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Oman


 


 
Common Operational Datasets
Administrative Boundaries and Populated Places

 

Key Figures | Reference Map | General Information | Demography | Geography | Political Background | Economy | Disaster and response preparedness measures | Humanitarian response operations | History of Disasters | Sources

Key Figures  
Total population : 4.7 Million (43.6% expatriates)
Area : 309,500 km²
Major languages : Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Number of governorates : 8 governorates
GDP : $72.6 billion USD (2017)
GDP per capita : 15,668 USD (2017)
Average life expectancy : 75.9 years (2018 est.)
Human Development Index : Index - 0.821, Rank - 48
 
Literacy rate : 96.1%, male: 97.4%, female: 93.2% (2017 est.)
Currency : Omani dinar

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Oman Interactive Humanitarian Map

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General information
Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and the UK for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar. When its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. For over 300 years, the relations built between the two empires were based on mutual benefits. The UK recognized Oman's geographical importance as a trading hub that secured their trade lanes in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean and protected their empire in the Indian sub-continent. Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean. The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has been the hereditary leader of the country, an absolute monarchy,[9] since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving current ruler in the Middle East, and third-longest current reigning monarch in the world. Oman is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It has sizable oil reserves, ranking 25th globally. In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. A significant portion of its economy involves tourism and trade of fish, dates, and certain agricultural produce. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 70th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index.
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Demography
As of 2014, Oman's population is over 4 million, with 2.23 million Omani nationals and 1.76 million expatriates. The total fertility rate in 2011 was estimated at 3.70. Oman has a very young population, with 43 percent of its inhabitants under the age of 15. Nearly 50 percent of the population lives in Muscat and the Batinah coastal plain northwest of the capital. Omani people are predominantly of Arab, Baluchi and African origins. Omani society is largely tribal and encompasses three major identities: that of the tribe, the Ibadi faith, and maritime trade. The first two identities are closely tied to tradition and are especially prevalent in the interior of the country, owing to lengthy periods of isolation.[87] The third identity pertains mostly to Muscat and the coastal areas of Oman, and is reflected by business, trade, and the diverse origins of many Omanis, who trace their roots to Baloch, Al-Lawatia, Persia, and historical Omani Zanzibar. Consequently, the third identity is generally seen to be more open and tolerant towards others, and is often in tension with the more traditional and insular identities of the interior.
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Geography
Oman is holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz (which it shares with Iran) and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.
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Political background
Oman is a unitary state and an absolute monarchy, in which all legislative, executive and judiciary power ultimately rests in the hands of the hereditary Sultan. Freedom House has routinely rated the country "Not Free" as it is an absolute monarchy. Sultan Qaboos is the head of state and also directly controls the foreign affairs and defence portfolios. The sultan has absolute power and issues laws by decree. He is also the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East.
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Economy
Oman's Basic Statute of the State expresses in Article 11 that the "national economy is based on justice and the principles of a free economy." By regional standards, Oman has a relatively diversified economy, but remains dependent on oil exports. Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in Oman. Other sources of income, agriculture and industry, are small in comparison and account for less than 1% of the country's exports, but diversification is seen as a priority by the government. Agriculture, often subsistence in its character, produces dates, limes, grains, and vegetables, but with less than 1% of the country under cultivation, Oman is likely to remain a net importer of food. Since a slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and is placing a greater emphasis on other areas of industry, namely tourism and infrastructure. A free-trade agreement with the United States took effect 1 January 2009, eliminated tariff barriers on all consumer and industrial products, and also provided strong protections for foreign businesses investing in Oman. Tourism, another source of Oman's revenue, is on the rise. A popular event is The Khareef Festival held in Salalah, Dhofar, which is 1,200 km from the capital city of Muscat, during the monsoon season (August) and is similar to Muscat Festival. During this latter event the mountains surrounding Salalah are popular with tourists as a result of the cool weather and lush greenery, rarely found anywhere else in Oman.
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Disaster and response preparedness measures
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Humanitarian response operations
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History of disasters
Tropical Cyclone Luban - Oct 2018
Tropical Cyclone Mekunu - May 2018
Tropical Cyclone Chapala - Nov 2015
Tropical Cyclone Phet - Jun 2010
Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic - Apr 2009
Oman/Iran: Cyclone Gonu - Jun 2007

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Sources
Oman National Centre for Statistics & Information, ReliefWeb, Central Intelligence Agency Factbook, Wikipedia, The World Bank, United Nations Development Program