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Chapter | Industry from The Report: Oman 2020

Manufacturing is on track to reach the target contribution of 15% of GDP by 2020 laid out by Oman’s Vision 2020 economic development plan, which was first announced in 1995. Indeed, Oman has accomplished 70% of its ambitions in Vision 2020, Talal bin Sulaiman Al Rahbi, deputy secretary general of the Supreme Council of Planning, told local media in October 2019. Past decades have seen manufacturing’s contribution to GDP rise from under 1% in 1980 to 9.6% in 2018, and it is expected to rise further. Room remains to broaden the industrial base: under the long-term plan Vision 2040, the government is looking to encourage the adoption of technology in manufacturing to enhance competitiveness and increase output. This chapter contains interviews with Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates; and Sheikh Khalil Al Harthy, CEO, Credit Oman.

Chapter | Real Estate from The Report: Oman 2020

Oman’s real estate market has continued to feel the effects of slower economic growth over the past year. Rental rates have declined by more than 25% since recent highs were reached in 2014, and 2019 saw prices continue to fall amid concerns about oversupply and expatriate workers leaving the country. The residential segment has been the most affected, with a large amount of recent developments placing pressure on rental and sales prices. However, with strong growth expected in the retail and industrial sectors, related real estate offerings present unique opportunities. The sector’s primary regulatory body is the Ministry of Housing. This chapter contains an interview with Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO, Al Mouj Muscat.

Chapter | Construction from The Report: Oman 2020

After several years of slower growth, Oman’s construction sector looks set to bounce back as the government continues to invest in infrastructure, tourism, housing and energy projects. Strong private sector activity in the retail market is also creating a promising pipeline of construction work on shopping malls and other commercial properties, while plans to build additional integrated tourism complexes have created a raft of contracts for both local and foreign construction and engineering firms. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is the sector’s principal governing body. This chapter contains an interview with Simon Karam, CEO, Sarooj Construction.

Chapter | Utilities from The Report: Oman 2020

As the sultanate looks to manage its energy transition and inject capital into the fiscal balance, privatisation, sector reorganisation and renewable energy are key topics on the agenda for Oman’s utilities sector. Reducing reliance on natural gas is a top priority, with a number of large-scale projects using solar energy helping the country achieve its goal of 10% renewable energy on the grid by 2025. As several large-scale power and water projects are on the horizon, the utilities sector’s short-term outlook is promising. The shift from conventional to renewable sources is deemed a positive move, yet as the power segment approaches capacity, the water segment is looked to as having more long-term growth potential.

Chapter | Energy from The Report: Oman 2020

The energy sector in Oman has continued to evolve within a context of uncertain economic conditions and a rapidly changing global energy landscape. Becoming a leader in the development of enhanced oil recovery techniques has allowed it to maintain high production rates. At the same time, major gas discoveries and the launch of a series of big-budget projects have significantly raised the country’s profile as a producer and exporter of gas and related products. Notably, government incentives are encouraging industry heavyweights to implement renewable alternatives in the extraction of oil and gas where possible, both to preserve gas stock and reduce the sector’s carbon footprint. This chapter contains interviews with Musab Al Mahruqi, CEO, Oman Oil and Orpic Group; and Mohammed Al Jahwari, CEO, Hydrocarbon Finder.

Chapter | Insurance from The Report: Oman 2020

The countrywide introduction of mandatory health coverage for private sector workers and their families will offer a considerable boost to Oman’s insurance sector. However, considerable challenges remain, such as the slowing growth of insurance premium. The market also remains crowded, and in some cases the pursuit of premium has cut into underwriting standards and become a hindrance to the long-term sustainability of the market. The Capital Market Authority is introducing new training and regulatory conditions that should make for an even more competitive market and provide a higher level of service. Companies are therefore likely to develop their digital offering as a means of securing a competitive advantage. One bright spot is the takaful (Islamic insurance) segment, which continues to grow at a faster rate than its conventional counterpart.