Zawya: Oman’s quiet boom

While regional stalwarts Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait grab all the economic headlines, the Omani economy is quietly showing impressive growth and resilience.
The Omani Central Bank chief expects the Sulanate’s economy to grow at 5% this year, which is remarkable considering it comes during an infectious round of global economic weakness.

Oman has benefited from rising crude production at a time of high crude prices. Crude petroleum revenues rose 25.7% during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, while natural gas revenues rose nearly 30% during the same period.

Other sectors also showed double-digit improvement: the manufacturing sector grew 16.4% during the first quarter compared to the same period last year. The hotels and restaurant sector also grew 10.3% as the tourism industry rebounded.

Meanwhile, financial services rose 8.6% and real estate services posted 8.4% growth, according to data from Oman’s Ministry of Economy.

The return to form is even more impressive as Oman went through a tough period last year during the Arab Spring revolution. The country’s political structure was tested when protestors demanded greater political, social and economic reforms and the government had to move quickly.

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