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Flag of Oman
Map of Oman
Introduction Oman
In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al Said ousted his father and has ruled as sultan ever since. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world and has preserved a long-standing political and military relationship with the UK. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with all Middle Eastern countries.
Geography Oman
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
total: 212,460 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 212,460 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
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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: 0.08%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 99.7% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
620 sq km (1998 est.)
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; very limited natural fresh water resources
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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
note: includes 527,078 non-nationals (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 41.9% (male 579,065; female 556,923)
15-64 years: 55.7% (male 914,494; female 597,948)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 34,555; female 30,477) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.41% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
37.76 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
4.03 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.53 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female
total population: 1.29 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
21.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.31 years
female: 74.57 years (2002 est.)
male: 70.15 years
Total fertility rate:
5.99 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.11% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani
Ethnic groups:
Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu
Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
definition: NA
total population: approaching 80%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government Oman
Country name:
conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
former: Muscat and Oman
local short form: Uman
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
6 regions (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah) and 2 governorates* (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*; note - the US Embassy in Oman reports that Masqat is a governorate, but this has not been confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN)
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 new basic law 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
in Oman's most recent elections in 2000, limited to approximately 175,000 Omanis chosen by the government to vote in elections for the Majlis ash-Shura
Executive branch:
chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970); 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 (since 23 July 1970); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary
Legislative branch:
bicameral Majlis Oman consists of an upper chamber or Majlis al-Dawla (48 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis al-Shura (83 seats; members elected by limited suffrage for three-year term, however, the monarch makes final selections and can negate election results; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)
elections: last held NA September 2000 (next to be held NA September 2003)
election results: NA; note - two women were elected for the first time to the Majlis al-Shura, about 100,000 people voted
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
note: the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has non-Islamic judges as well as traditional Islamic judges
Political parties and leaders:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Ali AL KHUSAIBY
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1981, 1988
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard Lewis BALTIMORE III
embassy: Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: international: P. O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al-Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 698989, extension 203
FAX: [968] 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
Economy Oman
Economy - overview:
Oman's economic performance improved significantly in 2000 due largely to the upturn in oil prices. The government is moving ahead with privatization of its utilities, the development of a body of commercial law to facilitate foreign investment, and increased budgetary outlays. Oman continues to liberalize its markets and joined the World Trade Organization (WTrO) in November 2000. GDP growth improved in 2001 despite the global slowdown.
purchasing power parity - $21.5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $8,200 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 40%
services: 57% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $9.2 billion
expenditures: $6.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper
Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
8.1 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
7.533 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
$10.9 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Exports - partners:
Japan 21%, Thailand 18%, China 16%, South Korea 12%, UAE 12%, US 3% (2001)
$5.4 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Imports - partners:
UAE 23% (largely reexports), Japan 16%, UK 13%, Italy 7%, Germany 5%, US 5% (2001)
Debt - external:
$5.3 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$76.4 million (1995) (1995)
Omani rial (OMR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (fixed rate since 1986)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Oman
Telephones - main lines in use:
201,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
59,822 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system consisting of open wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable
domestic: open wire, microwave, radiotelephone communications, and a domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)
1.4 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
13 (plus 25 low-power repeaters) (1999)
1.6 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
120,000 (2002)
Transportation Oman
0 km
total: 32,800 km
paved: 9,840 km (including 550 km of expressways)
unpaved: 22,960 km (1996)
crude oil 1,300 km; natural gas 1,030 km
Ports and harbors:
Matrah, Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Raysut
Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 17,291 GRT/9,457 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1
note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Singapore 1 (2002 est.)
143 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 133
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 32 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 55
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1 (2002)
Military Oman
Military branches:
Royal Omani Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force), Royal Omani Police
Military manpower - military age:
14 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 780,292 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 434,026 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 26,470 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$2,424.4 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
12.2% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Oman
Disputes - international:
Oman signed a boundary treaty with the UAE in 1999, but the completed boundary is not expected until the end of 2002; undefined segments of the Oman-UAE boundary remain with Ra's al-Khaymah and Ash Shariqah (Sharjah) emirates, including the Musandam Peninsula, where an administrative boundary substitutes for an international boundary

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003