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Oman    Introduction Top of Page
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.
Oman    Geography Top of Page
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: contiguous zone:  24 NM

exclusive economic zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 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%

permanent crops:  0%

permanent pastures:  5%

forests and woodland:  0%

other:  95% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 580 sq km (1993 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, 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
Oman    People Top of Page
Population: 2,622,198

note:  includes 527,078 non-nationals (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  41.51% (male 554,727; female 533,627)

15-64 years:  56.12% (male 894,978; female 576,672)

65 years and over:  2.37% (male 32,863; female 29,331) (2001 est.)
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.)
Net migration rate: 0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth:  1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:  1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years:  1.55 male(s)/female

65 years and over:  1.12 male(s)/female

total population:  1.3 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 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 (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 6.04 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.11% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
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:  approaching 80%

male:  NA%

female:  NA%
Oman    Government Top of Page
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
Capital: Muscat
Administrative divisions: 6 regions (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah) and 2 governorates* (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*; note - the US Embassy in Oman reports that Masqat is a governorate, but this has not been confirmed by the US Board of Geographic Names (BGN)
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 new basic law 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 elections in 2000, limited to approximately 175,000 Omanis chosen by the government to vote in elections for the Majlis ash-Shura
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 (48 seats; members appointed by the monarch; has advisory powers only) and a lower chamber or Majlis al-Shura (83 seats; members elected by limited suffrage, however, the monarch makes final selections and can negate election results; body has some limited power to propose legislation, but otherwise has only advisory powers)

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

election results:  NA; note - two women were elected for the first time to Majlis al-Shura, about 100,000 people voted
Judicial branch: Supreme Court

note:  the nascent civil court system, administered by region, has non-Islamic judges as well as traditional Islamic judges
Political parties and leaders: none
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Aqil al-DHAHAB

chancery:  2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone:  [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1981, 1988

FAX:  [1] (202) 745-4933
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador John B. CRAIG

embassy:  Jameat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat

mailing address:  international: P. O. Box 202, Code No. 115, Medinat Al-Sultan Qaboos, Muscat

telephone:  [968] 698989

FAX:  [968] 699189
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 at the top of the vertical band
Oman    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Oman's economic performance improved significantly in 2000 due largely to the upturn in oil prices. The government is moving ahead with privatization of its utilities, 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 (WTrO) in November 2000.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $19.6 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.6% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  3%

industry:  40%

services:  57% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  NA%

highest 10%:  NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.8% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 850,000 (1997 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues:  $4.7 billion

expenditures:  $5.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $490 million (1999)
Industries: crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 8.63 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  100%

hydro:  0%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 8.026 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
Exports: $11.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Exports - partners: Japan 27%, China 12%, Thailand 18%, UAE 12%, South Korea 12%, US (1999)
Imports: $4.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Imports - partners: UAE 26% (largely reexports), Japan 16%, UK 9%, Italy 7%, Germany 6%, US (1999)
Debt - external: $4.5 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $76.4 million (1995)
Currency: Omani rial (OMR)
Currency code: OMR
Exchange rates: Omani rials per US dollar - 0.3845 (fixed rate since 1986)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Oman    Communications Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use: 201,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 59,822 (1997)
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:  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 code: .om
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 50,000 (2000)
Oman    Transportation Top of Page
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total:  32,800 km

paved:  9,840 km (including 550 km of expressways)

unpaved:  22,960 km (1996)
Waterways: none
Pipelines: crude oil 1,300 km; natural gas 1,030 km
Ports and harbors: Matrah, Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Raysut
Merchant marine: total:  4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 18,167 GRT/11,307 DWT

ships by type:  cargo 2, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1 (2000 est.)
Airports: 143 (2000 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 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total:  137

over 3,047 m:  2

2,438 to 3,047 m:  6

1,524 to 2,437 m:  56

914 to 1,523 m:  37

under 914 m:  36 (2000 est.)
Heliports: 1 (2000 est.)
Oman    Military Top of Page
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary (includes Royal Oman Police)
Military manpower - military age: 14 years of age
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49:  771,919 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49:  429,811 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males:  26,469 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $2.4 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 13% (FY00)
Oman    Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes - international: boundary with the UAE has not been bilaterally defined; northern section in the Musandam Peninsula is an administrative boundary