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Oman Overview

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Oman, an Arab country located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. Oman is divided into five regions and four governorates, with Muscat as the capital. The official language of Oman is Arabic, and the currency is the rial (OMR).

Oman has a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources. As a result of declining reserves, Oman has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialisation, and privatisation, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) to 9% by 2020. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy. By using enhanced oil recovery techniques, Oman succeeded in increasing oil production in 2009, giving the country more time to diversify.

With 70% of ownership available to foreign investors, Oman has also been attracting a large amount of foreign investment. The government has outlined initiatives to modernise the local economy and privatise state utilities. A significant increase in government spending and foreign direct investment has led to the development of the following sectors:

  • Oil and gas: Oil and gas activities continue to dominate the economic performance of Oman.
  • Construction and infrastructure: As a result of large-scale public and private investment in infrastructure development, industrial, tourism, and commercial property projects, construction sector output has significantly grown. The government also intends to attract high-technology investors to free zones being developed in Muscat, Sohar, Salalah, and other developed free zones.
  • Telecoms: Oman has one of the lowest mobile penetration rates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at about 30%; however, with a growing per capita GDP, the telecom market is showing increased activity.
  • Real estate and tourism: As with other GCC countries, Oman has seen a number of significant developments in the real estate and tourism sector, including the establishment of several integrated tourism complexes and an increase in the number of tourism-related projects (e.g. golf courses and hotels).

PwC Oman is organised by industries, including banking and capital markets, energy, utilities and mining, financial services, government/public services, health industries, industrial products/manufacturing, insurance, Islamic banking and Takaful, real estate, telecommunication, transportation, and logistics.

PwC Oman is part of the PwC Middle East Tax practice, with over 23 tax partners and 250 professional staff. The PwC tax practice provides assistance in indirect taxation (value-added tax [VAT] and customs) and fiscal reform, international taxation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A)/private equity, tax advisory, tax management and accounting services, and transfer pricing.


Last Reviewed - 05 November 2017

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