Oman

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Suleiman was a big man with a powerful face, rather Dickensian in concept and a triangular grey beard. On his head was a twisted blue and white turban. His 'aba' (robe) was blue, gold-edged and filmy. In his hand was a cane with a carved end, and in his belt a curved Omani dagger of splendid ostentation, which I greatly coveted.

James Morris: 'Sultan in Oman' (1955)

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Analysis

Analysis:

Overview: Oman

 

The country that Qaboos took over, after overthrowing his father Sultan Taimur with British backing, was in many respects medieval. Tarred roads barely existed, nor was electricity a widely available commodity. With some , the Beethoven loving Sultan Qaboos is credited with transforming Oman from an isolated backwater beset by poverty and insurgency (the war with communist backed forces from what was then known as the PDRY (Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Yemen) lingered on into the 1980s) into a stable welfare state with an oil exporting industry and modern infrastructure. Qaboos father, Sultan Taimur was happy to keep his people in a state of oppression: he reportedly still kept slaves, two of whom when he was exiled to a luxury hotel in London. Where his father had denied his subjects freedom of movement and education, Qaboos saw the need for that rapid development and modernisation that soon brought Oman into the twentieth century. However, the succession raises the possibility of royal family infighting, the resurgence of tribal rivalries and political instability.

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Profile

Profile:

Profile: Oman

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Sultanatu Oman (Saltanat Uman) (Sultanate of Oman)
Head of State: Sultan Qaboos bin Said (from 1970)
Head of government: Sultan Qaboos bin Said (from 1970)
Ruling party: Political parties are not permitted.
Area: 320,000 square km (including Kuria Muria Islands)
Population: 4.09 million (2014)* (2,694,094; 2010, census figure)
Capital: Muscat (Masqat)
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Omani rial (RO) = 1,000 baiza
Exchange rate: RO0.39 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$19,002 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 2.95% (2014)*
GDP: US$77.75 billion (2014)*
Inflation: 1.01% (2014)
Oil production: 943,000 bpd (2014)
Natural gas production: 29.00 billion cum (2014)
Balance of trade: US$24.59 billion (2013)*
Annual FDI: US$788.04 million (2011)
* estimated figure

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