Oman, officially Arabic Saltanat Oman, German Sultanate of Oman, state in Western Asia, in the east of the Arabian Peninsula with (2019) 4.9 million residents; The capital is Muscat. Oman also includes the Kuria Muria and Al Masirah Islands and, as an exclave, the northern tip of the Musandam Peninsula.
Within a few decades, thanks to its oil and gas reserves, Oman has transformed itself from a pre-industrial tribal society to a modern welfare state with a gross national income (GNI) developed from (2017) US $ 14,440 per resident. In view of the limited reserves, the state has recently invested more heavily in the development of new economic sectors such as liquefied gas plants, copper and aluminum processing, and the building materials and textile industries. Agriculture and coastal fishing are also subsidized in order to ensure that the population is largely self-sufficient. Since the mid-1980s, the sultanate has also opened up to tourism. At the same time, the country’s transport infrastructure was promoted. Another focus of the Omani investment policy is the promotion of the real estate industry and efforts to attract foreign investors.
Foreign trade: The foreign trade balance is still positive with exports of (2016) US $ 24.5 billion and imports of US $ 23.3 billion, but the decline in world market prices for crude oil is causing the country serious setbacks. Oil and gas and related products account for three quarters of Omani exports. The main imports are food, machinery, transport equipment and consumer goods. The main trading partners are China, the United Arab Emirates and India. See paulsourcing for about importing duties and shipping documents about Oman.
The share of the agricultural sector in GDP has fallen to 2.0%, but around a quarter of the population still lives from agriculture. Only about 5% of the state’s area can be used for agriculture, the majority as pastureland. In addition to the northern coastal region, the main cultivation areas are the monsoon-humid surrounding areas of Salalah and the mountain oases (Kanat and well irrigation). Agricultural products are mainly dates and citrus fruits for export, as well as sorghum, alfalfa grass, potatoes, chickpeas, mango, wheat, corn and watermelons for personal use. Rice and wheat must also be imported. Frankincense is collected by the Bedouins in the Karaberg. The state promotes cattle breeding with modern dairy farms on the mountain edges and in Dhofar.
Fisheries: Oman is one of the most important fish producers in the region. The fishing with a catch amount of 257 200 t, almost exclusively inshore fishing by traditional fishermen, is supported and regulated by the state.
The state-run Petrolium Development of Oman has been using the oil deposits since 1967, the reserves of which are estimated at (2016) 700 million t. From the heavily fragmented deposits at the southern foot of the Oman Mountains and in Dhofar, the crude oil reaches the export port of Mina al-Fahal near Muscat (with a refinery). Oman is neither OPEC nor OAPEC member. Natural gas (reserves: 700 billion m³) has also been produced since 1978. serves to generate electricity. The deposits of gold, silver and chrome ores have meanwhile been developed.
Industry (including mining and construction) generates 47.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP). In addition to traditional handicrafts and the consumer goods industry, large companies such as an aluminum smelter (annual capacity: 325,000 t), assembly and mechanical engineering companies (mainly for re-exports), a copper smelter, a fertilizer factory and a steel mill in Sohar, oil refineries in Mina al- Fahal and Sohar as well as cement factories and fertilizer complexes in Sur and Sohar. Industrial parks with predominantly medium-sized companies were among others. established in Rusayl, Sohar, Raysut and Nizwa.
High-quality tourism has developed particularly well, bringing 2.62 million foreign guests (mainly from India, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Germany) to the country. Popular destinations are the capital Muscat, ancient Nizwa inland and the 1,700 km long sandy beaches.
The oasis town of Bahla with the fortress Hisn Tamah, one of the old royal cities in Oman, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a prime example of Omani clay architecture.
Clay architecture: Bahla
The Hisn Tamah fortress (17th century) in Bahla, an oasis city in Oman, is an outstanding example of Arab clay architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The oasis city of Bahla in northern Oman was the seat of the ruling Omani dynasty from the 12th to 17th centuries.
The country’s infrastructure is being expanded rapidly. In 1970 there was still no asphalt road, today expressways connect the most important cities with each other. There are a total of 67,000 km of roads and gravel roads. Modern deep-water harbors in Matrah (Mina Sultan Kabus), Mina al-Fahal (petroleum) and Salalah could be built on the strongly indented coast. The airports in Seeb (near Muscat) and Salalah serve international scheduled traffic. The state has its own airline with Oman Air.