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Introduction Oman
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
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
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
2,092 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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: 0.08%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 99.7% (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
note: includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.2% (male 603,664; female 580,469)
15-64 years: 55.4% (male 934,621; female 620,158)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 36,504; female 31,709) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 19.4 years
male: 22.3 years
female: 16.5 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
3.38% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
37.47 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
3.97 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.51 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.15 male(s)/female
total population: 1.28 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 21.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 24.03 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.58 years
male: 70.4 years
female: 74.86 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.94 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1,300 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani
Ethnic groups:
Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu
Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
definition: NA
total population: 75.8%
male: 83.1%
female: 67.2% (2003 est.)
Government Oman
Country name:
conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
former: Muscat and Oman
local short form: Uman
Government type:
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)
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 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
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 al-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: last held 4 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: NA
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:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Muhammad bin Ali bin Thani AL-KHUSSAIBY
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 Richard Lewis BALTIMORE III
embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al-Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 698989, extension 203
FAX: [968] 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'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 and then fell back to 2.2% in 2002. In order to reduce unemployment, the government is trying to replace expatriate workers with local workers. Another government objective is the development of the nation's gas resources.
purchasing power parity - $22.4 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $8,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 55%
services: 42% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.5% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
920,000 (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $9.2 billion
expenditures: $6.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper
Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
9.274 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
8.625 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
963,800 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
53,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
5.703 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
13.77 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
6.34 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
7.43 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
846.4 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
$10.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Exports - partners:
Japan 20.5%, South Korea 18.5%, China 14.1%, Thailand 11.7%, UAE 9.2%, Singapore 4.3%, US 4.1% (2002)
$5.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Imports - partners:
UAE 27.5%, Japan 16.7%, UK 7.4%, US 6.9%, Germany 5% (2002)
Debt - external:
$5.7 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$76.4 million (1995)
Omani rial (OMR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Omani rials per US dollar - 0.38 (2002), 0.38 (2001), 0.38 (2000), 0.38 (1999), 0.38 (1998)
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: open-wire, microwave, radiotelephone communications, and a 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)
1.4 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
13 (plus 25 low-power repeaters) (1999)
1.6 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
120,000 (2002)
Transportation Oman
0 km
total: 34,965 km
paved: 9,673 km (including 550 km of expressways)
unpaved: 25,292 km (2001)
gas 3,599 km; oil 3,187 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Matrah, Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Raysut
Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 17,291 GRT/9,457 DWT
ships by type: container 1, passenger 2
note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Singapore 1 (2002 est.)
139 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 133
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 32 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 55
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1 (2002)
Military Oman
Military branches:
Royal Omani Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force), Royal Omani Police
Military manpower - military age:
14 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 788,429 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 438,326 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 29,485 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$2.424 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
12.2% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Oman
Disputes - international:
boundary agreement signed and ratified with UAE in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah enclaves