Special report: Oman
Issues, trends, projects and firms contributing to Oman's future
At the base of the Arabian Peninsula, occupying a landmass slightly larger than Italy, Oman is the largest country in the GCC after Saudi Arabia. In recent years, the non-OPEC oil exporter’s economy has been undergoinga steady transformation, reorienting from oil toward a more diverse set of service and industry-based economic activities. So far, progress has been promising.
In 2011 oil and gas accounted for 38.8% GDP. With the continuation of higher-than-expected energy prices in 2012, the government has increased economic investments accordingly. These investments, which include infrastructure, social programmes and small business development, are aimed toward better preparing the country for its post-fossil fuel future.
Over the past 35 years, Oman’s longterm economic agenda has been outlined by a series of five-year development plans, the eighth of which was announced in January 2011 for the period covering 2011 to 2015. When released, the plan called for spending of about OR43bn ($112.1bn). Since oil windfalls continue to be the largest share of government revenues, the price of oil heavily affects budget calculations. The authorities assumed oil prices would average $75 per barrel for the 2012 budget, up from the $58 assumption used in 2011, and that daily crude production would be 915,000 barrels per day, or 2% higher than the 2011 assumption. Because so many factors go into commodity prices, predictions are highly uncertain.
In late September, an official from the ministry of finance estimated that the yearly average price for 2012 would be $108, placing the sultanate’s estimate on the conservative side of the fence. Taking this into consideration, the 2013 budget is based on a barrel price of $85 and will increasing overall spending by 10%.
In this special report, we interview a UK engineering firm that has chosen Oman as the location for its first office in the Middle East, visit the $2.5bn The Wave development in Muscat and delve into the sultanate’s largest oil and gas company.
We also give an analytical progress report on the Oman government’s spending plans, and reveal the winners of our second edition of the CW Awards Oman.
Hewlett's managing director Alan Cooper says there are plenty of opportunties for UK engineering firms to win business in Oman
Oman's first Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC) is on track to deliver a shopping mall, hotels, and expand its housing stock
The government's long-term vision for the sultanate must create jobs for Omanis say industry experts
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) says it is a key priority to redevelop its staff accommodation at Ras Al Hamra
Full list of winners revealed