita has expanded continuously in the past 50 years. It grew 339% in the 1960s reaching a peak growth of 1,370% in the 1970s scaling back to modest 13% growth in the 1980s and rising again to 34% in the 1990s.


  • Macro-economic trend 1
  • Overview 2
  • Modernization 3
  • Omanization 4
    • Introduction 4.1
    • Training and Omanization 4.2
  • Investment 5
  • Statistics 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9
    • Government 9.1
    • Other 9.2

Macro-economic trend

This is a chart of trend of the gross domestic product and gross domestic product per capita of Oman at market prices by the International Monetary Fund.[12]
Year Gross Domestic Product
(in millions US$)
Per Capita Income
Per Capita Income
(as % of USA)
1980 6,342 4,674 38.16
1985 10,395 6,129 34.65
1990 11,686 6,341 27.33
1995 13,803 6,355 22.84
2000 19,450 8,097 22.97
2005 30,905 11,806 27.70
2010 58,814 23,351 49.88
81,550 24,024 43.03


Traditional souqs (this one at Muttrah) are very common in Oman and have formed the bulk of Omani economy in the past

World Trade Organization (WTO) and gained membership in 2000.

When Oman declined as an entrepot for arms and slaves in the mid-19th century, much of its former prosperity was lost, and the economy turned almost exclusively to agriculture, camel and goat herding, fishing, and traditional handicrafts. Today, oil fuels the economy and revenues from petroleum products have enabled Oman's dramatic development over the past 30 years.

Omani exports in 2006

Oil was first discovered in the interior near Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and production levels again reached 600,000 b/d by mid-1987, which helped increase revenues. By mid-2000, production had climbed to more than 900,000 b/d where they remain. Oman is not a member of OPEC.

Natural gas reserves, which will increasingly provide the fuel for power generation and desalination, stand at 18 trillion ft³ (510 km³). The Oman LNG processing plant located in Sur was opened in 2000, with production capacity of 6.6 million tons/YR, as well as unsubstantial gas liquids, including condensates.

Petrochemical tanks in Sohar
Oman does not have the immense oil resources of some of its neighbors. Nevertheless, in recent years, it has found more oil than it has produced, and total proven reserves rose to more than 5 billion barrels (0.8 km³) by the mid-1990s. Oman's complex geology makes exploration and production an expensive challenge. Recent improvements in technology, however, have enhanced recovery.

Agriculture and fishing are the traditional way of life in Oman. Dates and limes, grown extensively in the Batinah coastal plain and the highlands, make up most of the country's agricultural exports. Coconut palms, wheat, and bananas also are grown, and cattle are raised in Dhofar. Other areas grow cereals and forage crops. Poultry production is steadily rising. Fish and shellfish exports totaled $34 million in 2000.


Sohar port is bound to help Oman transform its economy significantly
The government is undertaking many development projects to modernize the economy, improve the standard of living, and become a more active player in the global marketplace. Oman became a member of the World Trade Organization in October 2000, and continues to amend its financial and commercial practices to conform to international standards. Increases in agriculture and especially fish production are believed possible with the application of modern technology. The Muscat capital area has both an international airport at Seeb and a deepwater port at Mina Qaboos. The newly opened (1999), large-scale modern container port at Salalah, capital of the Dhofar Governorate, and a seaport at nearby Raysut were recently completed. A national road network includes a $400 million highway linking the northern and southern regions. In an effort to diversify the economy, in the early 1980s, the government built a $200-million copper mining and refining plant at Sohar. Other large industrial projects include an 80,000 b/d oil refinery and two cement factories. An industrial zone at Rusayl showcases the country's modest light industries. Marble, limestone, and gypsum may prove commercially viable in the future.

The Omani Government is implementing its sixth 5-year plan, launched in 2000, to reduce its dependence on oil and expatriate labor. The plan focuses on income diversification, job creation for Omanis in the private sector, and development of Oman's interior. Government programs offer soft loans and propose the building of new industrial estates in population centers outside the capital area. The government is giving greater emphasis to "Omanization" of the labor force, particularly in banking, hotels, and municipally sponsored shops benefiting from government subsidies. Currently, efforts are underway to liberalize investment opportunities in order to attract foreign capital.

Some of the largest budgetary outlays are in the areas of health services and basic education. The number of schools, hospitals, and clinics has risen exponentially since the accession of Sultan Qaboos in 1970.

United States firms faced a small and highly competitive market dominated by trade with Japan and Britain and re-exports from the United Arab Emirates. The sale of U.S. products has also been hampered by higher transportation costs and the lack of familiarity with Oman on the part of U.S. exporters. However, the traditional U.S. market in Oman, oil field supplies and services, should grow as the country's major oil producer continues a major expansion of fields and wells. In addition, on 20 July 2006 the U.S. Congress approved the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement. This took effect on 1 January 2009, eliminating tariff barriers on all consumer and industrial products. It also provides strong protections for foreign businesses investing in Oman.[13]



In Oman, the Omanization program has been in operation since 1988, working toward replacing expatriates with trained Omani personnel. by the end of 1999, the number of Omanis in government services exceeded the set target of 72%, and in most departments reached 86% of employees. The Ministry has also stipulated fixed Omanization targets in six areas of the private sector. Most companies have registered Omanization plans. Since April 1998 a 'green card' has been awarded to companies that meet their Omanization targets and comply with the eligibility criteria for labour relations. The names of these companies are published in the local press and they receive preferential treatment in their dealings with the Ministry. Academics working on various aspects of Omanization include Ingo Forstenlechner from United Arab Emirates University and Paul Knoglinger from the FHWien.

Training and Omanization

In order to meet the training and Omanization requirements of the banking sector, the Omani Institute of Bankers was established in 1983 and has since played a leading role in increasing the number of Omanis working in the sector. The Central Bank monitors the progress made by the commercial banks with Omanization and in July 1995 issued a circular stipulating that by the year 2000, at least 75% of senior and middle management positions should be held by Omanis. In the clerical grades 95% of staff should be Omanized and 100% in all other grades. At the end of 1999, no less than 78.8% of all positions were held by Omanis which is a considerable achievement for the banking sector in general. Women made up 30% of the total. During 1999 the percentage of Omanis employed at senior and middle management levels went up from 76.7% to 78.8%. There was a slight increase in the clerical grade percentage to 98.7%, while the non-clerical grades had already reached 100% Omanization in 1998. The banking sector currently employs 2,113 senior and middle managers supported by 4,757 other staff.

The Ministry has issued a decision regulating tourist guides, who in future will be required to have a license. This Ministerial decision aims at encouraging professionalism in the industry as well as providing career opportunities for Omanis who will be encouraged to learn foreign languages so as to replace foreign tour guides. In January 1996, a major step forward in the training of Omanis in the hotel industry came with the opening of the National Hospitality Institute (NHI). The Institute is a public company quoted on the Omani Stock exchange. In February 1997, the first batch of 55 male and female trainees, sponsored by the Vocational Training Authority, were awarded their first level certificates and were given on-the-job training in several hotels. In May 1999, the fourth batch of 95 trainees obtained their NVQs, bringing the number of Omanis trained by the Institute to around 450. Omanis now make up 37% of the 34,549 employees in the hotel and catering business, which exceeds the Omanization target of 30% set by the Government. The NHI has also trained catering staff from the Sultan’s Armed Forces and has launched a two-year tour guide course, which includes language training, safe driving, first aid and a knowledge of local history and geography.


The stock market capitalization of listed companies in Oman was valued at $15,269 million in 2005 by the World Bank.[1]

Oman is one of those countries with little or no national debt, but national wealth, managed via a number of sovereign wealth funds. The most significant of those is the State General Reserve Fund, or SGRF.


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

Industrial production growth rate: 5.9% (2006 est.)

Electricity - production: 14.33 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%

Electricity - consumption: 13.33 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

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

Exchange rates: Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (2005), 0.3845 (2004), 0.3845 (2003), 0.3845 (2002), 0.3845 (2001)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ GDP (official exchange rate), The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, accessed on 20 June 2013. Population data obtained from Total Midyear Population, U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base, accessed on 20 June 2013. Note: Per capita values were obtained by dividing the GDP (official exchange rate) data by the population data. The figures were then rounded to the nearest hundred in typical Factbook fashion.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Doing Business in Oman 2013".  
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Export Partners of Oman".  
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Import Partners of Oman".  
  10. ^ "Sovereigns rating list". Standard & Poor's. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Rogers, Simon; Sedghi, Ami (15 April 2011). "How Fitch, Moody's and S&P rate each country's credit rating". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Chemical & Engineering News, 5 January 2009, "U.S.-Oman pact expands Free Trade", p. 18

External links



  • Map of the oil and gas infrastructure in Oman
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.