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Chapter | Education & Training from The Report: Oman 2020

Oman’s government continues to prioritise education as part of its broader plans to modernise the economy and provide jobs for its growing population. In recent years the focus at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels has been on innovation, as well as greater regulation and oversight of education quality. As it pushes for greater Omanisation in the local economy, the government is increasingly working to equip Omanis with the necessary skills to enter the job market. At the same time, it is encouraging the implementation of new academic and training programmes to keep abreast of the dynamic, knowledge-based global economy.

Chapter | Tourism from The Report: Oman 2020

Blessed with scenic wadis (valleys), natural caves, islands, beaches and mountain ranges, and known for its ancient culture and hospitality, Oman has a lot to offer tourists. Its expanding economy and reputation for stability also draws visitors for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions from the region and beyond. The sector is central to government efforts to diversify the economy, and authorities have worked in recent years to streamline regulations and fast track infrastructure developments to facilitate visitors, such as building a new international airport and convention centre in Muscat. A steady stream of private investment in the hospitality sector is also contributing to improved services.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Oman 2020

ICT was identified by the government as a key component of the sultanate’s long-term economic development strategy, Vision 2040, which calls for enhancing national technical capabilities, constructing vital ICT infrastructure and improving governance through the use of e-services. A government organisational shake-up has renewed focus on the sector, as authorities work to integrate technology such as artificial intelligence and internet of things applications into everyday life. The mobile segment is set to see the entrance of a third operator, while efforts to boost rural and urban high-speed internet access, upskill the workforce and provide support to local ICT start-ups remains a focus as Oman prepares for the next stage of digital transformation. This chapter contains an interview with Talal Al Mamari, CEO, Omantel.

Chapter | Agriculture & Fisheries from The Report: Oman 2020

Given that fishing and agriculture have historically formed central parts of Oman’s economy and society, it is not surprising that the country has the highest rate of food self-sufficiency in the GCC. Targeted investments to further enhance food security have seen the sector advance on all fronts – but most notably in terms of technology – as the government seeks ways to sustain a growing population and foster a more diverse economy. Support for innovative state-backed dairy, red meat and poultry projects continue to boost production and provide investment opportunities, while niche segments such as organic farming need more robust regulation. This chapter contains an interview with Saleh Mohammed Al Shanfari, CEO, Oman Food Investment Holding Company.

Chapter | Transport from The Report: Oman 2020

Oman benefits from a strategic location, particularly for the movement of goods and people by sea and air. As a result, transport and logistics has been identified in Vision 2040 – the government’s national development strategy – as one of five key areas in the sultanate’s efforts to diversify away from dependence on hydrocarbons. Transport infrastructure is also critical to the success of other sectors and economic efficiency as a whole, and is therefore a major source of public funding. With an upgraded airport terminal opening in Muscat in 2018 and new multi-lane highways crossing the country, Oman has invested heavily in the sector in recent years. This chapter will contain interviews with Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, CEO, Oman Global Logistics Group; and Sheikh Aimen Al Hosni, CEO, Oman Airports.

Chapter | Mining from The Report: Oman 2020

Significant legislative developments in 2019 laid the groundwork for growth in Oman’s mining sector. The full extent of the country’s mineral wealth has only recently been realised, and with a number of projects under way across the sultanate, the sector has strong potential to affect positive economic diversification. At the same time, a welcoming climate for foreign investment and rapidly developing infrastructure demonstrates that companies are taking a holistic approach to the sector. Furthermore, investment in local downstream processing could lead to an increase in profits earned from raw resources. According to the Central Bank of Oman in its Annual Report for 2018, the country’s mining sector recorded the highest rate of growth among non-oil activities, at 16%.