Factbox: Facts about Oman

Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:59am EST

Related Topics

(Reuters) - Police and demonstrators demanding political reform clashed in Oman on Sunday, killing two people, and protesters set government buildings and cars ablaze, witnesses said.

Here are some facts about Oman:

COUNTRY DETAILS:

-- Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world and has been ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744. It has longstanding military and political ties with the United States and Britain, but maintains an independent foreign policy. Although an oil exporter it is not a member of OPEC.

-- Qaboos bin Said, 70, became Sultan in July 1970 after deposing his father in a palace coup with the aim of ending the isolation of his country, located in the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula at the entrance to the Gulf, and using its oil revenue for modernization and development.

-- He has absolute power and appoints the cabinet. In 1992, Qaboos allowed a parliament called Majlis Shura, whose 84 members are elected by constituents in 61 districts. But the parliament only advises and has no legislative powers.

-- There is concern among the population about succession in the country, as there is no heir apparent or any clear legislation on who may be the next Sultan.

-- Demonstrations in Oman are rare. In the first sign that regional unrest was spreading to the sultanate, about 200 people protested near ministries in Muscat earlier this month asking the government to tackle corruption and rising prices.

ECONOMY:

-- Oman produced around 860,000 barrels of oil per day last year, most of which was exported.

-- The economy grew by a faster-than-expected 6 percent in 2010 and robust crude oil prices enabled Oman to overspend on its 2010 budget, which had set expenditure at 7.18 billion rials ($18.65 billion).

-- Analysts see growth slowing this year to 4.6 percent due to slower revenue growth from oil and gas.

-- Over a third of the workforce is estimated to be employed in agriculture, even though it accounts for less than 2 percent of GDP. Much of the country is arid and mountainous and only 3.5 percent is available as agricultural land. Poultry, cattle, cereals, fruit and vegetables are produced and dates are the main agricultural export.

-- Inflation accelerated to 4.2 percent year-on-year in December and prices rose 0.7 percent from the previous month, the fastest pace in four months, as food costs soared, data also released showed.

POPULATION: 2.7 million, 70 percent Omani nationals.

ETHNICITY: Arab, Baluchi, East African (Zanzabari), South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi).

RELIGION: Muslim 86 percent, Hindu 13 percent, other one percent.

GEOGRAPHY: 300,000 sq km (120,000 sq miles), with 1,700 km (1,060 miles) of coastline on the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

Sources:Reuters/www.trust.org/State Dept:

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Dominic Evans)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
alwalygongoro wrote:
We should not do any thing without serious thinking if we need to speak out lets say what we want clearly our king is good he listens to all but the only problem is that he is not getting the wright information so the best way is to speak out clearly what we want.
Salary’s Law
food Very expensive law the prices
Education for collage kids should get loans without interest until they finish there studies.
Accommodation very high law prices down 1 bhk 150 not 250.
Stop wasting money with giving orchestra staff cars and gifts give them salary’s enough.
Close Diwan.
And let the sheikhs of the community be given authority to recive comments from people and deliver our msgs to his majesty directly ounce in a while ‘
WE LOVE OUR KING AND OUR COUNTRY

Feb 27, 2011 12:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Fazeelath wrote:
all the Sultans, Shas & military Regine ,they are all battered ,They are sucking the blood of their own people & serving their masters who protect their throne.

Feb 27, 2011 1:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
stargazerCT wrote:
This is just another piece of the puzzle that spells out the beginning of the end. it all starts in the middle east and the process has begun. It has been determined by those who guide our world and decide its final outcome. this is a contagion that will continue to spread, enveloping nation after nation. Buckle your seat belts folks, it’s about to get a little bumpy!

Feb 27, 2011 10:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.