To reduce oil dependency, Oman has made major investments in the non-oil-based industry. In addition to oil refining, there are, among other things, petrochemical industry, factories for the production of artificial fertilizers, methanol and cement and an aluminum smelter.
An oil refinery and an oil warehouse are being built at the port of al-Duqm, approximately in the middle of the country, which it is envisaged to become Oman’s future industrial center. The initiative is a joint venture between the government and international investors. China has invested significant sums. A special economic zone has been established and an international airport was opened in 2014.
In Musqat, Suhar and Salala there are special free zones: industrial zones with light industry, such as food production and assembly plants.
The new long-term plan for the country’s economy by 2040, which will strengthen Oman’s growth and competitiveness and increase technical modernization, focuses on three areas of industry that the government intends to invest in: manufacturing based on local resources (oil, gas, mines and food), capital-intensive activities (electronics, assembly plants and shipbuilding) and knowledge companies and research (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, solar panels and recycling).
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Oman. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Oman’s foreign trade is dominated by oil and natural gas. Vegetables and fruits, especially dates, as well as seafood also have some importance as export products.
Imports consist of transport equipment, machinery, vehicles and food. Oman’s most important trading partner is to a large extent in East and South Asia, but much trade is also done with neighboring United Arab Emirates. A bilateral free trade agreement between the US and Oman came into force in 2009.
FACTS – FOREIGN TRADE
US $ 41,730 million (2018)
US $ 23,645 million (2018)
– US $ 4,347 million (2018)
Commodity trade’s share of GDP
91 percent (2018)
Main export goods
oil, natural gas, fish, metals, textiles
Largest trading partner
United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India
Oman was first opened to foreign visitors in 1985 and although major investments are now being made in tourism, it is being done cautiously so as not to challenge the country’s old traditions.
The main attractions are, besides the capital Musqat, the old capital of Nizwa and the older Arab fortifications found in different parts of the country. There are also fine sandy beaches.
Tourism has seen an upturn in the 2010s as Oman has increasingly become a popular destination for cruise ships in the region.
FACTS – TOURISM
Number of foreign visitors per year
2 292 000 (2016)
US $ 2497,000,000 (2016)
The share of tourist income from exports
8.0 percent (2016)