In its drive to stimulate economic growth, the local government is consistently enhancing diversification initiatives, with a particular focus on boosting the tourism sector. While Qaboos’ leadership in Oman was influential in managing both domestic and foreign affairs, it was accompanied by economic challenges and political discontent. As per the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Oman ranks 54th among 180 countries in terms of public sector corruption.
Oman maintains robust bilateral relations with the United States, resulting in a free-trade agreement eliminating tariff barriers. American investors enjoy equal treatment with Omani counterparts, allowing them full foreign ownership rights and no capital limitations for local business operations. Diversification and foreign investment, notably through the establishment of ports and free zones like Sohar, have fortified the domestic economy.
Oman is generally regarded as a safe country and plays a significant role as a regional counterterrorism partner, according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council. The official language is Arabic, with English proficiency ranking 98th out of 100, as per Education First’s 2020 English Proficiency Index. Ethnic tensions within the country may pose challenges to social harmony.
Technological: The Oman Technology Fund is dedicated to fostering innovation in the Information and Communications Technology sector. State initiatives, such as the Government Innovation Initiative, promote innovation in government entities through technology adoption. The Royal Oman Police utilizes drones for combating the Coronavirus Disease 2019, showcasing technological advancements.
Islamic law serves as the basis for legislation in Oman, continually adapting to provide a flexible and pro-business framework. Geographically located free zones are distinct legal jurisdictions, each with its regulatory laws. Oman Labour Law mandates Arabic language execution of employment contracts, potentially causing challenges for businesses operating in the nation.
Oman upholds high environmental standards, pledging commitment through documents on environment protection and development in the Arab world. Plans for a wind farm in Harweel and intentions of the state-owned Petroleum Development to build more solar power projects highlight Oman’s dedication to sustainable energy.