The Sultanate of Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world in the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula, a vast country blessed with abundant natural beauty. Although modern in the approach, it is a country which believes in preserving the traditions. The Sultanate of Oman is a country whose laws and customs follow the Islamic tradition with the Islamic Law (Sharia) as the principal source of its legislation. Since 2020, the country has been governed by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.
The Sultanate of Oman is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the north-west, Saudi Arabia to the west and Yemen to the south-west. It neighbours the oil and gas rich Arabian Gulf as well as the Oman Gulf, a valuable transport hub. The country spans over 309,500 square kilometers.
Oman is unique in the landscapes from desert to mountains and from cities to seas. The 3,165 kilometers of coastline are home to the capital, Muscat while the Al Hajar mountains, the highest range in the Arabian Peninsula, divide the coastal areas from the wide-spread deserts.
As of 1 January 2021, the population of the Sultanate of Oman was estimated to be 5,460,693. This is an increase of 8.32 % or 419,526 people compared to a population of 5,041,167 at the beginning of 2020 according to the data of the United Nations.
The population increased by 328,482 due to external migration. The gender ratio of the total population was 1.439 (1,439 males per 1,000 females) which is higher than the global ratio of approximately 1,016 (1,016 males to 1,000 females) as of 2020.
According to Country Meter’s estimation the age structure was distributed in 1,703,081 young people under 15 years old (873,383 males & 829,698 females), 3,588,877 people between 15 and 64 years old (2,043,883 males & 1,544,994 females) and 168,735 people above 64 years old (86,170 males & 82,566 females) at the beginning of 2021.
The Sultanate of Oman is divided in 11 governorates and 61 provinces. The three largest governorates (Muscat, Al Batinah North and Ad Dakhiliyah) accounted for over 55 percent of the population.
The Sultanate of Oman was ruled by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said since 1970. Sultan Qaboos has transformed the country from a feudal-like state of subsistence farmers and fishermen with a total of six kilometers of paved road into a nation with modern infrastructure and continuing economic and social investments.
Oman is a middle-income country with an economy based primarily on hydrocarbon resources. Crude oil and natural gas accounted for more than 70 percent of the government's revenue in 2019.
In 2020, Oman’s economy was expected to contract due to the oil price slide and the public health response to the pandemic. An increase in gas output and infrastructure spending plans will help to recover over 2021 and 2022. The external deficits will remain under strain due to low oil and gas prices. The public debt was expected to remain high at more than 70% of the GDP in 2020 and beyond.
The Ministry of Finance implemented an increase in the corporate tax rate from 12 percent to 15 percent and eliminated several tax exemptions in 2017. The government has been planning to raise finances and funds by divesting stakes in eleven state-owned firms via initial public offerings.
The decline in the oil price has emphasized the requirement to accelerate economic diversification and to increase the role of the private sector. The country is working to diversify the economy by encouraging foreign investment, implementing a robust strategy for small and medium enterprise (SME) development, boosting industrialization, building modern infrastructure and expanding privatization.
To diversify the economy, the country is revamping the ports infrastructure from Muscat to Duqm, Sohar and Salalah to increase exports and to exploit the strategic location to create a hub for regional and international shipping.
The Oman Vision 2040 is based on three pillars consisting of people and society, economy and development as well as governance and institutional performance. It outlines and summarizes the intentions and provides an effective guide for the next decades. The aims and intentions of Business Start Up Oman are in line with Oman Vision 2040 and the plans of the Sultanate of Oman.
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