Oman - A Happening Place!

Dec 1, 2010

Over the past decade, the Sultanate of Oman has been pursuing a policy of sound economic diversification and sustainable expansion. Oman's economic growth has continued its rapid growth, assisted by the government's long-term economic plan to diversify income sources. The Sultanate’s infrastructure sector is primed to remain one of the most active in the region, supported by strong state spending and the economy, as part of government's plan, called Vision for Oman's National Economy: Oman 2020.

The Omani banking sector continues to pick up and is forecasted for a steady recovery in 2011 and beyond. Oman is actively pursuing a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil and gas sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 9 per cent by 2020. Oman’s limited water resources have led the country to focus on the development of desalinated water. It is undoubtedly the pioneer of independent power and water projects (IWPPs) in the region.

Oman has been actively seeking private foreign investors, especially in the industrial, data technology, tourism and transportation, and higher education fields. Industrial development plans focus on gas resources, metal industrial manufacturing, petrochemicals, and international transshipment ports. In 2009 Oman spent about $16 billion on local infrastructure and other projects, and this year the government has already signed contracts worth $11.5 billion out of the $18.7 billion spending budget, according to national economy ministry statistics.

Oman is well regarded as a place for conducting business and it has, compared to other countries in the Middle East, has good relations with most of the countries especially with the US, the UK, India, Pakistan and China. The Omani government is set to develop infrastructure projects with every economic sector benefiting from increased public spending.

Oman is heavily dependent on dwindling oil and gas resources, but maintained high oil and gas prices or pricing in recent years have aided in building Oman's budget and trade (imports and exports) surpluses and foreign national reserves. Economically, oil and gas account for about 75% of Oman's total exports.

Oman holds positive outlook regarding its further economic development over the medium-term and forecast 4.4% real GDP growth for 2010. It is estimated that 38% increase in export revenues in 2010, 80% of which will be due to oil and gas shipments, which will increase in volume as well as in price. The foreign trade surplus surged to a two-year high of $1.6 billion, with higher hydrocarbon exports pushing overall exports up by 72 per cent from last earlier.

The ministry of tourism aims to attract 12mn visitors by 2020. The tourism industry is expected to become one of the largest contributors to GDP by then. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expects the industry to grow from 1.5% of total GDP in 2010 to 2.4% of GDP by 2020. The contribution to the economy by tourism-related activity is expected to increase from 7.6% of GDP in 2010 to 9.2% of GDP by 2020.

Oman has been investing heavily in tourism, especially in infrastructure and airports. Three new airports will be built to boost the industry and the government is spending at least US$3.2bn upgrading its gateway airport, Muscat International Airport. Oman specializes in ecotourism and first class tourism, but increasingly it has to compete with other countries that offer similar experiences for western and regional tourists.

Many firms in developing economies have suffered from lower demand for their exports and a drop in private capital flows. At the same time businesses in low-income economies on average still face more than twice the regulatory burden that their counterparts in high-income economies do when starting a business, transferring property, filing taxes or resolving a commercial dispute through the courts. Developed economies have on average 10 times as many newly registered firms per adult as Africa and the Middle East - and a business density four times that in developing economies.

Omani government is investing in IT as part of its Digital Oman initiative and strategy to diversify the economy. In addition to ongoing demand from the oil and gas sector, this should generate IT spending in verticals such as telecoms, financial services and aviation.

The PC market in Oman should grow at around 6% a year to US$190mn by 2014, as per the government's 'Towards Digital Oman' strategy and the elimination of custom duties within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Wireless connectivity will boost demand for notebooks, stimulated by product innovation and new technologies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises are expected to invest in equipment to deal with increased competition and take advantage of regional opportunities.

The software market in Oman is projected at US$62mn in 2010 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% over the 2010-2014 forecast period. With the evolution of the IT market, a stronger enterprise focus on software spending is also being seen, with companies preparing to compete in a regional environment of greater trade freedoms. The government has also been the keen driving force behind it.

IT services market is estimated at around US$85mn in 2010, accounting for around 19% of overall IT spending in Oman. About one-third of spending will be on support and maintenance, with SI the second largest category and managed services/outsourcing at about 20%. Many vendors see an opportunity to expand their services portfolios, as enterprises demand look to get more out of their IT investments. Oman’s consumer electronics devices market, defined as the addressable market for computing devices, mobile handsets and video, audio and gaming products, is forecast at US$480mn in 2010.

Oman’s construction industry is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.7% over 2008-2012 and to reach a value of US $2.5 billion over the forecast period. Oman plans to raise spending by 11 per cent in its 2011 budget to push ahead with infrastructure and development projects. considering basing its 2011 budget on an average oil price of $55 per barrel.

Oman is the "THE HAPPENING" place to be in business as it is showing strong economic growth, which encourages privatization of infrastructure and services. The country has absolute tax freedom, with tax exemptions for 5 years (sometimes renewable) for industrial enterprises which contribute to Oman's economy. Foreign investors are able to hold 49% of equity, which may be increased depending on the circumstances, to add it all a clear and efficient legal network which governs company law, agency law etc.

Oman has emerged as a modern state creating a identity in the world for its comprehensive development in political, economic and social sectors. Under the leadership of Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed Al Saeed, for 40 years Oman has seen amazing changes through these years and each year has cemented the growth of Oman in every aspect. Oman and the people of Oman are blessed to be part of such glorious years.

By Dr Anchan C K
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Comment on this article

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney

    Wed, Dec 08 2010

    Oman is a tiny Arab nation, with comparatively a smaller population, but it has abundant natural resources like oil and gas, and therefore, the autocratic ruler Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed, who himself is well educated and modern in his outlook, has done a tremendous job in developing the country over the years. It is therefore, no surprise at all that such a development has taken place over there. Bring in the autocratic rule in India, get rid of the rampant corruption that exists in all spheres of life, and of course, contain the pouplation like China did, India would fair far better within no time, thanks mainly to its large educated and smart human resources. By the way, I did visit Muscat a few years back, and my trip was very enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the clean beaches, and of course, caught plenty of fish on Friday mornings in the company of my relatives. I enjoyed the shopping as well, especially at the Lulu Super Market, and was pleasantly surprised to see the goods very quite cheap, and yet of good quality.


    Sun, Dec 05 2010

    Until 1971 Oman was under the rule of the father of the present ruler of Oman, H.M. Sultan Bin Qaboos . When the father was studying in Aligarh Muslim University earlier he witnessed how the educated Indians then were agitating for freedom from alien rule. He did not want that to happen in Oman and perhaps refused education to his subjects but did not deny it to his own son who having well educated in England, on his return took over from his father and has been relentlessly trying to bring up Oman where up until 1971 the locals, if ever ventured out of their homes after 7.00 p.m. had to carry a lantern and a bell to alert their identity to others for security reasons. Oman was often mistaken for Aman in many other countries at the stage of firmament of that country and was better known as Muscat. Sultan of Oman, besides being the only Monarch in the world with powers in hand, is also a true visionary.


    Sun, Dec 05 2010

    Excellent article on Oman with all the statistics to make it very authoritative and useful for the world to look at our Dear Oman. Salute to Sulan Qaboos and poeple of this lovely and beautiful country.

  • Narayana kotian-sohar, kavoor -mangalore

    Sun, Dec 05 2010

    I glad to read your article,we are expecting such more information from you , so that my self and others can get more knowledge about the nation and comercial information.really thank to you .

  • Prof Nadkarni, Pune

    Sat, Dec 04 2010

    I had the pleasure to be in Oman two years ago, but i did not knew the potential of its opportunity. Thanks and pl mail your personal mail or Contact numbers, I want to invite you to our college. GooD Day.

  • Sujith Anchan, Muscat

    Fri, Dec 03 2010

    Dear Dr. Anchan, Fabulous work!! we are proud to have you as a resourceful person in our community. We expect more & more useful articles from you...

  • Herman D Souza, Mulki / Mumbai / Muscat

    Fri, Dec 03 2010

    Congrats Dr.Anchan ........ fine article... its great to be in Oman. A peaceful place to live ,work or for business.....Your article is very informative . Thanks

  • Amar Bangara, Muscat

    Fri, Dec 03 2010

    An excellent article on Oman, Dr.Anchan.This was in line with the high standards which you have set for yourself.Looking forward to reading more articles from you in Daijiworld and other magazines.Regards, Amar Bangara

  • Umeshchandra, Mangalore/Muscat

    Fri, Dec 03 2010

    Dear Dr Anchan,
    Being a Member of Oman Billawas I am really proud of you.
    You have shared educative and Business oriented informatioan about Oman.Even though we are in Oman many of us do not know much about Oman.In such cases the Articles like this will help us.

    Hope you continue the same spirit in the future also

    Al the best



  • Suresh Babu, Muscat, Oman

    Thu, Dec 02 2010

    Dear Anchan,
    Very nice & informative article.

  • Surendra Anchan, Muscat

    Thu, Dec 02 2010

    Dear Dr. Anchan, Excellent!! Subject is Oman and your depth of study is astonishng. Good work, keep up!


    Thu, Dec 02 2010


  • Roshan, Rexroad/ Muscat

    Thu, Dec 02 2010

    Sir. A Very good informative article. Conratulations and best wishes...

  • Prof Rao, Chennai/Toronto

    Thu, Dec 02 2010

    Congrats Anchan, Nice to see your article,please also publish your other articles.Any new thesis ?

  • Ravi Sanil, Mumbai

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Anchan

    Excellent Good & informative article, I expect more from you

  • Nanag shetty, Kinnigoly

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Appropriate article by Dr.Anchan , on the Occasion of blessed Renaissance day celebrations.Informations on the positive aspects of Oman will be very appealing to the mega investors and tourism. We anticipate such informative articles on Karnataka. Best regards

  • Madhavah, Hejamdy

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Your article as given lot of information for potential investors to come forward and invest in Sultanate of Oman and for business expansion in the world markets. Congratulations and best wishes .

  • Ashok Anchan, Udyavara/Sharjah

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Dr. Anchan,
    A very good Business information article from you. All the best.

  • Ramki, Muscat ,

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Hi Anchan , It is True Oman is doing very well & it is the Most Happening Place , Salute to our HM and Thanks to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said for his determination , Perseverance & Wisdom

  • Karthik Kanchan P, Ruwi / Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Very impressive article, brought forth overall development of that country.
    ‘Greatness of Oman’, why not composing a poem after her ?
    It is a worth HAPPENING to sing one Dr. Anchan !!

  • yousuf ahmed, kolkata

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    please join facebook page..Tribute to HM Sultan Qaboos..

  • Rohini , Bangalore

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    A very well written article. This is sure to help people around the world to understand the economy of Oman. Expecting many more such article in future.

  • Wilson Pinto, Neerude/ Muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Congratulations Dr. Anchan.
    A very good informative article . Today the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said become true. Long live the King and the Oman in further progress & prosperity with His wise leadership. If the same vision for few of our political leaders in 60 years of Indian Independence, today Indians are need not to work outside India.

  • Agnello, Mangalore/Muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    What sets Oman apart in growth aspects is is its sustainable development and judicious use of its limited resources.What sets Oman apart in making this place wonderful is its people and their hospitality.

  • Ravindranath P, UAE

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Very informative article about Oman, I am sure this will help many people in various ways.

  • K.N.Krishnamoorthy, Muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dr. Anchan
    Your article as given lot of information for potential investors to come forward and invest in Sultanate of Oman and for business expansion in the world markets. Congratulations and best wishes .

  • Tejas, Bangalore

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dr Anchan,

    A very good and informatiive article, thank you

  • Mohan Attavar, Mangalore - Dubai

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Dr. Anchan, Very good and informative article. One more quality of you has come to the forefront. I have known you for years now but didnt know you are a good writer. Your article is forcing me to look at Oman more seriously. Congratulations Doc! n keep writing.

  • s. l. iyer, pune/muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    dear anchan, nice n very informative. m sure, people all over, after reading yr article, would b benifitted in one way or other. pls. keep writing. may GOD Bless u. - iyer

  • Ramachandran Nambiar, Muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Many Congratulations Dr Anchan. In fact you have put in a lot of effort and covered almost all the areas of industry which is helpful in judging the trend by the prospective business groups.

  • A.S.Mathew , U.S.A.

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dr. Anchan, very informative article.

    Oman is a blessed and big country
    with a long coastal area facing
    the Arabian sea and the gulf of
    Oman. Oman is blessed with a
    Great ruler, who is selfless and
    a great visionary educated with
    wisdom to rule. Perhaps, the
    people of Oman are the most friendly people among the gulf

    The United Nation's Development
    Programm's (UNDP) listed the country of Oman, as the most
    improved country in 40 years, among
    the 135 countries of the world.

    That tells volumes about that
    great nation. All the best wishes
    and God's blessings be upon Oman.

  • Ramanand Kulkarni, Banglore/Texas US

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    I am highly impressed Dr Anchan, what's your take on Indian economy, pl write. Thanks and looking forward to your article.

  • Sachin( on behalf of Ravi Amin - Mumbai) , Mumbai

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    The article is very informative. Keep writing good work...Wishing you success and good health from My Dad & Family.

  • V.V.N., Rex Road,Mct

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    The stastics are very much informative.Thanks for such detailed info.God Bless

  • Mrs Sapna Rai, Manglore/Kuwait

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Dr Anchan,
    We have heard about OMAN so much, and wiht the insight you have given we feel like coming over.

    Despite you are a Doctor, you are also a Economist..

  • Leena Nair, Toronot Canada

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Sir,
    I glad to read your article, i had the opportunity to meet and listen to your special lecture in our college while is was in Muscat.

    Thanks for writing about OMAN its so wonderful

  • Ostin Pinto, Sasthan / Mct

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    And the entire credit goes to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the ruler of Oman. Long live the king.

  • Steven Pinto, Bahrain

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dr Anchan, Fantastic inforamtion about OMAN and the related stastics, can you also write about Bahrain.

  • Rahul Shirodkar, Banglore/Qatar

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Dr Anchan,
    Fantastic insight, look forward to meet you while I am in Muscat.

  • Suvarna, Muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Good and informative Dr. Anchan. Well done and keep us d. A versatile, energetic and talented personality is wealth to this community.

  • Mohammed, Muscat

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Dr Anchan, Glad to come across your article. Appreciate the efforts behind this compilation. By the way do you offer any services for companies who plan to do business in Oman?
    Will be great to hear from you,
    Thanks and best regards

  • Koni Prakash Naik, Kundapur, Oman

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Dear Dr. Anchan - Very informative article and I hope you will pen many more such articles in future too covering different subjects. Well Done and God bless.

  • Harsha, Mumbai - Dubai.

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Good information keep up good work GOD BLESS YOU

  • Chandrashekar, Moodbidri/Dubai

    Wed, Dec 01 2010

    Excellent article. Congratulations! Dr. C. K. Anchan. We expect more informative articles of this kind from you. May God Bless You.

  • Roshan , Kammannu/ Sohar

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    Good and informative article. Congratulations Dr. Anchan. Looking ahead for an article on growth of Sohar port city and Sohar Free Zone.

  • Sulochana, Dubai

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    thank you, and yes, yesterday one of my vocal institute classmates' just moved to Oman of having bagged a great offer, good job.

  • Vasant Salian, Mumbai - Dubai

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    Well written, keep up the good work, nice for meeting you in billawa balaga dxb function.

  • Rahul Poojary, Mumbai / Dubai

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    Very interesting and educative article. Congratulations to Dr. ANCHAN, keep it up as always you know for in OMAN / DUBAI

  • Pramod Pujary, DXB // MUM.

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    Excellent!!!!!Good and informative article Congratulations Dr. Anchan, really it was our pleasure meeting you in annual function arranged by BILLAWA BALAGA DUBAI.

  • Daya Kirodian, Manglore/Dubai

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    Dear Dr C K Anchan,
    Good information for the investors,specially for the businessman who seeks diversification in the business.It was our pleasure meeting you in person.

  • CLARENCE PINTO , Kaikamba - (Muscat)

    Tue, Nov 30 2010

    Good and informative article. Congratulations Dr. Anchan. We await more articles from you.

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