Oman

Last updated: July 1st, 2021

The Sultanate of Oman is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula and borders Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It has roughly the same area as Germany. The capital Muscat is located on the Gulf of Oman in the northeast of the country. Due to the influx of foreign workers, Omani citizens represent only approximately 56.4% of the population.
Political leadership has been held by HM Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, who succeeded his late cousin HM Sultan Qabus bin Said, in the beginning of 2020. Sultan Qaboos had initiated the modernization of the country after coming to power in 1970. Oman is a member of numerous international and regional organizations such as the UN, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council and plays a mediating role in numerous conflicts.
As a result of the discovery of oil in 1967, ambitious and future-oriented reforms could be tackled, which aimed primarily at the development of human capital and the return of the emigrated elites and at infrastructure measures. In 2020, the top exports of Oman to Germany comprised non-ferrous metals, chemical products, as well as iron and steel. Oman imported mostly machines, chemical products, as well as motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts from Germany.
The sultanate seeks to diversify its oil and gas based economy. This is to be achieved through the expansion of tourism, industry, agriculture, and fishing. Germany plays an important role in Oman’s tourism industry and it remains to be seen how this sector recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Oman generally pursues a market economy-oriented policy with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the focus. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the necessity of intensified economic diversification. Oman’s reform strategy “Agenda 2040” aims to give the local private sector and foreign investors a central role in the economy.