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By Entry Pages > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Oman
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Map of Oman
Background: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.
Location: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
Area:total: 212,460 sq km
land: 212,460 sq km
water: 0 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

Coastline:2,092 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate:dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
Terrain: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: 0.12%
permanent crops: 0.14%
other: 99.74% (2001)

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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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
note: includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2005 est.)

Age structure:0-14 years: 42.6% (male 652,028/female 626,698)
15-64 years: 54.9% (male 978,183/female 668,814)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 41,366/female 34,494) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 19.13 years
male: 21.88 years
female: 16.45 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:3.32% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:36.73 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:3.86 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.46 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.2 male(s)/female
total population: 1.26 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 19.51 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.35 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 73.13 years
male: 70.92 years
female: 75.46 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:5.84 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:1,300 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani

Ethnic groups:Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Religions:Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu
Languages:Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Literacy:definition: NA
total population: 75.8%
male: 83.1%
female: 67.2% (2003 est.)

Country name:conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Muscat and Oman

Government type:monarchy
Administrative divisions:5 regions (manaatiq, singular - mintaqat) and 3 governorates* (muhaafazaat, singular - muhaafaza) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat*, Musandam*, Zufar*
Independence:1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
National holiday:Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
Constitution:none; note - on 6 November 1996, Sultan QABOOS issued a royal decree promulgating a basic law considered by the government to be a constitution 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
Suffrage:in Oman's most recent Majlis al-Shura elections in 2003, suffrage was universal for all Omanis over age 21 except for members of the military and security forces; the next Majlis al-Shura elections are scheduled for 2007
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 (58 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis al-Shura (83 seats; members elected by universal suffrage for four-year term; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)
elections: last held 4 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: NA

Judicial branch:Supreme Court
note: the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has judges who practice secular and Sharia (Islamic) law

Political parties and leaders:none
Political pressure groups and leaders:none
International organization participation:ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, WToO
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 - overview:Oman is a middle-income economy in the Middle East with notable oil and gas resources, a substantial trade surplus, and low inflation. The government is privatizing its utilities and diversifying its economy to attract foreign investment. Oman continues to liberalize its markets and joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November 2000. To reduce unemployment and limit dependence on foreign countries, the government is encouraging the replacement of expatriate workers with local people, i.e., Omanization. Training in information technology, business management, and English support this objective. Industrial development plans focus on gas resources, metal manufacturing, petrochemicals, and international transshipment ports.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $38.09 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:1.2% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $13,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 3.1%
industry: 41.1%
services: 55.8% (2004 est.)

Labor force:920,000 (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture NA, industry NA, services NA
Unemployment rate:15% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices):0.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):13.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $9.291 billion
expenditures: $8.747 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Public debt:10.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
Industries:crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
Industrial production growth rate:-1.2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:9.896 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:9.792 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:775,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:54,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:721,000 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:NA
Oil - proved reserves:5.5 billion bbl (2003 est.)
Natural gas - production:13.77 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:6.34 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:7.43 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:829.7 billion cu m (2003)
Current account balance:$2.674 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$13.14 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Exports - partners:China 27.6%, South Korea 17.8%, Japan 12.7%, Thailand 11.7%, UAE 6.6% (2004)
Imports:$6.373 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Imports - partners:UAE 17.5%, Japan 16.6%, UK 8.5%, Italy 6.4%, Germany 5.2%, US 4.7%, India 4.3% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$4.144 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$4.814 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):Omani rial (OMR)
Currency code:OMR
Exchange rates:Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (2004), 0.3845 (2003), 0.3845 (2002), 0.3845 (2001), 0.3845 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones - main lines in use:233,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:464,900 (2002)
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: country code - 968; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations:AM 3, FM 9, shortwave 2 (1999)
Radios:1.4 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:13 (plus 25 low-power repeaters) (1999)
Televisions:1.6 million (1997)
Internet country
Internet hosts:726 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):1 (2000)
Internet users:180,000 (2002)
Highways:total: 34,965 km
paved: 9,673 km (including 550 km of expressways)
unpaved: 25,292 km (2001)

Pipelines:gas 3,754 km; oil 3,212 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Matrah, Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Raysut
Merchant marine:total: 1 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 15,430 GRT/6,360 DWT
by type: passenger 1 (2005)

Airports:136 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 130
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 52
914 to 1,523 m: 34
under 914 m: 35 (2004 est.)

Heliports:1 (2004 est.)
Military branches:Royal Omani Armed Forces: Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (2005)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 719,871 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 581,444 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 26,391 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$252.99 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:11.4% (2003)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:boundary agreement reportedly signed and ratified with UAE in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah exclave, but details have not been made public

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