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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, Oman's 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. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries. Inspired by the popular uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2010-11, Omanis began staging marches and... See More



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

Geographic Coordinates:

 21 00 N, 57 00 E


 Total: 309,500 sq km
Land: 309,500 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 (Rank: 58)

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:

 590 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 1 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 1.36 cu km/yr (7%/2%/90%)
Per capita: 529 cu m/yr (2000)

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; limited natural freshwater 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

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 Noun: Omani(s)
Adjective: Omani

Ethnic Groups:

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


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


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


 3,027,959 (July 2011 est.)

Note: includes 577,293 non-nationals

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 31.2% (male 484,292/female 460,066)
15-64 years: 65.7% (male 1,133,329/female 856,701)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 47,786/female 45,785) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 24.1 years
Male: 25.5 years
Female: 22.4 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.023% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 24.15 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 3.45 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 73% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 MUSCAT (capital) 634,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.34 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.06 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.23 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 20 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 15.47 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 15.78 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 15.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 74.22 years
Male: 72.38 years
Female: 76.16 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.87 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 1.901 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.9 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 92% of population
Rural: 77% of population
Total: 88% of population
Urban: 8% of population
Rural: 23% of population
Total: 12% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 97% of population
Rural: 61% of population
Total: 87% of population
Urban: 3% of population
Rural: 39% of population
Total: 13% of population (2000)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 1,100 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Education Expenditures:

 3.9% of GDP (2006)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 81.4%
Male: 86.8%
Female: 73.5% (2003 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 11 years (2009)

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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 (Muscat)*, 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:

 Mixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 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: the monarchy is hereditary

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral Majlis Oman consists of Majlis al-Dawla or upper chamber (71 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has only advisory powers and Majlis al-Shura or lower chamber (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; body has only advisory powers)

Elections: last held on 27 October 2007 (next to be held in October 2011)

Election results: new candidates won 46 seats and 38 members of the outgoing Majlis kept their positions; none of the 20 female candidates was elected

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court

Note: the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has judges who practice secular and sharia law

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
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Richard J. SCHMIERER
Embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
Mailing address: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
Telephone: [968] 24-643-400
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; white represents peace and prosperity, red recalls battles against foreign invaders, and green symbolizes the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains) and fertility

National Symbols:

 Khanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords

National Anthem:

 Name: "Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani" (The Sultan's Anthem)
Lyrics/music: Rashid bin Uzayyiz al KHUSAIDI/James Frederick MILLS, arranged by Bernard EBBINGHAUS

Note: adopted 1932; new words were written after QABOOS bin Said al Said gained power in 1970; the anthem was first performed by the band of a British ship as a salute to the Sultan during a 1932 visit to Muscat; the bandmaster of the HMS Hawkins was asked to write a salutation to the Sultan on the occasion of his visiting the ship

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Economy - Overview:

 Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources. Because of declining reserves, Muscat has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy. By using enhanced oil recovery techniques, Oman succeeded in increasing oil production, giving the country more time to diversify, and the increase in global oil prices throughout 2010 provides the government greater financial resources to invest in non-oil sectors.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $75.84 billion (2010 est.)
$72.77 billion (2009 est.)
$71.98 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $55.62 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4.2% (2010 est.)
1.1% (2009 est.)
12.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $25,600 (2010 est.)
$25,000 (2009 est.)
$25,200 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 1.6%
Industry: 51%
Services: 47.5% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:


Note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national (2007)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Unemployment Rate:

 15% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 29.1% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $20.59 billion
Expenditures: $20.71 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 37% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -0.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 4% of GDP (2010 est.)
5.4% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.2% (2010 est.)
3.5% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 2% (31 December 2010 est.)
0.05% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 6.835% (31 December 2010 est.)
7.442% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $5.25 billion (31 December 2008)
$5.044 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $14.57 billion (31 December 2008)
$11.04 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $53.08 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$45.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $71.42 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$63.16 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $21.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$19.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $20.27 billion (31 December 2010)
$17.3 billion (31 December 2009)
$14.91 billion (31 December 2008)

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:

 4.6% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 17.63 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 13.25 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 867,900 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 142,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 592,300 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 27,970 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 5.5 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 24.76 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 14.72 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 11.54 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 1.5 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $2.007 billion (2010 est.)
-$603 million (2009 est.)


 $36.6 billion (2010 est.)
$27.65 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles

Exports - Partners:

 China 26.3%, South Korea 12.4%, Japan 12.1%, India 11.3%, UAE 10.8%, Thailand 6.6% (2010)


 $17.87 billion (2010 est.)
$16.05 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

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

Imports - Partners:

 UAE 25.1%, Japan 15.4%, India 5.6%, US 5.5%, China 4.7% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $13.03 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$12.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $7.921 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$7.169 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Omani Rial to Any Currency

Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar -
0.3845 (2010)
0.3845 (2009)
0.3845 (2008)
0.3845 (2007)
0.3845 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 283,900 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 4.606 million (2010)

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

Domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership both increasing with fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems

International: country code - 968; the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2008)

Broadcast Media:

 1 state-run TV broadcaster; TV stations transmitting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen are accessible via satellite TV; state-run radio operates multiple stations; first private radio station began operation in 2007 and 2 additional stations now operating (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 13 (plus 25 repeaters) (1999)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 9,114 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1.465 million (2009)

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 130 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 11
Over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 119
Over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 51
914 to 1,523 m: 33
Under 914 m: 26 (2010)


 3 (2010)


 Condensate 107 km; gas 4,209 km; oil 3,558 km; refined products 263 km (2010)


 Total: 53,430 km
Paved: 23,223 km (includes 1,384 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 30,207 km (2008)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 4
By type: chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2
Registered in other countries: 9 (Panama 8, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar

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Military Branches:

 Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF): Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Sultanat) (2010)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 985,957
Females age 16-49: 737,812 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 837,886
Females age 16-49: 642,427 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 31,959
Female: 30,264 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 11.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

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Disputes - International:

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

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Last Updated: December 2011

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