Foreword from Hamish Cowell CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman

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I am delighted to welcome you to this guide on doing business with Oman. The Institute of Export & International Trade is working with the British Government to help companies find new business opportunities globally, and we look forward to helping you enter the Omani market successfully.

The UK and Oman enjoy a special and long-standing friendship dating back hundreds of years, and which spans the whole of our respective societies – from political to defence to economic, and of course, to trade. Iconic British brands have had a long affinity with Oman; HSBC have been here for 70 years and are one of the largest banks in the country; BAE Systems have been here for 60 years and are a major supplier to the Omani Ministry of Defence; BP and Shell are leading players in the oil and gas sector; and British engineering and construction companies have built key national infrastructure, including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Royal Opera House in Muscat.

The UK has a very close commercial relationship with Oman, and we are proud of our market share here. Bilateral trade reached £1.6 billion in 2018. Oman is our 52nd largest export market and 65th largest trading partner. The UK also accounts for nearly 50% of all foreign direct investment (FDI) into Oman, with large recurring investments in the oil and gas sector.

Oman and the UK have developed particularly strong links in oil and gas, defence, financial and professional services, education, healthcare, and retail. Oman is a politically and economically stable country, which enjoys good relationships with all of its neighbours in the region. With an expansive Indian Ocean coastline, as well as its Gulf one, Oman offers a strategically advantageous place to do business in the Middle East and beyond – outside the Strait of Hormuz, on the open ocean, and in very close proximity to major east-west global shipping routes. Oman offers excellent opportunities for companies with high-quality products looking for long-term relationships.

I hope that my DIT team in Muscat can join the IOE&IT in supporting you to develop your business with Oman – a market bursting with opportunities for companies who are prepared to invest the time and effort into understanding local needs and requirements. It’s useful to come in with an understanding of how the Omanis like to do business, and how to access decision makers. I hope this guide will help you explore it further. Please get in touch and ask how we can help.


Hamish Cowell CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Oman


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