The Sultanate of Oman

The Sultanate of Oman is located in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula with a total area of 309,500 square kilometers. Oman is a high-income country with an estimated population of 3.6 million in 2013 and divided into 11 governorates (muhafazah) and 59 districts (wilayats). Of the population, 1.9 million are Omanis and over 800 000 are non-Omanis. The majority of Omanis are a relatively young population under the age of 35 years, with only 5.2% above 60 years.

Come and experience a warm Omani welcome. Explore the beauty, diversity and opportunities of this inspirational country as Oman opens its doors to the world of business events.

The Health Care System in Oman

The health care system in Oman is primarily in the public sector; the Ministry of Health (MoH), established by 1970 Royal Decree, is the main health care provider (with 85% of hospital beds, 70% of doctors and 85% of nurses).

The MoH provides health care in a three-tiered system: primary health care (health centers), secondary health care (regional referral hospitals) and tertiary care (tertiary referral teaching hospitals and a university hospital). Private hospitals and clinics, licensed by the MoH through its Directorate of Private Health Establishments, are supervised by the respective regional directorates, and play an increasingly important role in providing health care in Oman.

In Oman, chronic non-communicable diseases related to lifestyle, like coronary artery diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cancer; are now emerging as new and significantly potential health challenges for the country. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates almost doubling of cancer incidence in the period 2008-2020 from 1,400 to 2,500.

General Information and Facts About Oman

Oman is a culturally diverse nation that is rich in history. It is blessed with natural beauty, environmental diversity and cultural heritage of which other destinations can only dream. The Sultanate is the second largest country on the Arabian Peninsula and forms its eastern most point.

Sharjah and Fujairah (UAE) separate the main part of Oman from the northernmost part of the Sultanate, bordering Musandam that extends into the Strait of Hormuz. It is for many westerners a country waiting to be discovered.

Historically, Omanis were seafarers and traders who dominated regional commodity trading in the Indian Ocean, East Africa and the Arabian Gulf. Thus, there was a succession of migrations which saw the growth of settlements along some parts of the East African coast.

Prior to the coming on stream of oil in 1964, the country was dependent on the agricultural sector and on fishing activities. In 1970, Oman had just 3 Km of asphalted roads. Asking a 50-year old Omani man to describe his country in the 1960s, the answer was simply: “There was nothing…”.

The country had only a few basic roads, a limited number of schools and little in the way of medical care; its people were poor and disadvantaged. Many of Oman’s wealthy and educated had left the country to seek their fortunes abroad. One of the first challenges His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said faced was to reverse this “brain drain”, to encourage expatriate Omanis to return home and throw their weight behind the creation of a strong, educated, unified nation. This they did with enthusiasm, helping to build and develop the thriving, vibrant country that is modern day Oman.

Since then, His Majesty has strived to modernise his country and oil revenues have given him the opportunity to develop a modern infrastructure of roads, ports and airports, as well as first-class telecommunications and broadcasting systems. Some 50 hospitals have been opened throughout the country and educational Programmes for all ages successfully implemented.

It is believed that oil reserves may be exhausted one day and the country is therefore diversifying its economy, especially in the field of business tourism. Among the Gulf States, Oman has many advantages for developing tourism: its climate, varied scenery, archaeological and historical remains, as well as its friendly people. With its high standard of hotel accommodation, it can satisfy even the most demanding travellers.

As a major maritime silk route centre, Oman and its capital city of Muscat has been welcoming visitors to its pristine shores for centuries. It is a land of enormous diversity and natural beauty, which, while it has much to attract the discerning tourist, had until recent years been largely overlooked by today’s international travellers.

With careful strategic planning, the Sultanate now has an enviable infrastructure securely in place. Presenting a wide range of international hotels and a wealth of things to see and do, Oman is ready to offer its traditional hospitality to convention delegates from around the world.

A Proven Track Record

Due to Oman’s natural beauty and diversity, the Sultanate is globally known as an attractive destination for meetings, exhibitions, incentives, festivals and sporting events such as the Asian Beach Games, Tour of Oman and the spectacular Muscat Festival lasting one month, in January – February each year.

Though the oil and gas industry is the key driver in the Oman economy, its overall impact is decreasing. Diverse industries and services like banking, trade and industry are making the most of Oman’s rich mineral, agriculture, livestock and water resources.

The Sultanate is a progressive and outward looking country seeking to engage with the world. It is an active member of more than 90 global organisations including World Health Organisation, United Nations, UNESCO International Heritage Fund, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Gulf Cooperation Council, Arab League of Nations and recently the World Trade Organisation. Oman welcomes international conferences and delegates.

The Sultanate has an enviable proven track record and established infrastructure to host prestigious meetings, national exhibitions and corporate events with a high standard of supporting services such as exhibition companies, destination and event management specialists to complete the picture. It sees international gatherings as an opportunity to showcase its natural values and diversity and strengthen these strategic relationships through the exchange of knowledge.

Sustainability & Commitment to the Environment

The Sultanate of Oman is a country blessed with a unique habitat and widely contrasting landscapes; from pristine beaches and coral reefs to high mountains, breathtaking desert sands and lush monsoon drenched hillsides.
For this reason, in 2004, The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) was formed by Omanis representing different regions and many different professional backgrounds with a main goal of conserving the environment and ensuring that Oman’s natural heritage remains intact for future generations to enjoy.

ESO helps in the promotion of knowledge and awareness and conducts scientific activities for the benefit of the general good of the local community, especially in regard to conserving and protecting the Omani environment. They also enable the citizens to play an active role and volunteer
to work in schemes related to protecting nature and preserving the environment. They assist in proposing projects, carrying out scientific field studies and foster research into preserving the environment whenever deemed appropriate.


An effort to build the Sultanate’s transport and logistics capabilities has been a major economic driver in recent years. The country’s seaports, airports and road network are constantly being expanded and improved. The road network has been ranked the third best globally by the World Economic Forum, and by recent estimates comprises approximately 29,685 Km of paved roads and 30,545 Km of unpaved roads. The road network covers most parts of the country and paved roads are of high quality.

With such a long seafaring history, it is no surprise that seaports play an important economic role in Oman. The largest seaports, the Port of Salalah, the Port of Sohar and the Port of Duqm, are an integral part of the economy and are poised to drive growth and assist with diversification. Each port is located in a different part of the country and serves a different function. Major upgrades to the international airports in Muscat and Salalah have been under way to accommodate the expected growth in domestic and international traffic, both of passengers and cargo. In addition to the new airports under construction in Muscat and Salalah, there are currently three regional airports being built in Sohar, Ras Al Hadd and Al Duqm.

To complete the logistics picture, the Oman Railway Company is currently in the process of designing and tendering the National Railway Network. The completed railway is set to cover 2,244 Km and will connect the Sultanate’s port cities – Duqm, Salalah and Sohar – with other GCC countries.

Political Situation and Safety

Everyone is welcome to visit Oman and a simple visa process facilitates all delegates from all nationalities. Oman is a clean and virtually crime free destination.

Oman is renowned for being warm and friendly- a place where there is a great deal of unity, a place where people still very much care about people.

Oman’s peacefulness is perhaps largely due to its leaders very astute wisdom.
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has always promoted democracy, women’s rights, education, health, religious freedom and harmony. In 1998, the National Council on U.S.- Arab Relations was joined by 33 organisations in presenting its first of its kind award ever bestowed upon an Arab head of state – the International Peace Award -to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Sultan of Oman.

Women enjoy leadership and equal opportunity. Oman has played a critical role in a number of global humanitarian and recent political negotiations and is a neutral ground for exchange and is synonymous with peace.

On 31 January 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Oman and praised the Sultanate’s efforts in promoting peace and stability in the region and solving the existing crises by peaceful means. “I am here to express my sincere thanks to the government and people of Oman for their support and contribution in the international and regional peace, security, development and human rights.”

Since 1970, Oman has worked to expand its diplomatic relations according to a moderate foreign policy. Ties with the UK have remained close while relations with the US have also strengthened. Oman has relations with over 140 countries and is affiliated with over 105 regional and international organisations including the UN, World Trade Organisation,
the IMF, the World Bank, the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) and the Greater Arab Free Trade area.

Muscat-Your Host City

Muscat, the capital of Oman, has a character quite different from neighbouring capitals. There are few high-rise blocks and even the most functional building is required to reflect tradition with a dome or an arabesque window. The result of these building policies is an attractive, spotlessly clean and uniform city – not much different in essence from the ‘very elegant town with very fine houses’ that the Portuguese admiral Alfonso de Alburqueque observed as he sailed towards Muscat in the 16th century.

Muscat means ‘safe anchorage’, and the sea continues to constitute a major part of the city: it brings people on cruise ships and goods in containers to the historic ports of Old Muscat and Muttrah. It contributes to the city’s economy through the onshore refinery near Qurum, and provides a livelihood for fishermen along the beaches of Shatti al-Qurm and Athaiba.

Muscat is no stranger to hosting large events and has an enviable proven track record and established infrastructure to host prestigious meetings, national exhibitions and corporate events with a high standard of supporting services such as exhibition companies, destination and event management specialists to complete the picture.