[Country map of Oman]



Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates

Map references: Middle East

total area: 212,460 sq km
land area: 212,460 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Kansas

Land boundaries: total 1,374 km, 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

International disputes: no defined boundary with most of UAE; Administrative Line with UAE in far north

Climate: dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south

Terrain: vast central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south

Natural resources: petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas

Land use:
arable land: less than 2%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 5%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 93%

Irrigated land: 410 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; very limited natural fresh water resources
natural hazards: summer winds often raise large sandstorms and duststorms in interior; periodic droughts
international agreements: party to - Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change

Note: strategic location with small foothold on Musandam Peninsula controlling Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil


Population: 2,125,089 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (female 480,974; male 498,619)
15-64 years: 51% (female 493,685; male 593,740)
65 years and over: 3% (female 31,826; male 26,245) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.71% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 38.05 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 34.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.25 years
male: 68.31 years
female: 72.29 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.16 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani

Ethnic divisions: Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi)

Religions: Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu

Languages: Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: 430,000 (est.)
by occupation: agriculture 40% (est.)


conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman

Digraph: MU

Type: monarchy

Capital: Muscat

Administrative divisions: 6 regions (mintaqah, singular - mintaqat) and 2 governorates* (muhafazah, singular - muhafazat) Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Ash Sharqiyah, Az Zahirah, Masqat, Musandam*, Zufar*

Independence: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday: National Day, 18 November (1940)

Constitution: none

Legal system: based on English common law and Islamic law; ultimate appeal to the sultan; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al Said (since 23 July 1970)
cabinet: Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral Consultative Council

Judicial branch: none; traditional Islamic judges and a nascent civil court system

Political parties and leaders: none

Other political or pressure groups: NA


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Aqil al-DHAHAB
chancery: 2535 Belmont Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980 through 1982
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador David J. DUNFORD
embassy: address NA, Muscat
mailing address: P. O. Box 202, Code No. 115, Muscat
telephone: [968] 698989
FAX: [968] 699779

Flag: three horizontal bands of white (top, double width), red, and green (double 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


Overview: Economic performance is closely tied to the fortunes of the oil industry, including trends in international oil prices and the ability of OPEC producers to agree on output quotas. Petroleum accounts for more than 85% of export earnings, about 80% of government revenues, and roughly 40% of GDP. Oman has proved oil reserves of 4 billion barrels, equivalent to about 20 years' supply at the current rate of extraction. Agriculture is carried on at a subsistence level and the general population depends on imported food. The government is encouraging private investment, both domestic and foreign, as a prime force for further economic development.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $17 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 0.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $10,020 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.2% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $4.4 billion
expenditures: $5.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $1 billion (1994 est.)

Exports: $4.8 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: petroleum 87%, re-exports, fish, processed copper, textiles
partners: UAE 33%, Japan 20%, South Korea 14%, China 7% (1993)

Imports: $4.1 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
partners: UAE 24% (largely re-exports), Japan 21%, UK 12%, US 7%, France 6% (1993)

External debt: $3 billion (1993)

Industrial production: growth rate 8.6% (1991); accounts for almost 60% of GDP, including petroleum

capacity: 1,540,000 kW
production: 6 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 3,407 kWh (1993)

Industries: crude oil production and refining, natural gas production, construction, cement, copper

Agriculture: accounts for 4% of GDP and 40% of the labor force (including fishing); less than 2% of land cultivated; largely subsistence farming (dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables, camels, cattle); not self-sufficient in food; annual fish catch averages 100,000 metric tons

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $137 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $148 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $797 million

Currency: 1 Omani rial (RO) = 1,000 baiza

Exchange rates: Omani rials (RO) per US$1 - 0.3845 (fixed rate since 1986)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 0 km

total: 26,000 km
paved: 5,000 km
unpaved: 21,000 km (1992 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 1,300 km; natural gas 1,030 km

Ports: Mina' al Fahl, Mina' Qabus, Mina' Raysut

Merchant marine:
total: 1 passenger ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,442 GRT/1,320 DWT

total: 140
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 4
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 36
with unpaved runways over 3,047 m: 3
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 61
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 31


Telephone system: 50,000 telephones; modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radio communications stations; limited coaxial cable
local: NA
intercity: open wire, microwave, radio communications, and 8 domestic satellite links
international: 2 INTELSAT (Indian Ocean) and 1 ARABSAT earth station

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 7
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Royal Oman Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 520,428; males fit for military service 294,993; males reach military age (14) annually 26,065 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $1.7 billion, 14.2% of GDP (1995 est.)