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6 11 16 19 21 23 26 29 38 39 41 42 47 Oman in figures The winds of trade: The sultanate leverages its location for big gains Viewpoint: Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said Rules of the game: Trade partnerships with emerging Asian economies look set to create new opportunities for Gulf companies and drive domestic demand Interview: Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Going steady: A deepening of relations between the GCC and Asia is on the horizon Interview: Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organisation On solid ground: The economy is well positioned for long-term expansion Interview: Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry Local content: Encouraging Omani participation and domestic productivity in oil and gas Interview: Tariq Al Farsi, CEO, Al Raffd Fund Shifting assets: The government’s privatisation scheme aims to cut public expenditure and ramp up returns New opportunities: The industry is increasingly integral to the economy 51 55 57 61 67 68 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 80 85 86 88 93 102 Interview: Hamood Al Zadjali, Executive President, Central Bank of Oman By the book: Islamic financial services have tremendous growth potential Interview: AbdulRazak Ali Issa, CEO, Bank Muscat Ramping up: New regulations and solid growth bode well for future prospects Interview: Sheikh Abdullah bin Al Salmi, Executive President, Capital Market Authority Debt for sale: New regulations are expected to boost sukuk issuance in the sultanate Small but enterprising: The regulator takes a new approach to encourage listings from SMEs Interview: Khalid M Al Zubair, Managing Director, The Zubair Corporation, and Chairman, Ominvest Stocks & bonds Share analysis & data provided by Ominvest Al Anwar: Investment Bank Sohar: Banking Al Batinah & Al Suwadi: Electricity generation National Gas: Energy Oman Cables: Manufacturing Omantel: Telecommunications Underwriting growth: New regulations and rising awareness drive uptake and expansion Interview: Ali Abduladheem Al Lawati, Chairman, Oman Insurance Association Raising standards: Recent changes herald the beginning of a new phase A new prospect: The nascent Islamic insurance industry is poised to gain market share New opportunities: Oil and gas remain key economic contributors, as investment focuses on EOR and downstream development Interview: Salim Nasser Said Al Aufi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Oil and Gas 103 106 107 109 115 120 121 123 124 127 133 136 138 Renewables-driven: Increasing solar-fired enhanced oil recovery could have a significant economic impact Interview: Harib Al Kitani, CEO, Oman LNG Experience and expertise: New training centres are being developed to address a shortage of qualified workers Need for gas: A host of new initiatives are moving forward as demand increases Lots to come: Upcoming projects set the stage for a diversifying sector Interview: Hussain Hassan Ali AbdulHussain, CEO, Haya Water Generating usable water: Water projects are on the rise and legal changes will permit further growth Shifting focus: Leading the region in becoming energy independent Interview: Omar Al Wahaibi, CEO, Electricity Holding Company Across all segments: Major government investment in infrastructure, tourism, energy and human capital Getting the basics: Infrastructure development is prioritised for future expansion Human value: Focusing on human resources and local training Interview: Sheikh Salim bin Ahmed Al Ghazali, Chairman, Golden Group of Companies 140 145 146 149 158 159 161 164 173 176 178 181 189 191 193 196 197 200 204 Wider selection: Increasing affordable and high-end offerings A home of their own: Facilitating home ownership for lower-income segments Interview: Hawazen Esber, CEO, The Wave Muscat Upwards trajectory: A strong focus on value-added manufacturing and processing projects Interview: Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates Expansion ahead: Major government investment aimed at industrialising the economy Encouraging results: Efforts to revitalise the mining industry hold great potential Spreading the wealth: Prioritising economic and logistical development across governorates Interview: Saeed Khamis Al Zadjali, Acting CEO, Oman Airports Management Company In the zone: Expanding free trade zones to aid the diversification drive Interview: Said bin Hamdoon Al Harthy, Undersecretary for Ports and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Transport and Communications Further transformation: Sector investments will contribute to economic diversification plans Taking off: Upgrade of aviation infrastructure is under way Interview: Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications Regional flow: Logistics sector set to benefit from improved connections Interview: Paul Gregorowitsch, CEO, Oman Air Port to port: Most Port Sultan Qaboos traffic is moving to Sohar after 40 years Shopping success: Retail space is expanding rapidly and solid growth looks set to continue Interview: Dominic Myers, CEO, Enhance Operating Companies 206 211 214 218 Preparing the ground: The government is spending heavily to boost local production Interview: Fuad bin Jaafar bin Mohammed Al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth Collecting connections: The government’s sectoral strategy is entering a new phase Interview: Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO, Information Technology Authority 219 225 233 235 236 237 240 245 246 247 249 252 256 259 265 266 Enabling expansion: The rollout of training and new infrastructure to see increased IT uptake Luxurious expansion: Planning and investment are leading to sector growth Days at the races: Building up anticipation and support for sport Striking a balance: Conserving natural landscapes and habitats as visitor numbers grow Interview: Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamad Al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism Promoting participation: Enticing young Omanis in an effort to reach Omanisation targets in the sector From the ground up: With enrolment on the rise, the new focus is on reforming quality standards, improving assessment and involving the private sector Interview: Rawiyah bint Saud Al Busaidiyah, Minister of Higher Education Interview: Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Chairman, The Research Council Train of thought: A snapshot of vocational education in the country Skills and bills: Higher learning institutes and businesses are cooperating more closely to match training with industry needs Growing strong: Increased focus on private sector investment and preventive care Room to manoeuvre: Opportunities are expanding in the private health care sector PwC Legal structures: Understanding the tax framework Incentivising growth: Free zones and special economic zone to boost investment Interview: Kenneth Macfarlane, Country Senior Partner, PwC Dentons 269 275 276 278 279 286 288 Securing commerce: Legislation governing companies in Oman Appealing repeal: Amendments to the Commercial Agencies Law took effect mid-2014 Interview: Paul Sheridan, Partner, Dentons Competitive edge: Professional and casual sports are thriving in Oman Down for the night: Hotels and their services Listings: Useful contact details Facts for visitors: Important information for those arriving for the first time


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