The Omani economey has been on a steady transformation course through development plans, beginning with the first 5-year plan. On instruction from his Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, vision 2020, a plan for Oman's economic future up to the year 2020 was created. Vision 2020 details Sultanate's economic and social goals, these include:
Economic and financial stability
Reshaping the role of government in the economy and broadening private sector participation
Diversifying the economic base and sources of national income
Globalization of the Omani economy
upgrading the skills of the Omani workforce and developing human resources
Invest in Oman
Oman offers a well-developed financial market and ease of access to loans facilitates. The ease of access to loans is amongst the highest in the world, Oman currently ranks 9th globally. Banks in Oman have highly regulated frameworks that place its system as one of the best in the GCC.
Oman’s bank credits to the private sector grew at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2009-13 and reached US$37bn in 2014. The increased levels of credit towards the private sector provide an attractive climate for foreign players looking to invest in Oman.
In an effort to support the growth of start-ups and small businesses, The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has specified that 5% of commercial bank loans be provided to SMEs. Oman Venture Capital Company (Ethmar) has recently been established with an initial fund of US$27million - the Fund is designed to support high-risk projects.
New Tourism Project Development
Eleven mega tourism projects are either on-going or have received approvals for construction, by the Ministry of Tourism.
The ‘Salalah Beach’ project is in progress and aims to have eight hotels constructed, 2000 rooms and almost 3000 real estates. Two of the eight hotels are almost complete, and the project is expected to be ready by 2035.
Ras Al Had project has three hotels, 650 rooms and 488 real estates under its umbrella and construction has already begun. It’s Phase 1 has one hotel and 250 rooms, and rest of the project will see the light of day by 2023. Quriyat will also see 3 hotels, 750 rooms and 100 real estates come up by 2022.
‘The Mount’ at Bousher with 3 hotels, 363 rooms and 600 real estates has received approval and will be completed by 2023, whereas Muscat Bay (Saraya Bandar Jissah) in Qantab will have two hotels with 318 rooms and 488 real estates. The project started in 2012 and its first phase is ready.
‘Al Nakheel’ in Barka will begin this year and have three hotels ready by 2012 with 670 rooms and 1436 real estates.
Other Integrated Tourism Projects (ITCs) include ‘Naseem Al Sabah’ in Al Seeb with 2 hotels, 600 guest rooms and 830 real estates and is expected completion by 2022. ‘Omagine’, also in Al Seeb will have two hotels and 500 rooms, and is also to be completed by 2022.
‘Jebel Sifah’, whose construction started in 2008 will see completion in 2035 with a total of 4 hotels, 500 guest rooms and 1000 real estates. Salalah ‘Waterfront’ project will also start construction this year and will consist of 5 hotels, 1150 rooms and 1060 real estates.