Oman

The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Sultanate of Oman, making it the longest continually independent Arab country in modern history. The year also marks the passing of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who died on 10 January. He is succeeded by his cousin and the former minister of culture, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.

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As part of plans to expand and diversify its global trade partners, the GCC has launched negotiations with the UK on a free trade agreement that is expected to bolster the bloc’s economy, help attract investment and provide greater opportunities for local businesses.

Following delays, the long-awaited GCC Railway looks likely to be revitalised, a move that could transform trade and connectivity across the Gulf.

Food production in the GCC has long faced obstacles ranging from water scarcity to a lack of arable soil – factors that are being exacerbated by climate change.

The GCC chemicals and petrochemicals industry demonstrated considerable resilience in the face of Covid-19 and oil price fluctuations.

As oil prices reach 7.5-year highs, a number of countries in the Middle East have unveiled fiscal measures designed to balance their budgets after two years of pandemic-related spending.

Amid an increase in global demand and concerns over key supplies, global oil prices are approaching $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014. But, with prices rising, what does this mean for the renewable energy transition, especially in Gulf countries?

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