Oman received USD1.2 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2014. The majority of foreign investments continue to contribute to the oil sector.
Oman ranked 70th in the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business rankings, up seven places from 77th in the year prior. The rankings recognised a number of reforms enacted by the country to make doing business easier. This included: reducing the time for border compliance for both exporting and importing by transferring cargo operations from Sultan Qaboos Port to Sohar Port. Oman also made getting electricity easier; it improved the regulation of outages by beginning to record data for the annual system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) and system average interruption frequency index (SAIFI).
Key facts about starting a business in Oman:
Oman's attractiveness as an investment location can be attributed to a number of factors, including its limited taxation and proximity to other Gulf markets. Nevertheless, in order to make an informed decision, it is critical to understand the nuances of any local regime. The manner in which people conduct business in Oman may differ from the home countries of investors. Furthermore, variations on these distinctions may exist depending on the Emirate and the industry in which a company operates.
Oman's official language is Arabic, although English is widely used in business. Business attire is smart and conservative. A handshake is the typical business greeting and will be used at the beginning and end of a meeting. Punctuality is valued in Oman. Business cards will be exchanged after initial introductions.
Those looking to establish a business in Oman may look across the Middle East for alternative options. However, Oman can be differentiated on the following factors:
While there are significant opportunities for investment in Oman, a number of challenges remain. Unless operating in a Free Zone, a number of restrictions to full foreign ownership remain. High levels of bureaucracy mean that setting up a business can be a timely process; the country ranked 149th in the world for the ease of Starting a Business. The government has also enacted restrictions on the employment of foreign nationals through its Omanisation programme. Furthermore, certain categories of employment are reserved exclusively for Omani nationals.
This guide has been developed to provide businesses with an overview of Oman, its legal regime, start-up and market entry considerations, tax and customs requirements and a general summary of the factors that may affect the decision to do business in Oman. However, the information contained in this document is generic in nature and you should not act or rely on it without obtaining specific professional advice.
Please note that the Country Guides may only be available in English.
|1||Ministry of Commerce and Industry|
|2||Ministry of Finance - Secretariat General For Taxation|
|4||Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
|5||Ministry of Manpower|
|6||Free Zones - 1|
|7||Free Zones - 2|
|8||Free Zones - 3|
|9||Free Zones - 4|
|2||Doing Business Rankings|
|3||Oman 2020 investment|
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