Oman Overview

Oman Overview Last updated on Wednesday 14th April 2010

Official name

The Sultanate of Oman (Saltanat Uman)

Head of state

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultan and Prime Minister


Consultative Council
Administrative divisions

6 regions and 2 governorates: Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam, Zufar.

Legal system

based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate appeal to the monarch; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Executive branch

Chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said since 23 July 1970.

Head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said since 23 July 1970.


Legislative branch

Bicameral Majlis Oman consists of an upper chamber or Majlis al-Dawla (48 seats). Whose members are appointed by the Sultan. The Majlis has advisory powers only. There is a lower chamber or Majlis al-Shura (83 seats), whose members are elected.

Elections: last held NA September 2000 (next to be held NA September 2003)

Judicial branch

Supreme Court

Major religion

Islam. The practice of other religions is allowed in Oman and there are churches in the country.

2,622,198, including 527,078 non-nationals (estimation of July 2001).

Land area

212,457 sq km (82,030 sq mi)
Population density

7.5 per sq km (19.4/sq mi)

9% urban, 91% rural
Life expectancy

72.2 yrs
Infant mortality

40 per 1000 live births
Age Structure

0-14 years: 41.51%
15-64 years: 56.12%
65 years and over: 2.37% (male 32,863; female 29,331) (estimation of 2001)

Population growth rate

3.43% (2001 est.)

Birth rate

37.96 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate

4.1 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Infant mortality

22.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

life expectancy at birth

Total population: 72.04 years

Male 69.9 years

Female 74.29 years (estimation of 2001)


Arabic (official), English is widely spoken along Baluchi, Urdu and Indian dialects.

Economic overview

Oman's economic performance improved significantly in 2000, largely because of the upturn in oil prices. The government is moving ahead with privatizing its utilities and due to 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 (WTO) in November 2000.


Omani rial (OMR)

Exchange rates

Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (fixed rate since 1986)

GDP purchasing power parity

$19.6 billion (estimation of 2000)

GDP - real growth rate

4.6% (estimation of 2000)

GDP - per capita

$7,700 (estimation of 2000)

GDP - composition by sector

Agriculture: 3%

Industry: 40%

Services: 57% (estimation of 1999)


Crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper

Industrial production growth rate

4% (estimation of 2000)

Agriculture - products

Dates, bananas, limes, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish


$11.1 billion (estimation of 2000)

Exports - commodities

Petroleum, fish, metals, textiles

Exports partners

Japan 27%, Thailand 18%, China 12%, UAE 12%, South Korea 12%, US (estimation of 1999)


$4.5 billion (estimation of 2000)

Imports commodities

Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants

Imports partners

UAE 26%, Japan 16%, UK 9%, Italy 7%, Germany 6%, US (estimation of 1999)

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