Oman Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Oman Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

System of governance and political tendencies in the country

The Sultanate of Oman is a hereditary absolutist monarchy. The highest representative of the country is Sultan Haitham bin Tarik (since January 2020), who is also the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Members of the government and the highest representatives of state institutions in the rank of ministers and deputies are appointed by the sultan by royal decree. The Crown Prince of Oman and the Sultan’s successor will be his eldest son Dhi Yazan bin Haitham Al-Said, according to the Basic Law of the State (i.e. the January 2021 Constitution). However, as of the date of publication of this document, he had not taken the solemn oath in front of the members of the country’s highest bodies, which is required by the constitution, and thus the title has not yet been formally awarded to him.┬áCheck equzhou to learn more about Oman political system.

The Sultanate has a bicameral parliament (Majlis Oman / Council of Oman) which has an advisory function. There are no political parties. Laws that have been approved by both houses of parliament cannot be put into effect without the Sultan’s signature. The lower chamber (Majlis al-Shura) is elected by the citizens, the upper chamber (Majlis ad-Dawla) is appointed by the Sultan. The term of office is four years.

Composition of the Cabinet (Royal Decree No. 111)

  • Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs
  • Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik bin Taimour al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs
  • Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham bin Tarik al-Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth
  • Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal bin Saud al-Busaidi, Minister of Royal Court Affairs
  • General Sultan bin Mohammed al-Nu’amani, Minister of the Royal Office
  • Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal bin Said al-Busaidi, Minister of the Interior
  • Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud al-Busaidi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Sultan bin Salim bin Said al-Habsi, Minister of Finance
  • Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Salmi, Minister of Charity and Religious Affairs
  • Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad bin Saif al-Rumhy, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al-Sa’eedi, Minister of Health
  • Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed bin Nasser al-Shibaniyah, Minister of Education
  • Sayyid Saud bin Hilal bin Hamad al-Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Hl.m. Nutmeg
  • Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Said al-Sa’eedi, Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
  • Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Harrasi, Minister of Information
  • Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamoud al-Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar City
  • Salim bin Mohammed bin Said al-Mahrouqi, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism
  • Dr. Saud bin Hamoud bin Ahmed al-Habsi, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Management
  • Dr. Khalfan bin Said bin Mubarak al-Shu’aili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning
  • Dr. Rahma bint Ibrahim bin Said al-Mahrouqiyah, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
  • Ing. Said bin Hamoud bin Said al-Ma’awali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology
  • Dr. Said bin Mohammed bin Ahmed al-Saqri, Minister of Economy
  • Qais bin Mohammed bin Moosa al-Yousef, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment Promotion
  • Laila bint Ahmed bin Awadh al-Najar, Minister of Social Development
  • Dr. Mahad bin Said bin Ali Ba’owain, Minister of Labour

Foreign policy of the country

The country’s foreign policy focuses on peace building, confidence building and conflict de-escalation in the wider neighboring region. Oman’s foreign relations are built on the principle of neutrality, open communication channels and strictly discreet behind-the-scenes diplomacy. Oman maintains contacts with all countries of the world, is active in international and regional organizations. It has the most developed relations with the United Kingdom, the USA and the GCC countries. China is the largest buyer of Omani oil and thus provides the sultanate with the largest part of its budget income.┬áCheck recipesinthebox for Oman defense and foreign policy.

Oman is able to bring new alternative, positive and pragmatic attitudes to the solution of open international political issues. Oman has long been involved in mediating reconciliation efforts between the US and Iran, in Yemen between the Houthi rebels (backed by Iran) and the Yemeni government (backed by the KSA), and in the Middle East Peace Process (between the Palestinians and Israel).

Population

In Oman, 4.48 million people were registered long-term at the end of December 2020. Of these, 2.74 million were Omanis (61%) and 1.74 million were foreigners (39%). There were 1.44 million employed foreigners. Employed Omanis are just over 22% of the total workforce. The population of Omanis themselves is very young. More than half of Omanis are under the age of 24. According to the Omani Statistics Authority, the age groups of Omanis in 2019 were as follows.

  • under 14 years 1,004,909 (38%)
  • 15-24 years 444,244 (17%)
  • 25-54 years 989,408 (37%)
  • 55-64 years 108,489 (4%)
  • over 64 years 108,094 (4%)

Although data on religious affiliation is not recorded in Oman, the “CIA Worldbook” estimates the following proportions of the population: Muslims 85.9% (up to 3/4 of Omanis follow the very moderate and peaceful Ibadi branch of Islam), Christians 6.5%, Hindus 5, 5%, Buddhists 0.8%. The basic law of the state (the Omani Constitution) states that Islam is the state religion and that Islamic law (Sharia) is the basis of Omani legislation.