The Sultanate of Oman is situated on the Southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is flanked by UAE to the northeast, Yemen to the southwest and Saudi Arabia to the west, and overlooks the crystalline, blue waters of the Arabian Sea. This small Arab Sultanate has arguably been in the media shadows of its more vociferous neighbours; however, it has shown an enviable foresight in developing into a stable and a thriving economy. Following significant findings of oil and gas reserves in the 1960s, Oman invested heavily in developing the economic infrastructure, focusing especially on health and education. Consequently, the UNDP Human Development Report 2010 states that Oman is most improved nation amongst 135 countries according to their Human Development Index.
With its impressive economic growth and high GDP per capita, Oman is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities Islamic finance offers. It has strong relationships with its neighbouring Arab and Persian states and offers a liberal, open economy for international investors. Oman is looking to diversify and strengthen its economy. Since the 1970s, when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said took the reins of power, Oman has prudentially built its economy. By entering the Islamic finance market late, Oman has the advantage building upon the successes and avoiding the failures of Islamic finance in neighbouring states. By learning from their experience, it can create its own, unique path. The future is bright for Islamic finance in Oman.
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