Oman

Challenges remain for doing business in GCC

Challenges remain for doing business in GCC

EIU’s report on Business Environment in GCC Countries indicates quite a revelation even as the region continues to display positive economic trends As country after country across the globe found itself plummeting from the pedestal of business and economic security, it looked as if the Middle Eastern countries – most […]

 
 

IATA Report Indicates Stronger Aviation Demand in the Middle East

IATA Report Indicates Stronger Aviation Demand in the Middle East

Statistics for commuter traffic for February, released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), showed a surge in the demand for the aviation transportation with a percentage increase of about 5.4 percent. This increase has been placed in context to the commuter traffic trend for February, in the previous year. […]

 
 

Shedding Preconceived Notions: The Influence of Technology in MENA

Shedding Preconceived Notions: The Influence of Technology in MENA

Technological penetration in MENA has been quite extensive and all encompassing accounting for very positive trends There’s a lot that the world knows about MENA (Middle-East and North Africa) just as there’s so much more that the world doesn’t know about the region. Suffice to say that what the world […]

 
 

Oman to Reshuffle Private Sector Jobs to Empower Local Workforce

Oman to Reshuffle Private Sector Jobs to Empower Local Workforce

Nearly over 100,000 foreign workers face potential axe as Omani government plans to restructure the private sector to aid Omani professionals. The middle-east countries are highly favoured destinations for those seeking to emigrate for job and professional reasons. But given the fact that the rise of expatriate working professionals in […]

 
 

Oman – Islamic banks will lead industry growth

Oman – Islamic banks will lead industry growth

A new report shows Islamic banking in Oman is expected to support the financial sector in the Sultanate. Published by the rating agency Moody’s, the report is titled ‘Islamic Banking in Oman: Solid Growth Prospects Moderated by Industry Challenges’. It says the banking sector will benefit from the expansion of […]

 
 

No ban for Whatsapp in Oman, at least, for now…

No ban for Whatsapp in Oman, at least, for now…

Recently, there has been talk of banning Whatsapp in Arab countries. Whatsapp is an Over-the-Top (OTT) messaging application, which has proven to be very popular with users. Rumours surfaced in Oman suggesting the country might block Whatsapp. But a recent statement from Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), published in the Oman […]

 
 

Port of Salalah earns global recognition

Port of Salalah earns global recognition

A recent study released by the U.S.-based JOC Group, which includes the Journal of Commerce, and the PIERs data service, has declared the port of Salalah as the sixth top transshipment port globally and 18th top port globally. According to the study, the port has also been successful in bagging a number […]

 
 

Oman invests big in overseas markets

Oman invests big in overseas markets

New official statistics show that compared to 2010, the Sultanate of Oman increased its foreign investments by about 36.5 percent at the end of 2011. Released by the National Centre for Information and Statistics (NCSI), the figures show an Omani investment of OMR5.48 billion in foreign markets by the end […]

 
 

India and Oman explore B2B opportunities

India and Oman explore B2B opportunities

India and Oman explore B2B links. India, with an estimated GDP CAGR of over 14.46% by the year 2017, is easily one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Attempting to further its growth, India needs to focus on effectively expanding and managing its supply chain, but also exploring global […]

 
 

Oman may return to bond market

Oman may return to bond market

A top government official has revealed that Oman is considering the issuance of a U.S. dollar-denominated sovereign bond, which would mark the return of Sultanate to the international bond market. Speaking to Reuters, Omani finance minister Darwish al-Balushi stated that “this year we do not plan but maybe for next […]

 
 

Oman Central Bank Relaxes Rules for Islamic Banks

Oman Central Bank Relaxes Rules for Islamic Banks

As Islamic banking gains a strong foothold in Oman, the central bank has given the Islamic financial institutions a one-year relaxation on stringent rules governing the holding of foreign assets. The decision has been made to facilitate the domestic development of Islamic financial instruments. Last year, Bank Nizwa and Al […]

 
 

United Real Estate Company Junoot Project Receives ‘Judges Special Recognition’ at MIPIM Architectural Review Awards

United Real Estate Company Junoot Project Receives ‘Judges Special Recognition’ at MIPIM Architectural Review Awards

United Real Estate Company (URC), the Middle East’s leading real estate development company, announced today that its Junoot project in Shuwaimiyah, has received the prestigious ‘Special Judges Recognition’ award during the 11th Annual MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards. The award was presented during a gala ceremony and dinner held […]

 
 

Oman: Master plan for US $1 billion medical city ready

Oman: Master plan for US $1 billion medical city ready

The US-based PSOMAS has completed the infrastructure plan for the mega International Medical City (IMC) project in Oman. Apex Medical Group is leading the development of this modern healthcare project, which will serve the growing regional and international healthcare needs.  According to Apex president, Dr Abdullah Al Joaib, “building on […]

 
 

Oman to encourage consolidation in financial sector

Oman to encourage consolidation in financial sector

The Capital Market Authority (CMA), Oman’s financial regulator, believes that active measures must be taken to encourage consolidation in the country’s financial sector. Consolidation in the financial sector will allow Omani banks to grow bigger in scale and also build a long-term regional presence in the Gulf region. Sharing his […]

 
 

Oman: New harbor to promote tourism

Oman: New harbor to promote tourism

  The government of Oman believes that the new harbor on Hallaniyat Islands will play a pivotal role in the development of economy and create tremendous tourism opportunities for Oman. The harbor is expected to be completed within a year’s time. The project is among several government initiatives to modernize […]

 
 

Port of Salalah holds Union Elections

Port of Salalah holds Union Elections

Port of Salalah has lent administrative support in the interest of good worker and employee relations to the election process of the company’s Union Administrative Authority (UAA) and registration of the General Assembly (union) members last week. 875 employees at Port of Salalah have registered with the union for the […]

 
 

Oman: e-Passport to revolutionize travel

Oman: e-Passport to revolutionize travel

  The Royal Oman Police has entered into a deal with a digital security firm to provide an end-to-end electronic passport solution for the Sultanate. After the deal, Gemalto will be working with the government to introduce state-of-the-art secure travel documents. The e-Passport initiative is part of the government’s aim of […]

 
 

Oman aims to become Regional Hub for Medical Tourism

Oman aims to become Regional Hub for Medical Tourism

The Sultanate of Oman has announced its plans to spend an estimated USD 1.5 billion on the construction of a medical complex. According to Ahmed Al Qasmi, director general for planning at the health ministry, the government would be inviting bids for the construction this year in northern Batnah. Batnah […]

 
 

Nawras upgrade plans on track

Nawras upgrade plans on track

Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company, also known as Nawras, has obtained financing worth USD 182 million for its aggressive network upgrade plans. The five-year financing agreement will help the telecom provide funds for capital expenditure and working capital requirements. The financing has been provided by a consortium of DBS Bank – […]

 
 

Oman Seeks $117 Weapons Deal with US

Oman Seeks $117 Weapons Deal with US

Oman is seeking to buy $117 million worth of weapons from the United States.The announcement was made in a press release by the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency about a possible foreign military sale to the sultanate.The deal includes a number of a number of F-16 A/C weapon systems, as […]

 
 

Oman urges investors to capitalise on Aquaculture opportunities

Oman urges investors to capitalise on Aquaculture opportunities

Oman has urged investors to exploit the huge potential available in the aquaculture and integrated farming sector as part of the government’s campaign to make aquaculture a growing and vibrant food production sector, a top government official said on Tuesday. Dr Fuad bin Ja’afar Al Sajwani, minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth, said the […]

 
 

Role of Professional Real Estate firms in Islamic banking

Role of Professional Real Estate firms in Islamic banking

(Written by Philip Paul, Head of Agency, Cluttons Oman) The decision to licence the operation of the Islamic banking in the Sultanate has opened up windows of opportunities for the banking sector in Oman. The successful launch of “Bank Nizwa”, an exclusive Islamic bank and the opening of Islamic banking […]

 
 

Oman study on Inter-GCC rail project underway

Oman study on Inter-GCC rail project underway

Oman announced on Wednesday its Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has initiated work on the feasibility study of the ambitious GCC railway project to boost transport services across the region. The first stage of the railway project will start at the Oman-UAE border comprising of the 136km Al Ain-Buraimi-Sohar […]

 
 

Oman June oil output drops 4.1%

Oman June oil output drops 4.1%

Oman’s crude oil and derivatives production dropped 4.1% in June this year compared to the previous month, figures released by the Ministry of Oil and Gas said. According to official statistics, output fell to 27.7 million barrels in June from 28.89 million barrels in May while average daily production in June […]

 
 

Oman witnesses GDP rise, cautiously optimistic about 2012 economic outlook

Oman witnesses GDP rise, cautiously optimistic about 2012 economic outlook

Oman has reported a healthy first quarter but remains cautiously optimistic about its 2012 outlook. “The overall outlook for Oman remains positive in 2012 despite heightened downside risks to global recovery”, said Central Bank of Oman in its annual report. Despite the global economic turmoil, the bank said Oman was […]

 
 

Oman budget deficit down thanks to high oil prices

Oman budget deficit down thanks to high oil prices

Omani finance ministry official on Wednesday said higher than expected oil prices will help reduce OR1.2bn ($3.1bn) budget deficit projected for 2012. The Gulf nation sold its oil at an average price of $115 per barrel in the first five months of 2012, the finance ministry statement said. It added that […]

 
 

Oman’s logistics and supply chain sector experiencing boom

Oman’s logistics and supply chain sector experiencing boom

By Matthew Wright The logistics and supply chain sector in Oman continues to grow and benefit from significant investment in infrastructure, warehousing and transportation. The recent third TransOman conference provided valuable insights into a sector with great potential to help in diversifying the Oman economy and increasing GDP. The growth […]

 
 

Challenging Times for Muscat’s Hospitality Sector

Challenging Times for Muscat’s Hospitality Sector

By Matthew Wright Oman Airport Management Company figures indicate that Muscat’s hospitality sector should be in robust health with the number of passengers using Muscat International Airport increasing significantly from 4 million per year in 2008 to 6.5 million per year in 2011. Conversely, however, World Bank data indicates that the […]

 
 

Oman posts budget surplus thanks to high oil revenues

Oman posts budget surplus thanks to high oil revenues

Oman posted a 1.5 billion rial ($3.8 billion) budget surplus for the Jan-Apr period of this year thanks to a surge in oil revenues. Inflation also dropped to 3% in April, the Gulf country’s economy ministry data showed on Wednesday. The latest surplus of 5.3% surprised many analysts who were […]

 
 

Oman Air posts record 28% revenue rise in 2012

Oman Air posts record 28% revenue rise in 2012

Oman Air announced on Monday its passenger revenue increased 28% during the first five months of the year as more people travelled with the national flag carrier. The Muscat-based carrier, which serves 41 destinations, recorded a net passenger growth of 28% compared with previous year. Passenger traffic also increased 19% whereas […]

 
 

Oman tourism to get grand boost, adding new hotels and resorts

Oman tourism to get grand boost, adding new hotels and resorts

Oman’s Ministry of Tourism said in a statement on Tuesday its resort and hotel industry continues to expand with over 2,000 additional rooms scheduled for opening in 2012/2013. The sultanate hopes to add 726 rooms, while opening niche resorts in Salalah, Khasab and in the high altitude Hajar Mountains. Duqm, […]

 
 

Oman posts $2bn budget surplus

Oman posts $2bn budget surplus

Oman posted a budget surplus of OMR768m ($2bn) in the first two months of 2012 thanks to rising oil prices that boosted revenue, data released by the finance ministry suggested on Sunday. According to Reuters calculations, the surplus is equivalent to about 2.7% of the sultanate’s 2011 nominal gross domestic product. […]

 
 

Oman posts high 2011 GDP growth

Oman posts high 2011 GDP growth

Oman’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) recorded a growth of 22.7% to OMR27.95bn ($72.62bn) during 2011, according to the state news agency. Oman News Agency reported that the GDP of the country’s oil sector expanded 36.3% to OMR14.22bn with GDP standing at OMR10.32bn last year. Natural gas exports helped the […]

 
 

UAE-Oman business council vows to enhance business ties

UAE-Oman business council vows to enhance business ties

The UAE and Oman announced they have decided to set up two committees on investment and transportation in order to encourage joint ventures and improve business facilities in neighbouring countries. The agreement was signed during the third meeting of the UAE-Omani Business Council in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Mohammed Thani […]

 
 

Oman Air says losses surged 41% last year

Oman Air says losses surged 41% last year

Oman Air on Sunday announced it suffered from a loss of 110 million riyals ($285.71m) in 2011 due to spiralling fuel costs. The Omani national flag carrier said in an email statement that revenue for the year increased by 35% to 311.3 million riyals ($808.57m) as the airline flew 3.8 million passengers […]

 
 

Oman stresses diplomatic dialogue with Iran, warns on military action

Oman stresses diplomatic dialogue with Iran, warns on military action

Reports coming from Tehran suggest the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a telephonic conversation with Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos Bin Said on Wednesday in which both leaders stressed the need for strengthening mutual relations between the neighbouring countries and holding close consultations on key regional issues. The Omani ruler congratulated […]

 
 

UAE readies oil pipeline bypassing Strait of Hormuz as tensions mar region

UAE readies oil pipeline bypassing Strait of Hormuz as tensions mar region

A crude oil pipeline bypassing the strategic Strait of Hormuz is almost complete in the United Arab Emirates and will start flowing oil from next month, a Reuters report said Monday. The 480-km pipeline with a capacity of up to 2.5 million barrels per day, known as the Abu Dhabi […]