Doing Business in Oman

Business and Economic Overview

Since the discovery of oil in 1967 Oman heavily relies on oil production, crude oil, refined petroleum, and natural gas account for most exports. The petroleum sector accounts for around 87 percent of budget revenues, 51 percent of GDP and 60 percent of total exports.

However, as oil reserves have been shrinking in recent years the government has embarked on a process of economic diversification focused on the development of tourism and gas-based industries. To promote international trade in Oman the Knowledge Oasis Muscat is supposed to offer incentives to foreign investment. Oman has 4 free zones at Al Mazunah, Duqm SEZ, Sohar and Salalah.

Oman’s major trading partners are China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, and the United Arab Emirates. In 2000 Oman became a member of the World Trade Organization.

In January 2018 Oman introduced a visa ban for ex-pats for a six-month period for certain industries. The ban is for people working in the construction and cleaning industries and has been extended twice. The visa ban has resulted in 64,386 Omanis being hired in private sector companies and establishments and 4,125 more in government agencies.

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