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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%.

Chapter | Industry from The Report: Oman 2020

Manufacturing is on track to reach the target contribution of 15% of GDP by 2020 laid out by Oman’s Vision 2020 economic development plan, which was first announced in 1995. Indeed, Oman has accomplished 70% of its ambitions in Vision 2020, Talal bin Sulaiman Al Rahbi, deputy secretary general of the Supreme Council of Planning, told local media in October 2019. Past decades have seen manufacturing’s contribution to GDP rise from under 1% in 1980 to 9.6% in 2018, and it is expected to rise further. Room remains to broaden the industrial base: under the long-term plan Vision 2040, the government is looking to encourage the adoption of technology in manufacturing to enhance competitiveness and increase output. This chapter contains interviews with Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates; and Sheikh Khalil Al Harthy, CEO, Credit Oman.

Chapter | Real Estate from The Report: Oman 2020

Oman’s real estate market has continued to feel the effects of slower economic growth over the past year. Rental rates have declined by more than 25% since recent highs were reached in 2014, and 2019 saw prices continue to fall amid concerns about oversupply and expatriate workers leaving the country. The residential segment has been the most affected, with a large amount of recent developments placing pressure on rental and sales prices. However, with strong growth expected in the retail and industrial sectors, related real estate offerings present unique opportunities. The sector’s primary regulatory body is the Ministry of Housing. This chapter contains an interview with Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO, Al Mouj Muscat.