17+ Pros and Cons of Doing Business in Oman (Explained)

Oman is a nation that borders the middle eastern Sea, the Sea of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen in the Middle East. Its geographic importance on the south coast has for centuries enabled the Omani people to flourish out of the Indian Ocean trade. Today the country is a critical petroleum products transport hub in the globe.

Oman has historically been an independent and traditional country, but its new Sultan has made considerable efforts to open and modernize the country. The powerful Omani heritage, rich history, and culture draw more and more tourists and international investors who want to take advantage of its main location and rising economy.

Benefits of doing business in OmanThe drawbacks of doing business in Oman
Economy of OmanTax haven blacklist
Location of the business in OmanHigh operational cost
Trade with global nationsGovernment regulations
Environment FriendlyMarket challenges faced by investors
World-class infrastructurePopulation

Advantages of Doing Business in Oman

  • Trade Through Marine Route

Oman has a shore of over 1,700 km which has helped the nation to achieve the distinction of a marine country. Its specific property geographical area regulates the path between both the Arabian Gulf and The Indian Ocean, including some of the world’s most influential sea routes.

The Sultanate is designed to contribute to the Arab Gulf and makes Oman the gathering spot of the Asian and African empires, opening the way for a multitude of possibilities for the finance sector.

  • Sustainable Resources

The oil discovery changed Oman’s economy dramatically. In the latest days, persistently high oil prices have helped to build Oman’s economy, trade surpluses, and foreign reserves.

Even so, efforts have been made over the last few years to diversify the economy to reduce Oman’s reliance on the petroleum industry, and development is being promoted in both the private and foreign companies.

  • Rapidly Growing Economy

The economy of Oman is looking forward and started to grow steadily. Oman has made significant economic and social reforms since The 1970s when a new sultan rose to power. The last several years brought impressive developments like multi-lane highways, new hospitals, colleges, and universities to Oman. 

Oman is also dramatically shifting its economy towards hospitality which will bring considerable benefit due to the country’s desirable location and traditional culture.

  • Favorable Government Policies

Oman’s growth is supported by very favorable policies of the government that draw investors from around the world.

Oman is actively promoting a liquidity, industrialization, and privatization growth strategy. The Government of Omani provides incentives to attract local and international companies, such as tax exemptions, interest-free loans, free trade zones, and government land allocation preferences.

The benefits of investing in foreign countries are unconditional. International companies have opportunities to expand and invest in new areas, and Oman is profiting from economic growth.

  • Good Business Relationship with Other Nations

Omani is renowned for being compassionate, polite, and tolerant. Their openness towards visitors attracts tourists in the short term and also helps businesses to develop themselves in the region with help from local communities. Expats are enjoying the open Omani society that includes freedom of religion and modern amenities.

Omani culture emphasizes the development of close personal and work ties and relationships. It is therefore advisable that foreigners spend some time with their Omani business partners and make an effort to develop good ties with them.

  • Availability of Exemptions

For businessmen who wish to develop their company in Oman, there are several exemptions available, such as exemption from income tax on first OMR 30,000 and full exemption from corporate tax for free zone registered companies for up to 50 years.

An exemption from import duties also extends to imports of machinery and raw material for manufacturing purposes.

Disadvantages of doing business in Oman

  • Time Boundary

The Omani timeliness is comfortable and versatile. People trust partnerships more than timetables and timeliness. But even though Omanis arrives late, it’s still predicted that foreigners will be on time. This flexible approach to time is often expressed in business meetings that can at the last minute be rescheduled or canceled. 

International companies must also note that in Omani culture the weekend means Thursday and Friday instead of Saturday and Sunday and company meetings or calls should be arranged accordingly.

  • Religion

Oman is a religious Muslim country and Islam has an influence on most facets of Omani life along with the belief system, dress, and behavior. Any company that does business in Oman should know the impact of religion on the population. This involves knowing practices such as alcohol prohibition, and traditional dress code. 

Social conduct prohibits gender mixing that should be known when doing business in Oman. Stereotypes about Islam also need to be questioned to avoid upsetting your counterparts in the Omani business.

  • Family and Other Relationships

The Omanis have a very strong national identity that emerged from the Arab culture and Islamic origins of the region. Visitors and business connections alike should understand and appreciate Oman’s religious and cultural principles.

The family and tribe are highly powerful, and they play a role in shaping the beliefs and actions of an individual. 

It should come as no surprise to foreign investors to see many members of one family working for the same business, something which is a normal place in Oman and an essential component of their community.

  • Public-Facing is not Allowed

As in most Islamic cultures, one of the main elements of Omani culture is the notion of saving face. Therefore people are seeking to prevent exposure to circumstances that endanger their integrity.

Foreigners should also take caution not to attack their Omani colleagues in public.

  • Market Standing

It is recommended that you visit, meet with potential clients, and develop a local presence as a rapidly changing sector. It would be helpful to find an acceptable local partner or to look to other well-established Australian companies in the Middle East. Consideration should also be given to cultural sensitivity and the etiquette. 

Personal relationships are essential to finding and maintaining a good local partner, and widely used but not necessary agents. Agreements normally require a considerable lead time and follow-up prior to finalization.

  • Resolving Disputes

The Islamic Law-the Sharia-is the basis of Omani legislation. Via royal decree the Sultan issues rules.

Economic legislation in place in the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) is representative of that. The commercial court system has a three-tiered structure; with a Muscat Supreme Court, six regional courts of appeal, and approximately 45 primary courts throughout the world. In general, mediation is the preferred way for foreigners to settle conflicts as an alternative to local courts.

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