Oman vs. United Arab Emirates


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
BackgroundThe inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered from Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, the nascent sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Oman's dependence on British political and military advisors increased, although the Sultanate never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al-Said overthrew his father, and has since ruled as sultan, but he has not designated a successor. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world, while preserving the longstanding close ties with the UK and US. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with its neighbors and to avoid external entanglements. Inspired by the popular uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa beginning in January 2011, some Omanis staged demonstrations, calling for more jobs and economic benefits and an end to corruption. In response to those protester demands, QABOOS in 2011 pledged to implement economic and political reforms, such as granting legislative and regulatory powers to the Majlis al-Shura and increasing unemployment benefits. Additionally, in August 2012, the Sultan announced a royal directive mandating the speedy implementation of a national job creation plan for thousands of public and private sector Omani jobs. As part of the government's efforts to decentralize authority and allow greater citizen participation in local governance, Oman successfully conducted its first municipal council elections in December 2012. Announced by the Sultan in 2011, the municipal councils have the power to advise the Royal Court on the needs of local districts across Oman's 11 governorates. The Sultan returned to Oman in March 2015 after eight months in Germany, where he received medical treatment. He has since appeared publicly on a few occasions.
"The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Dhabi, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is on par with those of leading West European nations. For more than three decades, oil and global finance drove the UAE's economy. However, in 2008-09, the confluence of falling oil prices, collapsing real estate prices, and the international banking crisis hit the UAE especially hard. The UAE essentially avoided the ""Arab Spring"" unrest seen elsewhere in the Middle East in 2010-11 and in an effort to stem potential unrest, the government announced a multi-year, $1.6-billion infrastructure investment plan for the poorer northern emirates and aggressively pursued advocates of political reform. The UAE in recent years has played a vital role in regional affairs. In addition to donating billions of dollars in economic aid to help stabilize Egypt, the UAE is a member of a US-led global coalition to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and a coalition partner in a Saudi-led military campaign to restore the government of Yemen.


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and the UAE
Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates21 00 N, 57 00 E
24 00 N, 54 00 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 309,500 sq km
land: 309,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 83,600 sq km
land: 83,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativetwice the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Kansas
slightly larger than South Carolina; slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundariestotal: 1,561 km
border countries (3): Saudi Arabia 658 km, UAE 609 km, Yemen 294 km
total: 1,066 km
border countries (2): Oman 609 km, Saudi Arabia 457 km
Coastline2,092 km
1,318 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatedry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
desert; cooler in eastern mountains
Terraincentral desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
flat, barren coastal plain merging into rolling sand dunes of vast desert; mountains in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 310 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal Shams 2,980 m
mean elevation: 149 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Yibir 1,527 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
petroleum, natural gas
Land useagricultural land: 4.7%
arable land 0.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 4.5%
forest: 0%
other: 95.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 4.6%
arable land 0.5%; permanent crops 0.5%; permanent pasture 3.6%
forest: 3.8%
other: 91.6% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land590 sq km (2012)
923 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardssummer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
frequent sand and dust storms
Environment - current issuesrising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; limited natural freshwater resources
lack of natural freshwater resources compensated by desalination plants; desertification; beach pollution from oil spills
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - noteconsists of Oman proper and two northern exclaves, Musandam and Al Madhah; the former is a peninsula that occupies a strategic location adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil
strategic location along southern approaches to Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil
Population distributionthe vast majority of the population is located in and around the Al Hagar Mountains in the north of the country; another smaller cluster is found around the city of Salalah in the far south; most of the country remains sparsely poplulated
population is heavily concentrated to the northeast on the Musandam Peninsula; the three largest emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah - are home to nearly 85% of the population


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Population3,355,262 (July 2016 est.)
note: immigrants make up over 40% of the total population, according to UN data (2015)
5,927,482 (July 2016 est.)
note: the UN estimated the country's total population was 9,267,000 as of mid-year 2016; immigrants make up about 88% of the total population, according to 2015 UN data (2016)
Age structure0-14 years: 30.14% (male 518,600/female 492,782)
15-24 years: 19.11% (male 336,310/female 304,871)
25-54 years: 43.41% (male 843,531/female 613,004)
55-64 years: 3.91% (male 69,904/female 61,248)
65 years and over: 3.43% (male 56,816/female 58,196) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 20.94% (male 634,996/female 605,985)
15-24 years: 13.53% (male 476,813/female 324,982)
25-54 years: 61.27% (male 2,767,886/female 863,816)
55-64 years: 3.23% (male 142,661/female 48,715)
65 years and over: 1.04% (male 38,444/female 23,184) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 25.4 years
male: 26.5 years
female: 24 years (2016 est.)
total: 30.3 years
male: 32.1 years
female: 25.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.05% (2016 est.)
2.47% (2016 est.)
Birth rate24.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
15.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate3.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
11.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.38 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
total population: 1.19 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.47 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 3.2 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 2.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.69 male(s)/female
total population: 2.18 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 13.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 10.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.5 years
male: 73.5 years
female: 77.5 years (2016 est.)
total population: 77.5 years
male: 74.8 years
female: 80.2 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.84 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.33 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.16% (2014 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani
noun: Emirati(s)
adjective: Emirati
Ethnic groupsArab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Emirati 11.6%, South Asian 59.4% (includes Indian 38.2%, Bangladeshi 9.5%, Pakistani 9.4%, other 2.3%), Egyptian 10.2%, Philippine 6.1%, other 12.8% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS2,400 (2014 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 85.9%, Christian 6.5%, Hindu 5.5%, Buddhist 0.8%, Jewish <0.1%, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.2% (2010 est.)
note: Omani citizens represent approximately 60% of the population and are overwhelming Muslim (Ibadhi and Sunni sects each constitute about 45% and Shia about 5%); Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists accounting for roughly 5% of Omani citizens
Muslim (official) 76%, Christian 9%, other (primarily Hindu and Buddhist, less than 5% of the population consists of Parsi, Baha'i, Druze, Sikh, Ahmadi, Ismaili, Dawoodi Bohra Muslim, and Jewish) 15%
note: represents the total population; about 85% of the population consists of noncitizens (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsless than 100 (2014 est.)
LanguagesArabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.1%
male: 93.6%
female: 85.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 93.1%
female: 95.8% (2015 est.)
Education expenditures5% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 77.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 8.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 85.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.87% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 86.1% of population
total: 93.4% of population
urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 13.9% of population
total: 6.6% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 99.6% of population
urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.3% of population
rural: 94.7% of population
total: 96.7% of population
urban: 2.7% of population
rural: 5.3% of population
total: 3.3% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 98% of population
rural: 95.2% of population
total: 97.6% of population
urban: 2% of population
rural: 4.8% of population
total: 2.4% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationMUSCAT (capital) 838,000 (2015)
Dubai 2.415 million; Sharjah 1.279 million; ABU DHABI (capital) 1.145 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate17 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
6 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures3.6% of GDP (2014)
3.6% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.54 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.56 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density1.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
1.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate26.5% (2014)
34.5% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 30
youth dependency ratio: 26.7
elderly dependency ratio: 3.4
potential support ratio: 29.8 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 17.8
youth dependency ratio: 16.4
elderly dependency ratio: 1.3
potential support ratio: 74.6 (2015 est.)


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Country name"conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it apparently dates back at least 2,000 years since an ""Omana"" is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.) and an ""Omanon"" by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)
"conventional long form: United Arab Emirates
conventional short form: none
local long form: Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah
local short form: none
former: Trucial Oman, Trucial States
abbreviation: UAE
etymology: self-descriptive country name; the name ""Arabia"" can be traced back many centuries B.C., the ancient Egyptians referred to the region as ""Ar Rabi""; ""emirates"" derives from ""amir"" the Arabic word for ""commander,"" ""lord,"" or ""prince""
Government typeabsolute monarchy
federation of monarchies
Capitalname: Muscat
geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Abu Dhabi
geographic coordinates: 24 28 N, 54 22 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafaza); Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Buraymi, Al Wusta, Az Zahirah, Janub al Batinah (Al Batinah South), Janub ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah South), Masqat (Muscat), Musandam, Shamal al Batinah (Al Batinah North), Shamal ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah North), Zufar (Dhofar)
7 emirates (imarat, singular - imarah); Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Dubayy (Dubai), Ra's al Khaymah, Umm al Qaywayn
Independence1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
2 December 1971 (from the UK)
National holidayNational Day, 18 November; note - coincides with the birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
Independence Day (National Day), 2 December (1971)
Constitutionhistory: promulgated by royal decree 6 November 1996 (the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); amended by royal decree in 2011
amendments: promulgated by the sultan or proposed by the Council of Oman and drafted by a technical committee as stipulated by royal decree and then promulgated through royal decree; amended in 2011 (2016)
history: previous 1971 (provisional); latest drafted in 1979, became permanent May 1996
amendments: proposed by the Supreme Council and submitted to the Federal National Council; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote of Federal National Council members present, and approval by the Supreme Council president; amended 2009 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law
mixed legal system of Islamic law and civil law
Suffrage21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces by law cannot vote
limited; note - rulers of the seven emirates each select a proportion of voters for the Federal National Council (FNC) that together account for about 12 percent of Emirati citizens
Executive branchchief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch
elections/appointments: members of the Ruling Family Council determine a successor from the sultan's extended family; if the Council cannot form a consensus within 3 days of the sultan's death or incapacitation, the Defense Council will relay a predetermined heir as chosen by the sultan
chief of state: President KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (since 3 November 2004), ruler of Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) (since 4 November 2004); Vice President and Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Vice President MUHAMMAD BIN RASHID Al-Maktum (since 5 January 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers SAIF bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan, MANSUR bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (both since 11 May 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers announced by the prime minister and approved by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the Federal Supreme Council - composed of the rulers of the 7 emirates - for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held 3 November 2009 (next election NA); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president
election results: KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan reelected president; FSC vote NA
note: there is also a Federal Supreme Council (FSC) composed of the 7 emirate rulers; the FSC is the highest constitutional authority in the UAE; establishes general policies and sanctions federal legislation; meets 4 times a year; Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi) and Dubayy (Dubai) rulers have effective veto power
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Council of Oman or Majlis Oman consists of the Council of State or Majlis al-Dawla (85 seats including the chairman; members appointed by the sultan from among former government officials and prominent educators, businessmen, and citizens) and the Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (85 seats; members directly elected in single- and two-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms); note - since political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Council is submitted to the Council of State for review by the Royal Court
elections: Consultative Assembly - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; note - organized political parties in Oman are legally banned
description: unicameral Federal National Council (FNC) or Majlis al-Ittihad al-Watani (40 seats; 20 members appointed by the rulers of the 7 constituent states and 20 indirectly elected by an electoral college whose members are selected by each emirate ruler proportional to its FNC membership; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 3 October 2015 (next to be held in 2019); note - the electoral college was expanded from 129,274 electors in the December 2011 election to 224,279 in the October 2015 election; elections for candidates rather than political parties; 347 candidates including 78 women ran for 20 contested seats in the 40-member FNC; 80,000 voters, or 35% of eligible voters, turned out to vote and 19 men and one woman were elected
election results: elected FNC seats by emirate - Abu Dhabi 4, Dubai 4, Sharjah 3, Ras al-Khaimah 3, Ajman 2, Fujairah 2, Umm al-Quwain 2; note - only 1 woman (from Ras Al Khaimah) won an FNC seat
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the 9-member Supreme Judicial Council (chaired by the monarch) and appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Administrative Court; Courts of First Instance; sharia courts; magistrates' courts; military courts
highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of the court president and 4 judges; jurisdiction limited to federal cases)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the federal president following approval by the Federal Supreme Council, which includes the rulers of the 7 emirates; judges serve until retirement age or the expiry of their appointment term
subordinate courts: Federal Court of Cassation (determines the constitutionality of laws promulgated at the federal and emirate level; federal level courts of first instance and appeals courts; the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ra's al Khaymah have parallel court systems; the other four emirates have incorporated their courts into the federal system; note - the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts and the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts both adjudicate civil and commercial disputes.
Political parties and leadersnone; note - organized political parties are legally banned in Oman, and loyalties tend to form around tribal affiliations
none; political parties are banned
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Hunaina bint Sultan bin Ahmad al-MUGHAIRI (since 9 November 2005)
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933
chief of mission: Ambassador Yusif bin Mani bin Said al-UTAYBA (since 25 July 2008)
chancery: 3522 International Court NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 243-2400
FAX: [1] (202) 243-2432
consulate(s) general: Boston, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Marc J. SIEVERS (since 7 January 2016)
embassy: Jamait Ad Duwal Al Arabiyya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P.O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 24-643-400
FAX: [968] 24-643-740
chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara A. LEAF (since 30 December 2014)
embassy: Embassies District, Plot 38 Sector W59-02, Street No. 4, Abu Dhabi
mailing address: P. O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi
telephone: [971] (2) 414-2200
FAX: [971] (2) 414-2603
consulate(s) general: Dubai
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands of white, red, and green of equal width with a broad, vertical, red band on the hoist side; the national emblem (a khanjar dagger in its sheath superimposed on two crossed swords in scabbards) in white is centered near the top of the vertical band; white represents peace and prosperity, red recalls battles against foreign invaders, and green symbolizes the Jebel al Akhdar (Green Mountains) and fertility
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a wider vertical red band on the hoist side; the flag incorporates all four Pan-Arab colors, which in this case represent fertility (green), neutrality (white), petroleum resources (black), and unity (red); red was the traditional color incorporated into all flags of the emirates before their unification
National anthem"name: ""Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani"" (The Sultan's Anthem)
lyrics/music: Rashid bin Uzayyiz al KHUSAIDI/James Frederick MILLS, arranged by Bernard EBBINGHAUS
note: adopted 1932; new lyrics written after QABOOS bin Said al Said gained power in 1970; first performed by the band of a British ship as a salute to the Sultan during a 1932 visit to Muscat; the bandmaster of the HMS Hawkins was asked to write a salutation to the Sultan on the occasion of his ship visit
"name: ""Nashid al-watani al-imarati"" (National Anthem of the UAE)
lyrics/music: AREF Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan/Mohamad Abdel WAHAB
note: music adopted 1971, lyrics adopted 1996; Mohamad Abdel WAHAB also composed the music for the anthem of Tunisia
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)khanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords; national colors: red, white, green
golden falcon; national colors: green, white, black, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Oman
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of the United Arab Emirates; if the father is unknown, the mother must be a citizen
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 30 years


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Economy - overviewOman is heavily dependent on its dwindling oil resources, which generate 84% of government revenue. In 2016, low global oil prices drove Oman’s budget deficit to $11.5 billion, or approximately 19% of GDP. Oman has limited foreign assets and is issuing debt to cover its deficit.

Oman is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production, but has simultaneously pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP from 46% at present to 9% by 2020 in accordance with Oman’s ninth five-year development plan. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy.

Muscat also has notably focused on creating more Omani jobs to employ the rising number of nationals entering the workforce. However, high social welfare benefits — that had increased in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring — have challenged the government's ability to effectively balance its budget in light of low export oil prices. In response, Omani officials imposed austerity measures to its gasoline and diesel subsidies in 2016, with further subsidy cuts planned for electricity and liquid petroleum gas. The spending cuts have faced some public opposition, which could hinder their implementation.
The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP from the oil and gas sector to 30%.

Since the discovery of oil in the UAE nearly 60 years ago, the country has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. The country's free trade zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors.

The global financial crisis of 2008-09, tight international credit, and deflated asset prices constricted the economy in 2009. UAE authorities tried to blunt the crisis by increasing spending and boosting liquidity in the banking sector. The crisis hit Dubai hardest, as it was heavily exposed to depressed real estate prices. Dubai lacked sufficient cash to meet its debt obligations, prompting global concern about its solvency and ultimately a $20 billion bailout from the UAE Central Bank and Abu Dhabi Government that was refinanced in March 2014.

The UAE’s dependence on oil is a significant long-term challenge. Low oil prices have prompted the UAE to cut expenditures, including on some social programs, but the UAE has sufficient assets in its sovereign investment funds to cover its deficits. The government reduced fuel subsidies in August 2015, and has announced plans to introduce excise and Value Added Taxes by January 1, 2018. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on economic diversification, promoting the UAE as a global trade and tourism hub, developing industry, and creating more job opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$173.1 billion (2016 est.)
$170 billion (2015 est.)
$164.6 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$667.2 billion (2016 est.)
$652.4 billion (2015 est.)
$627.6 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.8% (2016 est.)
3.3% (2015 est.)
2.9% (2014 est.)
2.3% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)
3.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$43,700 (2016 est.)
$44,300 (2015 est.)
$44,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$67,700 (2016 est.)
$68,100 (2015 est.)
$67,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.7%
industry: 45.4%
services: 52.9% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 44.6%
services: 54.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
19.5% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
3.4% (2016 est.)
4.1% (2015 est.)
Labor force968,800
note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national (2007 est.)
5.242 million
note: expatriates account for about 85% of the workforce (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
agriculture: 7%
industry: 15%
services: 78% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate15% (2004 est.)
3.6% (2014 est.)
2.4% (2001 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $20.26 billion
expenditures: $31.55 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $98.15 billion
expenditures: $112.6 billion
note: the UAE federal budget does not account for emirate-level spending in Abu Dhabi and Dubai (2016 est.)
Industriescrude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, handicrafts, textiles
Industrial production growth rate1.5% (2016 est.)
1.8% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsdates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish
Exports$30.39 billion (2016 est.)
$34.43 billion (2015 est.)
$316 billion (2016 est.)
$333.3 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates (2012 est.)
Exports - partnersChina 42.4%, UAE 12%, South Korea 7.4%, Saudi Arabia 5.2% (2015)
Iran 13.6%, Oman 11.3%, Japan 9.2%, India 8%, China 4.4% (2015)
Imports$25.78 billion (2016 est.)
$28.27 billion (2015 est.)
$246.9 billion (2016 est.)
$243.9 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
Imports - partnersUAE 38.3%, Japan 6%, India 5.6%, China 5.2%, US 5%, Saudi Arabia 4.1% (2015)
China 15.4%, India 12.6%, US 9.6%, Germany 6.7%, Oman 4.5%, UK 4.3% (2015)
Debt - external$20.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$12.94 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$220.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$204.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesOmani rials (OMR) per US dollar -
0.3845 (2016 est.)
0.3845 (2015 est.)
0.3845 (2014 est.)
0.3845 (2013 est.)
0.3845 (2012 est.)
Emirati dirhams (AED) per US dollar -
3.673 (2016 est.)
3.673 (2015 est.)
3.673 (2014 est.)
3.673 (2013 est.)
3.67 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt18.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
8.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
60.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
51.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$14.54 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$17.54 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$84.93 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$93.93 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$9.783 billion (2016 est.)
-$10.81 billion (2015 est.)
$8.782 billion (2016 est.)
$12.31 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$59.68 billion (2016 est.)
$375 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
$132.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$126.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
$94.36 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$90.86 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$41.12 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$37.83 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$36.77 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$195.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$201.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$180.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate2% (31 December 2010)
0.05% (31 December 2009)
Stock of domestic credit$48.49 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$45.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$387.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$370.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$14.24 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.96 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$129.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$124.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$40.94 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$39.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$337.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$327.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues34% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-18.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 41%
government consumption: 28.4%
investment in fixed capital: 37%
investment in inventories: -4.7%
exports of goods and services: 49.4%
imports of goods and services: -51.1% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 61.1%
government consumption: 9.3%
investment in fixed capital: 29.7%
investment in inventories: 0.7%
exports of goods and services: 81.5%
imports of goods and services: -82.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving9.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
20.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
38.1% of GDP (2014 est.)


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Electricity - production28 billion kWh (2014 est.)
110 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption25 billion kWh (2014 est.)
95.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production982,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
2.82 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports7,060 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports806,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
2.637 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves5.3 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
98 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves688.1 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
6.091 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production30.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)
54.24 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption22.6 billion cu m (2014 est.)
66.32 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports10.27 billion cu m (2014 est.)
8.066 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports1.97 billion cu m (2014 est.)
20.14 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity8.2 million kW (2014 est.)
28 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
99.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production158,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
503,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption160,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
744,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports33,450 bbl/day (2013 est.)
384,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports14,810 bbl/day (2013 est.)
365,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy69 million Mt (2013 est.)
245 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 100,000
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2013)
population without electricity: 177,824
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2012)


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 434,932
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 2,208,425
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 6.647 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 202 (July 2015 est.)
total: 17.943 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 310 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable; domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations
domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership both increasing with fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems
international: country code - 968; the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2015)
general assessment: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile-cellular telephones; key centers are Abu Dhabi and Dubai
domestic: microwave radio relay, fiber-optic and coaxial cable
international: country code - 971; linked to the international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe); landing point for both the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian (2015)
Internet country code.om
Internet userstotal: 2.438 million
percent of population: 74.2% (July 2015 est.)
total: 5.274 million
percent of population: 91.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media1 state-run TV broadcaster; TV stations transmitting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen available via satellite TV; state-run radio operates multiple stations; first private radio station began operating in 2007 and 2 additional stations now operating (2007)
except for the many organizations now operating in media free zones in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, most TV and radio stations remain government-owned; widespread use of satellite dishes provides access to pan-Arab and other international broadcasts (2017)


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Roadwaystotal: 60,230 km
paved: 29,685 km (includes 1,943 km of expressways)
unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)
total: 4,080 km
paved: 4,080 km (includes 253 km of expressways) (2008)
Pipelinescondensate 106 km; gas 4,224 km; oil 3,558 km; oil/gas/water 33 km; refined products 264 km (2013)
condensate 533 km; gas 3,277 km; liquid petroleum gas 300 km; oil 3,287 km; oil/gas/water 24 km; refined products 218 km; water 99 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar
container port(s) (TEUs): Salalah (3,200,000)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Qalhat
major seaport(s): Al Fujayrah, Mina' Jabal 'Ali (Dubai), Khor Fakkan (Khawr Fakkan) (Sharjah), Mubarraz Island (Abu Dhabi), Mina' Rashid (Dubai), Mina' Saqr (Ra's al Khaymah)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dubai Port (15,585,000), Khor Fakkan (Khawr Fakkan) (Sharjah) (3,400,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Das Island
Merchant marinetotal: 5
by type: chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3
registered in other countries: 15 (Malta 5, Panama 10) (2010)
total: 61
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 13, chemical tanker 8, container 7, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 24, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 13 (Greece 3, Kuwait 10)
registered in other countries: 253 (Bahamas 23, Barbados 1, Belize 3, Cambodia 2, Comoros 8, Cyprus 3, Georgia 2, Gibraltar 5, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 1, India 4, Iran 2, Jordan 2, Liberia 37, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 12, Mexico 1, Netherlands 4, North Korea 2, Panama 83, Papua New Guinea 6 (2010)
Airports132 (2013)
43 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 13
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 119
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 51
914 to 1,523 m: 33
under 914 m: 26 (2013)
total: 18
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
Heliports3 (2013)
5 (2013)


OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Military branchesSultan's Armed Forces (SAF): Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Sultanat Oman) (2013)
United Arab Emirates Armed Forces: Critical Infrastructure Coastal Patrol Agency (CICPA), Land Forces, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense, Presidential Guard (2015)
Military service age and obligation18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
18-30 years of age for compulsory military service for men, optional service for women; 17 years of age for male volunteers with parental approval; 2-year general obligation, 9 months for secondary school graduates; women may train for 9 months regardless of education (2014)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP12.75% of GDP (2016)
14.58% of GDP (2015)
11.8% of GDP (2014)
15% of GDP (2013)
8.61% of GDP (2012)
5.66% of GDP (2014)
6.06% of GDP (2013)
5.09% of GDP (2012)
5.5% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

OmanUnited Arab Emirates
Disputes - internationalboundary agreement reportedly signed and ratified with UAE in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah exclave, but details of the alignment have not been made public
boundary agreement was signed and ratified with Oman in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah enclaves, but contents of the agreement and detailed maps showing the alignment have not been published; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which Iran occupies

Source: CIA Factbook