Oman

The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Sultanate of Oman, making it the longest continually independent Arab country in modern history. The year also marks the passing of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who died on 10 January. He is succeeded by his cousin and the former minister of culture, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.

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– Economies in the region were hit by reduced trade volumes and lower oil prices

– Governments launched extensive stimulus packages to stabilise their economies

– Short-term recovery will be tied to oil prices and the resumption of travel

– The pandemic looks set to accelerate economic diversification efforts

While many Gulf nations were already working to diversify their economies prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the subsequent economic downturn and collapse in oil prices has meant that governments in the region have had to reassess and – in some cases – accelerate their strategic plans.

How do you assess the potential for further digitalisation in Oman’s energy sector?

As countries within the Gulf begin a gradual easing of Covid-19-related movement restrictions, the revival of the region’s aviation sector has come into focus. Effective recovery strategies will rely on reassuring passengers that sufficient health and the safety measures are in place.

How have entrepreneurs within Oman’s ICT sector responded to the Covid-19 crisis so far?

Oman acted quickly to limit the spread of the virus. A range of measures were implemented, including travel restrictions on international flights and internal public transportation services, the closure of all schools, universities, malls and non-essential shops, and the suspension of prayers at mosques.

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