Swot Analysis Of Country Oman Finance Essay
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The UAE has achieved stable progress over the past three decades to emerge as a important global player in both the political and the economic position The tremendously fast rate of economic growth until 2008 was due to the constant demand for oil, in addition they a move their focus to a number of non-oil sectors. The UAE had maintains a dynamic political ties up with over 60 countries, mainly in Europe and Asia. The UAE is considered to be one of the foremost political forces in the Middle East and is a member of a number of regional organizations, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Under the control of former President Sheikh Zayed, the UAE transformed from a nation of large-scale poverty to a highly developed and wealthy country. With the death of Zayed in 2004, his son, Sheikh Khalifa, immediately took over as president. Although the government structure in the UAE is not democratic, both Zayed and Khalifa have bear the responsibility of retain the country's development. The government has constantly received appreciation for its efforts to creating business opportunities in Oman. The country's tax rule is also considered among the best in the world for businesses. The UAE market is capable to with a well-built telecommunication network and, as a result, the country's IT market is slowly becoming competitive. However, the level of science education remains low. The country has a strong integrated environmental development program. Its ecological procedures are integrated with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) program, which is part of business practice in the UAE.
PESTEL ANALYSIS OF OMAN COUNTRY
PESTEL stands for Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal. It is used to describe an analysis that determines the opportunities and risks of global growth. It is also termed as a PEST or PESTLE analysis.
Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal issues differ from one country to another. As a company looks to influence the advantages that the democratization of technology, information and finance, and grow beyond the national borders that previously controlled them, it is necessary that they consider a PESTEL analysis to accompany their SWOT analysis.
The PESTEL analysis provides a strong outline which is used by global and multinational firm to set the stage to develop specific strategy to ease the risks involved in carry out their vision in new environments.
This PEST country analysis report on Oman provides a holistic view of the country, with understanding analysis of current and future issues, supplemented with significant quantitative data to support trend analysis.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Following are benefit that business will gain if they implement pestle analysis in their planning process:
Useful to know political environment:
It is helpful to understand the political system in Oman through examination of key factors in the country and governance indicators.
Useful to know economic situation:
It is useful to understand the economic situation in Oman through a balanced evaluation of core macroeconomic matter.
Useful to know demographics analysis:
To understand the customer demographics in Oman through analysis of income distribution and the rural-urban split, as well as healthcare and education.
Use to evaluate technology advancement:
It is use to evaluate the technological background in Oman through analysis of related laws and policies, as well as patent data.
Useful for controlling changes:
By making effective use of PEST Analysis, it makes sure that it has united positively with the forces of change that are affecting the world. Good use of PEST Analysis helps to avoid taking action that is meant to failure for reasons beyond control.
Helpful to know about new country or region:
PEST is useful when we are start operating in a new country or region. Use of PEST Analysis helps to break free of lifeless assumptions, and helps to quickly adapt the reality of the new environment.
The political landscape section discusses the evolution of the political scenario in Oman, as well as the country's economic, social, foreign, and defence policies. The section also discusses the country's performance according to World Bank Governance Indicators.
The economic landscape section outlines the evolution of Oman's economy, as well as the country's performance in terms of GDP growth, composition by sector (agriculture, industry, and services), fiscal situation, international investment position, monetary situation, credit disbursement, banking sector, and employment.
The social landscape section analyzes the government's social welfare policies, as well as the country's performance in terms of healthcare, income distribution, and education.
REASON TO USE PESTLE & SWOT ANALYSIS
Following are the main reason for using pestle & swot:
Useful to formulate goal:
Strategic management is an essential aspect of managing modern businesses that involves forming goals and implements the programs that fulfil those goals.
Useful to intact environmental scanning:
Environmental scanning is a component of strategic management where mangers study various economic, political and social factors that might affect the business.
It is helpful to small business also:
It can help small businesses to identify intact markets and avoid costly mistakes. Small businesses can better compete by using these critical tools to assess opportunities and challenges.
It is useful to manager for conducting an effective business:
SWOT analysis and PESTLE analysis are two common strategic management equipment that the help managers brainstorm and organize their ideas during the environmental scanning process.
It is broad & wider concept:
A main reason companies use both SWOT and PESTLE is because these tools offer broad and efficient analyses of key areas of a strategic plan. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. PESTLE has wider coverage of business and external issues, including political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors.
POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IN OMAN
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECTOR
The stability and structure of a country's government gives a basis to understand future changes in the region's political environment. Policy at the local or federal level can differ significantly. Political power in Oman is dominated by Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said who is responsible for all major decision-making and government actions. Decision-making authority rests with the Sultan with contribution from his advisors, the appointed Majlis al-Dawla and members of Oman's leading merchant families. Succession is a key risk concern. Sultan Qaboos has dedicated himself for promoting the country's reconstruction, economic diversification as well as continued political stability.
A process of limited elected reform has been in progress over the last several years including the introduction of direct elections for members of the counselling assembly in 2000 and universal suffrage in 2003. In recent October 2007 elections, Oman records a strong 68% voter turnout. While Oman is gradually moving forward on political liberalization efforts, the Councils role remains largely advisory.
Following is the political structure of Oman country:
Head of State
Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Bu S aid
Council of Ministers
Composed of the Sultans Advisors
State Council (Majlis al-Dawla)
57 Appointed tribal and religious leaders
Consultative Council (Majlis al-Shura)
84 member Elected body with advisory functions
Last Elections Consultative Council
The Sultan is a direct heir of Said bin Sultan, who had first opened relations with the United States in 1833. The Sultanate is neither political parties nor governing body, although the bicameral representative bodies provide the government with advice. The present Sultan has no direct heir, and has not publicly selected a successor. Instead, the ruling family should generally select a new Sultan after his death. If they do not select a new ruler after three days, then they open a letter left to them by the late Sultan, containing a proposal for a new Sultan.
Current Sultan of Oman, Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Bu Said holds an unexpected amount of power. Along with his position as Sultan, he is prime minister, defence minister, finance minister, foreign affairs minister and chair of the central bank. Moreover, Qaboos has only a few family members in his cabinet and the offices they hold are considered quite powerless. His cousin Hay him for example, is minister of national legacy and culture while his uncle, Shabib is special advisor for environmental affairs. This style of control has suggestion as none of his family members have gained the necessary managerial skills to rule Oman after Qaboos death.
The court system in Oman is regulated by Royal Decree 90/99. There are three court levels in Oman; the Elementary Court is the lowest court, followed by the Court of Appeal, and then the Supreme Court as the highest court in the country. In addition to this there is an Administrative Court that looks into cases made against the government.
GOVERNMENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS FDI
The government keenly support foreign direct investment into the country to increased employment opportunities for Omanis. Omanisation allowance are currently in force for six industries in the private sector, i.e. the transport, storage and communications sector at 60%,finance, insurance and real estate at 45% and industry at 35%. Authorities created the Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development (OCIPED) in 1997 with the aim of providing foreign investors with a one-stop-shop for licensing and registration procedures. Judicial transformation is in progress and the court system is considered largely fair. Corruption level are low by regional standards and do not act as a significant obstacle to foreign investment.
In Oman the regulation for land are expected to be less because the minister wants to increases the opportunity for tourism. The Ministry of Housing, Electricity and Water may grant permission to a company or a foreign national the Right to use a certain property for operations that promote the economic development of Oman.
Government incentives to promote local and foreign investment include tax exemptions; the provision of industrial plots in industrial zones for nominal charges; preference in the allocation of government land; interest-free or subsidized loans with longer terms for repayment; reduced charges for water, electricity and fuel; financial assistance for the development of economic and technical possibility studies; and the accelerate arrangement of immigration visas and permits for foreign workers.
GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND POLICIES
A foreign national desire to engage in a trade or business in Oman or to acquire an interest in the capital of an Omani company must obtain a license from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In general, the ministry grants a license if the paid-up capital of the Omani company in which the investment is made is at least Rs 150,000 (US$ 390,000) and if the foreign ownership of the company does not exceed 49%. The Social Security Law requires private-sector employers and their Omani employees to pay monthly contributions to an insurance fund for old age, disability and death benefits. Oman does not impose personal income tax. Income tax is levied on people that are wholly owned by Omani nationals, entities with foreign participation, branches of foreign companies and Omani sole proprietorships. All companies incorporated in Oman irrespective of the extent of foreign ownership and branches of companies registered in the other member states of the Gulf Co-operation Council (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) are taxed at a rate of 12%, for income exceeding RO 30,000. A single tax rate applies to branches of foreign companies, at rates ranging from 0% to 30%. Petroleum companies are subject to tax under specific provisions and rates. Omani sole proprietorships are taxed at a rate of 12%.The Omani Labour Law requires employers to pay end-of-service benefits to expatriate employees.
With the exemption of certain restrictions on the foreign-currency holdings of commercial banks, Oman does not impose exchange controls. In general, Oman does not restrict the transfer of funds overseas of equity or debt capital, interest, dividends, branch profits, royalties, management and technical service fees, and personal savings.
RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT
The Foreign Capital Investment Law (Royal Decree No. 102 of 1994) governs foreign investment in Oman. If the foreign body want to invest in Omani companies they must file applications for licenses with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The ministry grants licenses to applicants if both of the following conditions apply: The paid-up capital of the Omani company in which the investment is made is at least Rs.1, 50, 000(US$390,000). The foreign ownership of the company does not exceed 49%.The Ministry may exempt the following entities from the licensing conditions : Companies conducting business through special contracts or agreements with the government; Companies established by Royal Decree; and Parties conducting a business that the Council of Ministers declares necessary to the country.
In Oman tax is exempted from corporate tax and customs duty which may be granted by the Ministry of Finance. From the following activities tax is exempted such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture, fishing, fish farming, fish processing, aquaculture, animal breeding, tourism, the export of manufactured and reprocessed products, operation of colleges, universities, and higher education institutes, private schools, training institutes, private hospitals and public utilities. Exemptions are granted for five year periods effective from the date when production begins or services are first rendered; a five year extension may be granted. .Management agreements and construction contracts do not qualify for tax exemptions. Companies engaged in the activities listed above may also obtain an exemption from the payment of customs duty on exports and on imports of equipment, spare parts and raw materials.
The import of goods into Oman requires an import license. The import of certain classes of goods, including alcohol, firearms and explosives, requires a special import license. Goods entering Oman must have certificates of origin. Oman follows Arab boycott rules, which forbid the import of goods originating from Israel.
Oman does not restrict exports. However, the export of items of historical value requires an export license.
In Oman most imported goods are subject to pay customs duty at a flat rate of 5% on their cost-insurance freight (CIF) value. Consumer goods, including food substance are exempt from customs duty whereas alcohol and tobacco are subject to pay higher rates of duty. Goods produced within the GCC generally may be imported duty-free. In certain circumstances, Oman may allow the contractors to import duty-free equipment and materials for use the on government, PDO and OLNG projects. Since from 2005 Oman has entered into a Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America.
POWER ON THE TOURISM SECTOR
The government promote foreign contribution to develop the country tourism industry. Since the mid-1980s, the government has gradually opened its desert, mountains and coastlines to foreign tourists and the Ministry of Tourism has share part in various international tourism exhibitions to introduce Oman to the world tourist trade. Due to recent changes made in visa a regulation that had increases arrival of a large number of populations which in turn are likely to increase the flow of tourists in Oman. Due to the development of International Airport which increase the tourist probable of the country. A new Tourism Ministry was set up in 2004 to provide push to this sector. The Ministry of Tourism has free provisional tourist arrivals figures for 2011. These showed a slight decline of 1.8% in arrivals over the year to 1,427,611. In light of this to some extent unsatisfactory figure, BMI has change down it's predict for tourist arrivals in 2012, believe that an increase of 10% is now the most likely outcome for the year, down from 15% previously. BMI's predict is in line with the government's outlook for the industry.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECTOR
Oman's economy is based mainly on petroleum and natural gas. With limited energy reserves, Oman has decided to expand its economy away from oil and gas production. The 'Oman Vision 2020' development plan highlighted the need for the Omani economy to expand its economy through a process of industrialization and privatization. The main single industrial investment target is the port city of Sohar, near the UAE border. The government has direct with several main privatization programs, including power generation projects, and other power and water generation plan. Oman expects to triple the industry's one percent contribution to GDP and finally create over 1, 14,000 tourism-related jobs. Besides these the government had built a second airstrip and new terminal at Muscat International Airport by 2011.
The government is also in the procedure of expanding its privatization efforts to its wastewater and solid waste management operation. In addition to this the Omanis aggressively marketing itself as a enchanting, environmentally aware tourist goal. The Omani government is developing a port at Duqm, an evenly populated area along the Arabian Sea. This strategy call for the construction of a dry dock facility, oil refinery, petrochemicals complex and fish processing centre to ultimately fight with Dubai's Jebel Ali port complex. The Duqm development plan also calls for the construction of an airport to facilitate passenger and cargo shipments and a three-hotel tourism resort complex.
MACRO ECONOMIC DATA
Following is the macro data of Oman country.
Origin of GDP
Population & income
GDP per head
Net public debt
Prices & financial indicators
Consumer prices (average, %)
Lending interest rate (average %)
(Sources: GCC construction fact sheet)
GDP ( APPROX)
PER CAPITA GDP (APPROX.)
REAL GDP GROWTH RATE (APPROX.):
The government is looking to expand the economy beyond the hydrocarbon sector, which still account for about 75% of export earnings, given the limited sector possible to force and maintain growth beyond 2020. Foreign investment maintain of natural gas projects, along with the government investments will sustain growth. Oil prices & natural gas represents a small proportion of GDP and export revenues. To this end, the government is shifting its plan to aim renewable energy as a key developmental goal with hope that it will contribute
about 30% of GDP by 2020.
The inflation rate for the year ended 2010 was about 4%. This was the outcome of declining crude oil prices. The oil and natural gas being the core business of Omanis & it play an important role in determine the per capita income and their purchasing power. However, the situation is changing. There is gradual boom in the per capita income.
The period of rapid growth has come to an end, and in the absence of a sharp recovery in oil prices Oman looks set to grow in the 3-4% range over the coming 5-10 years. The cost of living in Oman is high as most of the goods are imported.
Oman's mineral resources include chromite, dolomite, zinc, limestone, gypsum, silicon, copper, gold, cobalt, and iron. Several industries have grown up around them as part of the national development process which, in turn, has boosted the minerals sector's contribution to the nation's GDP as well as providing jobs for Omanis. The mineral sector's operations include mining and quarrying, with several projects recently completed, including: an economic feasibility study on silica ore in Wadi Buwa and Abutan in the Wusta Region, which confirmed that there were exploitable reserves of around 28 million tonnes at the two sites; a feasibility study on the production of magnesium metal from dolomite ore; a draft study on processing limestone derivatives; a project to produce geological maps of the Sharqiyah Region; economic feasibility studies on the exploitation of gold and copper ores in the Ghaizeen area; a study on raw materials in the wilayats of Duqm and Sur for use in the Sultanate's cement industry; and a study on the construction of a new minerals laboratory at Ghala in the Governorate of Muscat. Metkore Alloys will build a world-class 1,65,000 tonnes per annum capacity ferro chrome smelter project in Oman with an envisaged investment of $80 million.
SOURCE OF FUNDS AND THEIR COST
Oman commercial banks are the primary source of short, medium, and long-term credit. Because there is no restriction in obtaining credit in Oman they can also obtain credit from commercial banks in the neighbouring Gulf countries. The Oman Development Bank they grant loans to small and medium-size companies, for less than Rs.2,50,000. Investors also obtain financing from the Gulf Investment Corporation located in Kuwait which is established by the GCC, is a major financial institution whose main purpose is to invest in the equity and provide loan funding to the new companies.
The Capital Market Authority in Oman is established in 1998 which regulates the securities market. Muscat Securities Market, which began its operations in 1989, over sees the flow of funds into securities and develops the local financial market. Membership in the exchange is compulsory for Omani licensed banks, specialized loan institutions, authorized financial intermediaries, joint stock companies and Omani public authorities whose shares are registered on the securities market. Commercial banks, joint stock investment and brokerage companies which is registered in Oman they may establish investment funds called joint investment accounts. The accounts are listed on the Muscat Securities Market and may be up to 49% foreign-owned & these funds are exempt from taxation.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND PHYSICAL FACILITIES
The Omani government is developing a port at Duqm, which is a less populated area along the Arabian Sea. This plans call for the construction of a dry dock facility, oil refinery, petrochemicals complex and fish processing centre to eventually fight with Dubai's Jebel Ali port complex. The plan also calls for the construction of an airport to facilitate passenger and cargo shipments and a three-hotel tourism resort complex. . Oman is focusing on its port infrastructure as well. Two of Oman's principal ports, Sohar and Salalah, are aggressively moving forward on expansion of their respective. To increases the tourism facilities the government will build a second runway and much-needed new terminal at Muscat International Airport in 2011, they also built a new taxiway at Salalah Airport in 2010, and new airports at Sohar, Ras al-Hadd, and Duqm. Oman is focusing on its port infrastructure as well. Two of Oman's prime ports, Sohar and Salalah, are aggressively moving forward on expansion of their respective.. Oman is focusing on its port infrastructure as well.
SIZE OF MARKET
In 2002, Oman attracted some 1.2 million foreign visitors; about 7,00,000 came from the GCC (GULF CO-OPERTION COUNCIL) states. And of those700, 000 tourists, an overwhelming 85 percent of them came from the UAE. For all the talk in Muscat and Salalah about bringing in European tourists, the fact remains that the bulk of the sultanates visitors come from a lot closer to home- and, of those, huge numbers are simply driving across the border for a very short-term stay. Oman has so much more to offer than the other Gulf States in terms of culture and history. Oman offers an real Arabian experience that's not easily available elsewhere in the region.
The Omanis have been trader since ancient times. Their transport and group carried Omani goods - including frankincense, dates and limes - across the seas and over the old frankincense and silk routes, encourage cultural interactions with other peoples.
Today, Oman is a part of a number of economic communities including the Arab Gulf Co- operation Council (AGCC), the Greater Arab Free Trade Zone, the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The Sultanate has raised its laws on investment activity and has begun "One Stop Shop" permission facilities along with easy, transparent procedures. There is protected coordination between the bodies and authorities involved in providing services for investors, while current progress towards the establishment of e-government have led to a growing confidence on electronic channels. Commercial laws and regulations are being modernized, including the Law on Trade Marks, Descriptions, Trade Secrets and Protection against Unfair Competition, the regulation of foreign trade representation offices, the Consumer Protection Law and the Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property. Beside these measures, the country has also raised its ports and established free trade zones in all Mazyounah and Salalah.
Omani goods are exported to the markets to world countries. Government authorities and departments give main concern to Omani products when making purchases and Omani goods are actively promoted in the local market through seminars and exhibitions.
Broader promotion campaigns are also held in the regional and world markets, where Omani products have already begun to make their mark because of their high quality specifications. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has established a certificate by the United Kingdom's Human Investment Programme, recognizing it as an investor in human resources.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECTOR
Since Oman is a Muslim country, all the activities are influenced by the Muslim culture. The main characteristic of Omani culture is respect for others and it prevents others from letting their face down. In Oman the foreigners have to make sure that they don't make any unpleasant remarks in the public places. Otherwise they feel insulted and let down in the society.
Language: In Oman country Arabic is local language.
LIFE STYLE OF THE OMANIS:
Following are key factors that determine the living style of the population in Oman.
In order to fully understand any country culture, is very important to know because it influence society whole. In Oman Islam culture is followed by every people. Oman is the Muslim country so majority of them follows Ibrahim sect & it is very conservative culture. Islam directs every part of a Muslim life, from holidays to the food they eat to how they dress and do business. Kindness, humility and respect for others are key thought which are present in both social and professional field of life.
Traditional handicraft such as silver and gold jewelry, goat- and camel-hair carpet, woven baskets, water jugs, weapon and "khanjar", a special type of dagger etc are generally practiced in this country. Besides these, drawing, painting, photography etc are also practiced.
Music in Oman is a vital part of art. The traditional folk songs are very popular and practiced in the country. Arabic music has left a deep influence in the Oman music.
Life expectancy at birth in Oman is approximate to be 74.47 years in 2012. As of 1999, there were an approximate 1.3 physicians and 2.2 hospital beds per 1,000 people. In 1993, 89% of the population had access to health care services. In 2000, 99% of the population had access to health care services. During the last three decades, the Oman health care system has established and account great achievements in health care services and preventive and curative medicine. In 2001, Oman was ranked number 8 by the World Health Organization.
Omanis are well-known for their significant hospitality and kindness in both social and professional outlook. In Oman the guest are welcome with a variety of traditions and ritual way, the most important of which is the serving of coffee, orkahwa. Omani kindness is closely connected to their desire to establish trust and build relationships with people before doing business. Because of theses friendly climate foreigners show their appreciation for their generosity and spend time getting acquainted with their Omani business complement.
Dignity and respect are key elements in Omani culture, preserved mainly by the concept of saving face. The Omanis are very compromise, patience and self-control in nature so that avoid the embarrassing or putting others down so as prevent them from losing face. Because of this nature of Omanis public criticisms are rare. When doing business with Omanis it is important to remember this and avoid doing anything which might offend them or make them look bad in front of others.
Omani culture places a high significance on family and ethnic relations. In Oman the family and ethnic group play important a role in shaping a person values and behaviour. Loyalty is very important among people even in a business situation also where it is not rare to have several members of one family working for the same company.
COST OF LIVING:
Because Oman imports most of its goods, the country cost of living is comparatively high.
The business week is from Saturday through Thursday morning. In Oman Friday is usually a day of rest, although certain shops may be open for restricted hours. During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, business hours are restricted.
SOCIAL AND BUSINESS CUSTOMS:
Oman is a dedicated Muslim country, and its local customs should be respected. In Oman dress is usually very conservative; it should cover the shoulders and the tops of the arms, and should extend to below the knees. Photographing individuals, particularly women, is often outlook with disapproval; therefore, permission to take photographs should always be required. Due to the misuse or abuse of alcohol may cause offense; alcohol should not be consumed in public places, unless these places are licensed to serve alcohol. During the holy month of Ramadan, in Oman Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. Eating, drinking or smoking in public places during daylight hours is not allowed. All non-Muslims in the presence or sight of a Muslim should avoid these activities during the period of the fast.
In Omanis people attitudes towards time are much more comfortable than in many Western cultures. In Oman people and relationships are more important than schedules and punctuality. It is not uncommon, therefore, for Omanis to arrive late but foreigners are expected to arrive on time. Meetings should be scheduled in advance and confirmed a few days prior. Meetings are often cancelled or rescheduled however with little notice so always come prepared with a business card or letter to leave to let them know you were there.
EDUCATION AMONG THE OMANIS:
Although schooling is not compulsory, education is now almost universal. Oman offers primary, secondary and single-sex schools throughout the country, except in remote villages. At the end of 2002, Oman had 1,019government schools with 2, 98,000 male and 2, 80,000 female student's and18, 538 teachers; by contrast, in 1970, Oman had three boys schools with 909 students and 30teachers. To improve its educational system, the government accord main concern to educating Omanis to become teachers. In 1986, Sultan Qaboos University was established & in 2002, around 12,000 students were enrolled, 50% of whom were female.
In 1993, the College of Commerce and Economics was established and the College of Law and Shari was established in 1997. Oman run technical and industrial colleges, teacher-training colleges, vocational training centres, an Institute of Health Science, an Institute of Banking and Financial Studies and several private colleges for engineering, commerce and business management.
The government offers adult education to improve general literacy and to improve the written and spoken Arabic language skills of Omanis. The Sultanate is focusing on education as a means to rapidly change the country from a traditional agrarian society to an active participant to modern global economy. The Sultanate recognises the importance of women education in the nation-building process.
The main daily meal is usually eaten at midday, while the evening meal is lighter. During Ramadan, dinner is served after the Taraweeh prayers, sometimes as late as 11 pm. Maqbous is a rice dish, with yellow rice and saffron served and cooked over spicy red or white meat. Arsia is a festival meal, provide during celebrations, which consists of mashed rice flavored with spices. Another popular festival meal is shuwa, which is meat cooked very slowly (sometimes for up to 2 days) in an underground clay oven. The meat becomes really tender and it is infused with spices and herbs before cooking to give it a very different taste.
Fish is often used in main dishes too, and the kingfish is a popular item. Mashuai is a meal consisting of a whole spit-roasted kingfish served with lemon rice. Rukhal bread is a thin, round bread originally baked over a fire made from palm leaves. It is eaten at any meal, normally served with Omani honey for breakfast or crumble over curry for dinner. Chicken, fish and mutton are regularly used in dishes. While spices, herbs, onion, garlic and lime are liberally used in traditional Omani cooking, unlike similar Asian food, it is not hot or spicy.
WEARING FOR MEN:
The national dress for Omani men is a simple, ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves called the dishdasha. The colour most frequently worn is white, although a variety of other colours such as black, blue, brown and lilac can also be seen. Its main adornment is a tassel (furakha) sewn into the neckline, which can be impregnated with perfume. Underneath the dishdasha, a plain piece of cloth covering the body is worn from the waist down. Omani men may wear a variety of head dresses. The muzzar is a square of finely woven woollen or cotton fabric, wrapped and folded into a turban. Underneath this, the kummar, an intricately embroidered cap, is sometimes worn. The shal, a long strip of cloth acting as a holder for the khanjar (a silver, hand-crafted knife or dagger) may be made from the same material as the muzzar. Alternatively, the holder may be fashioned in the form of a belt made from leather and silver, which is called a sapta. On formal occasions, the dishdasha may be covered by a black or beige cloak, called a bisht. The embroidery edging the cloak is often in silver or gold thread and it is intricate in detail. Some men carry the assa, a stick, which can have practical uses or is simply used as an accessory during formal events. Omani men, on the whole, wear sandals on their feet.
WEARING OF WOMEN:[Women Dress]
Omani women have very colourful costumes which vary from region to region. The main components of a woman's outfit include of a dress which is worn over trousers (sirwal) and the headdress, called the lihaf. There are numerous traditional styles of Omani costume seen in Muscat. However, there are three main types which show vibrant colours, embroidery and decorations. One style of costume is quite flowing and resembles that worn by the women of the Interior, while another is decorated with distinct silver bands. The embroidery on these dresses can take around two months to complete.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECTOR
The level of technological advancement in a country can positively or negatively affect the opportunities available for a business. The rise of mobile technology, wireless internet, access to electricity, internet access and transportation networks all influence the ease of doing business.
Technology is very important in today's economy as it play important role in economic development of any country. A region with a strong technological establishment enables companies to influence multiple tools like mobile technology and Enterprise 2.0 methodologies to modernize operations, eliminate bottlenecks and provide their workforce with collaborative knowledge management systems.
On the other hand, many countries may not be as technologically advanced from one's country reasons may be such as their citizens' demographics falling beyond down the product distribution curve (segmenting technology consumers into innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards), infrastructure challenges hindering electricity or communication lines, or a lack of foreign direct investment from multinational corporations providing capital infusion.
In order to learn more about the technological environment of an area and a region's tendency to adopt new technologies, one may look to a circulation model which uses historical consumer purchase data in order to find the rate of product adoption among potential consumers.
The total size of the Oman IT market in 2010 is estimated by BMI at around US$327mn, up from US$308mn in 2009. BMI expects a market compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% for 2010-2014.Oman's economy is relatively well positioned for the post-credit crisis era, but IT spending is not seen as returning to its previous rate of growth over the forecast period. Oman's IT market is only about 10% of the size of the Saudi Arabian market, but the Omani government is investing in IT as part of its Digital Oman scheme and strategy to diversify the economy. In addition to in progress demand from the oil and gas sector, this should generate IT spending in verticals such as telecoms, financial services and aviation.
Economic reform and trade liberalisation has increased the spending of both public sector organisations and enterprises. Growth in e-commerce will also make spending by enterprise on e-commerce phase and back-office systems. Oil and gas stay a support to the local economy and will generate spending on customized solutions, hardware and software support. Industry Developments in August 2009, Oman's Information Technology Authority (ITA) reveal a new 'e-Oman' brand. The government's e-Oman goals include connection Oman's digital divide and making e-government service available to all citizens and residents. In 2009, the ITA was preparing to launch an E-Government Services Portal, a gateway to services offered by government departments via the internet. A key driver of Omani e-services development is expected to be the e-Purse initiative, launched in 2009.The e-Purse, which will be fixed in national ID and residence cards, was being implemented by the ITA in association with the Royal Oman Police and Bank Muscat.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET OVERVIEW
Telecommunication facilities are important for doing any business activities. The telecoms sector in Oman is comparatively undeveloped for the region and for the GDP per capita. But now this situation has begun to change, with the introduction of some competition in the market, but many likely remains. Both fixed-line and mobile telecoms access levels are low but since the launch of second mobile operator Nawras, mobile subscriber growth has increased rapidly. Strong growth charge has also been recorded in the broadband market, from low levels, as present Oman Tel prepares for further competition. This report provides an overview of the telecommunications market in Oman, go with by related statistics.
Information technology and communications have now become the main elements that move forward and help Oman in its national development process. Internet access in most developing countries like Oman is still low as resist to mobiles distribution, despite the government plans and strategies to enhance internet distribution. Internet subscribers comprised about 2.5% of the general population of Oman. In contrast, the number of mobile holders increased substantially since the launch of these services in 1996. Prepaid mobile services and SMS were introduced in 2001 and both are currently popular with subscribers. Such fine appeal influenced many government organizations to go mobile with their services.
Muscat Securities Market has developed a paid service that enables investors to receive regular updates on market and stock alerts via SMS (Oman Mobile, 2007b).
This service also enables users to get an SMS every 30 minutes on market movers - top winners, losers and most active companies (Oman Mobile, 2007c).
The Civil Aviation and Meteorology in cooperation with Oman Mobile had introduced a weather forecast service for most towns in Oman that allows users to receive weather reports in their mobiles (Oman Mobile, 2007d).
Other public organizations have also started to send messages to citizens informing them about certain activities and events.
For example, the Public Authority for Social Insurance has currently begun a public promotion to advertise its services and their apparent benefits to clients.
Another example is in Oman demonstrative Board and Ministry of Manpower where they now send notification messages to clients about their transactions and other different issues such as new tenders and job vacancies etc.
Muscat Municipality developed an m-parking system which enables motorists to pay parking fees via SMS (Muscat Municipality, 2007).
Drivers can now SMS details of their vehicle plate number to a short code number '90091' and get a confirmation message with allocated time.
Five minutes before the allocated time terminate, the municipality sends a reminding message to motorists asking them either to move their vehicles or renew their parking.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) begins a mobile service allowing drivers to inquire and receive information about their traffic offences.
Motorists are required to send a message of their ID and vehicle details to '3004' and will receive information on the number of traffic offences and amount payable.
This helpful the parents of their sons and daughters driving activities and business owners can keep monitoring of their company's drivers violations on time which can help in reducing the traffic offences.
The Ministry of Education now sends the final general certificate results to students via SMS. Alternatively, students can inquire about their results by messaging their seats numbers to '92020' and receive their final marks (Oman Mobile, 2007a).
In addition, the Higher Education Admission Center now informs students of their admission status in different institutions via SMS allowing them to accept or reject the offer by messaging back their choice.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECTOR
The Sultanate of Oman resides in the eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, enlarge more than 1700 km from the Strait of Hormuz in the north to the frontiers of Yemen in the south. The Musandam peninsula, the most northern point of Oman is separated from the rest of the country by Fujaira, which is one of the United Arab Emirates. Oman lies between latitudes 16° and 28° N, and longitudes 52° and 60° E. It occupy total area of about 309,500 sq. km, of which mountains, deserts and coastal plains represent 16%, 81% and 3%, respectively. A vast stony desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north (Al Hajar Mountains) and southeast coast, where the country's main cities are also located: the capital city Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north, and Salalah in the south. Oman's climate is hot and dry in the core and humid along the coast. During past period Oman was covered by ocean, view by the large numbers of fossilized shells existing in areas of the desert away from the modern coastline.
(Deserts of Oman, sources: Wikipedia)
The peninsula of Macadam which has a planned location on the Strait of Hormuz, is separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates. The series of small towns known collectively as Dibba are the gateway to the Macadam peninsula on land and the fishing villages of Macadam by sea, with boats available for hire at Kasha for trips into the Macadam peninsula by sea.
Madha's boundary was settled in 1969, with the north-east corner of Madha Within the Madha exclave is a UAE cooperative called Nahwa, belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah, situated about 8 km (5 mi) along a dirt track west of the town of New Madha, consisting of about forty houses with a clinic and
Following table shows the geography details about the Oman:
Geography of Oman
Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen
Oman has a hot climate and very little rainfall. Annual rainfall in Muscat averages 100 mm (3.9 in), falling mostly in January. Dhoar is subject to the southwest monsoon, and rainfall up to 640 mm (25.2 in) has been recorded in the rainy season from late June to October while the mountain areas receive more plentiful rainfall, some parts of the coast, particularly near the island of Masirah, sometimes receive no rain at all within the course of a year. The climate generally is very hot, with temperatures reaching around 50 °C (122.0 °F) (peak) in the hot season, from May to September.
Following are climate record from the month of January to December:
average high °f (°c)
average low °f (°c)
precipitation inches (mm)
FLORA AND FAUNA
(Sources: Wikipedia. Palm trees sultanate region)
Desert plant and desert grass, common to southern Arabia, are found, but vegetation is sparse in the interior plateau, which is largely stony desert.
The greater monsoon rainfall in Dhofar and the mountains makes the growth there more lavish during summer; coconut palms grow plentifully in the coastal plains of Dhofar is produced in the hills.
AGRICULTURE LAND IN OMAN
The results of complete soil surveys carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture show the presence of more than 2.3 million hectares of land in the Sultanate. However, the size of the cultivated area is in fact 73,670 hectares (MoA, 2009*). Over half the agricultural area is located in the Batinah Plain in the north, which represents about 3 % of the area of the country. Seasonal fruit crops occupy the first rank of the total cultivated area in Oman with 37,082 hectares of which 31365 hectares are with date palm. The other cropped area under intercropping includes 28,017 hectares of which 10,735 hectares are with field crops under crop rotation and series, which would raise cropping strength to the extent of 120%. It is clear that there is an increase in agricultural production in 2009 as compared to previous years and the date palm occupies first in both area (31,365 ha) and production (255,871 tons).
Date palm represents 85% of the total area planted with fruits followed by banana, mango, Omani lime, and Omani coconuts. Al-Batinah region leads first in the cultivation of vegetables that cover highest of 79% of the area as compared to other regions. Besides, there are also other plant genetic resources such as indigenous grasses, medicinal plants, pastures, trees and shrubs, and forest resources.
Farming systems include production of crops viz. dates and fruits, vegetables, fodder and field crops, as well as livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. Farm holdings vary from less than 0.4 ha to more than 84 ha. Those less than 1.26 ha are about 11% of total farm holdings; those range between 1.26 to 2.60 ha are 65%, while those greater than 12.6 ha are about 23.8%.
IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN OMAN:
Water plays a significant role in the development of Agriculture in Oman, which is largely dependent on groundwater. There are numbers of afalaj (falaj-singular), springs (oasis) and wells that provide the source of water for agriculture since ancient times. Recently, treated waste-water was also form non-conventional sources of water. Sultanate of Oman is known for its unique irrigation systems of springs known as aflaj (falajsingular), which are one of the most important and oldest irrigation techniques established by the ancient Omanis thousands of years ago which is a vital part of the tradition of Oman. There are so far 3,017 live aflaj out of total 4,112 which contribute 404 million cubic meters of water to agriculture. Most of the oasis are used for irrigation through aflaj. The aflaj located near to the stream wadis are often affected by water erosion.
Wells and springs play an important role in the life of the Omani society and are used to provide water to the population and farms for agriculture. There are 127,000 wells providing 720 million cubic meters of water needs of agriculture in the Sultanate. The government has established mega-projects for the maintenance and renovation and repair of wells and springs to reduce loss of water and increase the efficiency of irrigation for agricultural purposes. There are laws and regulations by the government to prevent indiscriminate drilling of water wells.
In the Sultanate of Oman, the Government is doing efforts to provide water to its citizens by desalination of seawater as an additional source of water for drinking and household uses. The government has so far established many desalination plants since first desalination plant that began operating in 1976 with the estimated capacity of about one million cubic meters per year.
The total production of all available desalination stations is about 418,000 cubic meters per day, equivalent to 152 million cubic meters per year.
The treated wastewater (TWW) has an importance in Oman for use to irrigate plants of garden and road side landscapes as an alternative source of water as well as to recharge the aquifers. There are 51 sewage plants established by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in different regions. It is expected that the total quantity of treated wastewater would reach up to 270,000 cubic meters per day, which is equivalent to 100 million cubic meters per year, by 2012. At present, the production of treated water is nearly 60,000 gallons per day for use to irrigate parks and green landscapes, which is expected to increase sharply in 2010 after the completion of a sanitation project for the city of Muscat.
The diversified livestock in Oman that include cows, sheep, goats and camels, is on the rise annually with goats representing the highest (1557148 to 1685420), followed by sheep and cows while camels were least (301558 to 326240)
According to Agriculture Census-2004/2005 of the Ministry of Agriculture, there were 24,730,000 poultry birds which included commercial layers and broilers and domestic birds, spread over different regions of the country. In respect of local production of poultry meat, table eggs and fresh milk, it is evident that fresh milk production has rising trend from 2007(47.63 thousand tons) to 2009 (49.57 thousand tons) whereas poultry meat production had decreasing trend (26.5 thousand tons to 21.0 thousand tons), which could be at the expense of table eggs, whose production was found increased (179 million to 187 million)
Local production of fresh milk (1000 tons), poultry meat (1000 tons) and table eggs (million) in the Sultanate
(Source: MoA. 2009. Annual Agriculture Statistics. Directorate General of Planning and Investment Promotions. Department of Statistics and Information. Ministry of Agriculture, Oman. 74 p.)
With a coastline over 1,700 kilometres long, Oman is one of the main fish-producing countries in the region and the fisheries sector is among its most gifted sectors. Fishing is one of the country's oldest occupations. Fish farming is now a rising industry and a fish farming centre is currently being set up, while the quality of the catches is being enhanced, following the creation of the Fisheries Quality Control Centre. Marketing process has been modernized across the country and exports are now better regulated, particularly with regard to certain types of rare, high value fish. Fisheries training centres have been established in al Khabourah and Salalah, data and statistics on the fishing industry have been raise and new fishing dock have been built and equipped with modern facilities; today there are fishing port along the Omani coast. The Seventh Five-year Development Plan (2011-2015) is dedicated to developing and maintaining the Sultanate's marine resources, ensuring that the fishing grounds and coastal areas are properly managed, regulated and monitored. The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC)'s Fisheries Support Unit is based in Oman. The unit promotes cooperation between member states in the management of this essential and renewable resource.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECTOR
One should always consult a legal representative when doing business in order to make certain that all laws and regulations are followed. Legal environments change between the district, city, state/province and national levels. complexity within certain industries can have a strong influence on the ease of doing business, complicating administrative, financial, and regulatory processes, among others.
Oman basic Law (Royal Decree No. 101 of 1996) states that the Islamic code the Sharia is the basis for Omani legislation. The Sultan issues laws consistent with the Basic Law through Royal Decrees. Judicial power lies with the courts, which are independent of the executive authority. The Commercial Court has jurisdiction over commercial disputes. In enforcing agreements between partners and reaching decisions based on the Sharia, the court applies Omani laws established by Royal Decrees. The Judicial Authority Law organizes the following different courts in Oman: The Supreme Court, The Appellate Courts, the Preliminary courts (Court of First Instance), The Courts of Summary Jurisdiction Other components of the legal system includes the Administrative Judicature Court, the Supreme Judicial Council and the Public Prosecution Authority.
THE CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL
In November 1991, Sultan Qaboos replaced the 10-year-old State Consultative Council with the Consultative Assembly (Majlis al-Shura) to systematize and widen public participation in government. The Assembly has 84 elected members and exercise some legislative powers. Representatives were chosen in the following manner: in local group they in each of the 59 districts sent the names of three nominees, whose recommendation were review by a cabinet committee. These names were then forwarded to the Sultan, who made the final selection. The Consultative Assembly serves as a channel of information between the people and the government ministries. It is authorize to review drafts of economic and social legislation prepared by service ministries, such as communications and housing, and to provide recommendations. Service ministers also may be call before the Majlis to take action to the legislative body questions. They had no authority in the areas of foreign affairs, defence, security, and finances. The Council of State (Majlis al-Dawla) has 83 appointed members including 14 women.
The inclusive Omani Labour Law issued in 2003 applies to Omani and foreign employers and employees. The law governs work contracts, wages, overtime pay, leave, work hours, industrial safety, labour disputes, vocational training, and the employment of Omani and foreign nationals.
Oman Law was amended during February 2010 to allow the formation of labor unions. There are now approximately 70 Labor Unions within the Sultanate. The law allows peaceful protests. Collective bargaining is not permitted, however there exist labor-management committees in firms with more than 50 workers. These committees are not authorized to discuss conditions of employment, including hours and wages. The Labor Welfare Board provides a venue for grievances.
As oil prices have risen to a record high, so has inflation. The government depends mostly on oil revenue, more than on tax returns from companies and other government-owned companies. The government is also Oman's largest employer, so the high interest that government gets increases the prices of food and construction equipment. The government did support the fuel prices so it doesn't increase the inflation and to make the price suitable for people on low wages.
The minimum wage has been changed from 120 Rials a month to 140 Rials because of high records of inflation driven by high prices of oil. In February 2011, the minimum wage was increased from 140 Rials per month to 200 Rials per month
The usual working week is 45 hours and generally runs from Saturday through midday on Thursday.
The government lay down a minimum monthly wage of Rs.100 for unskilled Omani employees and a minimum monthly wage of Rs.150 for Secondary school pass outs. In addition, employers must pay their employees a monthly accommodation allowance of Rs.10 and a monthly transportation allowance of Rs.10.
PAYROLL TAXES AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
The Social Security Law (Royal Decree No. 72 of 1991) introduced a system of social security to insure employees against old age, disability, death, and occupational injuries and diseases. The law currently applies only to Omanis working in the private sector. Under
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