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Oman

Oman (Middle East)

Introduction ::Oman

Background:

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.

Geography ::Oman

Location:

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

Area:

total: 309,500 sq km country comparison to the world: 70 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

Coastline:

2,092 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:

dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south

Terrain:

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)

Total renewable water resources:

1 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

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 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

Population:

2,967,717 country comparison to the world: 136 note: includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 42.7% (male 744,265/female 714,116)

15-64 years: 54.5% (male 1,079,511/female 783,243)

65 years and over: 2.8% (male 55,180/female 41,770) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 23.9 years

male: 25.4 years

female: 22.1 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.996% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 59

Birth rate:

23.9 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 69

Death rate:

3.47 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 215

Net migration rate:

-0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 143

Urbanization:

urban population: 72% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

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 (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 16 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 118 male: 16.28 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 15.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.97 years country comparison to the world: 105 male: 72.15 years

female: 75.88 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.87 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 72

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 144

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

1,300 (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 141

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 200 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 121

Nationality:

noun: Omani(s)

adjective: Omani

Ethnic groups:

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

Religions:

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

Languages:

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

Literacy:

definition: NA

total population: 81.4%

male: 86.8%

female: 73.5% (2003 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

4% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 107

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:

monarchy

Capital:

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)*

Independence:

1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday:

Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)

Constitution:

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

Suffrage:

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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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 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

Political parties and leaders:

none

Political pressure groups and leaders:

none

International organization participation:

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD,
IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU,
LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU,
WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

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 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

Economy ::Oman

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 thoughout 2010 provides the government greater financial resources to invest in non-oil sectors.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$76.53 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 $73.87 billion (2009 est.)

$72.42 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$53.78 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 2% (2009 est.)

12.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$25,800 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52 $25,400 (2009 est.)

$25,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.4%

industry: 48.2%

services: 50.3% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

968,800 country comparison to the world: 142 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.) country comparison to the world: 151

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):

26.3% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 36

Public debt:

4.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 129 5.5% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 117 3.5% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

0.05% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 135 0.91% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

7.44% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 7.1% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$7.257 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 78 $6.15 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$22.35 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 80 $20.52 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$22.05 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 75 $19.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$17.3 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 63 $14.91 billion (31 December 2008)

$23.06 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish

Industries:

crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber

Industrial production growth rate:

4.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74

Electricity - production:

13.58 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Electricity - consumption:

11.36 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

816,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 25

Oil - consumption:

84,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Oil - exports:

593,700 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 25

Oil - imports:

17,290 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 116

Oil - proved reserves:

5.5 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 24

Natural gas - production:

24 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 28

Natural gas - consumption:

13.46 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 41

Natural gas - exports:

10.89 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 19

Natural gas - imports:

350 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Natural gas - proved reserves:

849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 28

Current account balance:

$2.724 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 39 -$2.143 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$36.12 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60 $27.65 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles

Exports - partners:

China 26.98%, South Korea 17.19%, Japan 12.12%, UAE 11.23%, Thailand 7.64% (2009)

Imports:

$19.3 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 73 $16.13 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

UAE 22.9%, Japan 13.99%, US 6.46%, China 5.64%, India 5.27%, France 5.19%, South Korea 4.65% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$14 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 $12.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$8.829 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 90 $7.061 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:

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

Communications ::Oman

Telephones - main lines in use:

300,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 114

Telephones - mobile cellular:

3.971 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 104

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)

Internet country code:

.om

Internet hosts:

9,114 (2010) country comparison to the world: 126

Internet users:

1.465 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 83

Transportation ::Oman

Airports:

130 (2010) country comparison to the world: 45

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)

Heliports:

3 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 4,209 km; oil 3,558 km; refined products 263 km (2009)

Roadways:

total: 68,467 km country comparison to the world: 69 paved: 23,223 km (includes 1,384 km of expressways)

unpaved: 30,207 km (2008)

Merchant marine:

total: 4 country comparison to the world: 134 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

Military ::Oman

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: 964,200

females age 16-49: 714,421 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 816,579

females age 16-49: 622,927 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 31,827

female: 30,148 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

11.4% of GDP (2005 est.) country comparison to the world: 1

Transnational Issues ::Oman

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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