The Arab Economic Summit,
19-20 January 2009,
State of Kuwait

Sultanate of Oman


Head of state Sultan Qaboos bin Sa‘id al Busaidi.

Geography

The Sultanate of Oman, with an area of 309,500 square km, encompasses a diverse range of topography, including mountain ranges, arid deserts and fertile plains. It shares borders with the Republic of Yemen to the southwest, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west and the United Arab Emirates to the north. Muscat is the capital of Oman.

Climate

The country’s climate, like its topography is diverse, with humid coastal areas and a hot, dry desert interior. Although rainfall is generally light and irregular, Dhofar province in the south catches the Indian Ocean monsoon that falls between June and September. In the interior summer temperatures can soar to 130 degrees F (54 degrees C).

Currency The Rial is the currency of Oman. It is divided into 1000 baisa.

Economy

Oman heavily depends on dwindling oil resources, but sustained high oil prices in recent years have helped build Oman's budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. Oman joined the World Trade Organization in November 2000 and continues to liberalize its markets. Oman is actively pursuing a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization. Muscat is attempting to replace foreign expatriate workers with local workers. Oman actively seeks private foreign investors, especially in the industrial, information technology, tourism, and higher education fields.

The Sultanate is rich with mineral resources, such as chrome, dolomite, zinc, limestone, gypsum, silica, copper, gold, cobalt and iron. Several industries have grown up around them as part of the national development process.

Copper has been mined in Oman for thousands of years. The mineral sector’s operations include mining and quarrying.

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