Strategically located on the south eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman is widely regarded as a success story in the region. Acknowledged as an ‘oasis of tranquillity’, this relatively young nation is often held as an example for others to emulate. Not only did Oman successfully navigate through the global economic downturn, but it also – as recently as in November 2010 - won the top spot in the United Nations Development Programme’s listing of the world’s most developed nations over the past 40 years – beating other advanced economies to this honour.
Oman is rapidly emerging on the world stage as a nation that has gone significantly further – politically, economically and socially – than many of its resource-rich peers. This recognition is a testament to the wisdom and acumen of the nation’s political leadership, led by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman. Acknowledged as the architect of the nation’s modernisation – hailed locally as the ‘Blessed Renaissance’ - His Majesty the Sultan introduced sweeping socio-economic reforms at the outset of his reign in 1970. Revenues generated through hydrocarbon exports were judiciously channelled towards the establishment of a modern educational system and healthcare infrastructure. Schooling and healthcare became a basic right for all Omanis.
At the same time, Sultan Qaboos oversaw the progressive development and modernisation of the nation’s infrastructure. Successive Five-Year Plans, first introduced in 1975, set the pace for sustained investments in new highways, maritime gateways and international airports. Power and water networks were implemented as Omanis began enjoying all of the creature comforts associated with modern-day living. Far-reaching market reforms fuelled entrepreneurship and the growth of a vibrant private sector. Deregulation and liberalisation attracted foreign investment in key sectors, such as power generation, telecommunications, and port services. Accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), coupled with a raft of free trade pacts, has stimulated investment in industrial parks and free zones.
Going forward, the economic outlook is bright for Oman. Ongoing investments in big-ticket infrastructure schemes, including major airport and seaport developments, will continue to drive growth. Ambitious mixed-used tourism and residential developments, coupled with investments in heavy industrial zones in Sohar and Duqm, promise to lend added impetus to economic growth.
Also auguring well for Oman’s long-term development and economic prosperity are the following key attributes: investment-friendly fiscal and market regulations; a young workforce with emerging skill-sets in tune with the market’s manpower requirements; an emphasis on innovation and Research &Development; and a strong culture of corporate governance.
Not surprisingly, the great majority of the world’s top companies and brands have a presence in the Sultanate of Oman, either independently or in partnership with local Omani companies. These partnerships are forged on a win-win platform underpinned by mutual trust, professionalism and a desire for sustained growth – values that are exemplified by the Zubair Automotive Group.