Oman in the 21st Century: Issues and Challenges

Ahmed Nawaz Hakro, PhD (Editor)
Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation,  Middle East College, Knowledge Oasis Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Series: Politics and Economics of the Middle East
BISAC: HIS026000

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The Sultanate of Oman is known for its internal peace, tranquility and political harmony. The country has long been a success story of growth and development in the region. The past few decades of development have not only brought about developmental transformation but have also improved the governance, standards of living and prosperity of its population. However, the recent economic globalization and technological changes have posed a number of challenges for the depleting resources of the Sultanate of Oman.

Policy makers are compelled to confront these challenges by adapting the traditional development paths and striving to diversify the economy in an attempt to wean the country from its dependence on natural resources. The earlier development trajectory of the country was based on state-led development models with an important role being envisaged for the public sector. However, the diversification strategies that have been adopted recently are based on the proactive role of the private sector.

These include creating an enabling business environment, attracting direct foreign investment and increasing the investment on human capital. The development vision is largely focused on strengthening the tourism, logistics and infrastructure sectors to create job opportunities for the fast growing young and educated population. The development of human capital is also a key challenge which needs to be addressed to reduce knowledge and educational deficits; the country’s labour market imbalances in terms of mismatch of skills needs to be corrected through the policies of Omanization of its national work force. The country is facing new set of regional peace and security challenges in changing regional political dynamics.

This book contains original research contributions which largely address these issues and challenges in recent times. The researchers have traced the development and diversification paths in Oman’s historical context including the investigation of trade patterns, energy and water consumption uses and the socio-economic impact of trade with the rest of the world. Key issues of Omani culture and identity, peace and security that are linked to the preservation of the Omani national heritage and language identity are also explored.

The book has explored the developmental trajectories in recent decades with its limitations and has provided in detail the answers to the use of scarce resources such as oil, gas, water and energy resources, their consumption patterns, as well as the impact of climate change in these changing and uncertain economic times. The book has also addressed the Arabic language issue and the Omani and other dialects which are very important to the Omani identity. The book debates the factors that have contributed to the growth as well as threatened the very survival of Omani dialects. The book has further investigated the significant performance challenges to Omani SMEs. The challenges of development and diversification and the barriers to diversification efforts, the composition and direction of trade flows, peace and security and the trading patterns of Oman and its attendant complexities are also discussed.

The book is an original narration of the developmental and transformational journey Oman has taken to maintain inclusive development, diversification and high standards of living in this unpredictable economic climate.
(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1. Development and Diversification: A Case Study of the Sultanate of Oman
(Ahmed Nawaz Hakro and Bilal Ahmad Pandow, Middle East College, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, and others)

Chapter 2. Trade Flows of Oman with Its Major Trade Partners: A Gravity Model Approach
(Bashir Fida, Chamsuddin Musa and Dharmendra Singh, Modern College of Business and Science,
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman)

Chapter 3. Empirical Investigation and Evaluation of SMEs Performance in Sultanate of Oman
(Muhammad Saqib, PhD, and Nazim Hussain Baluch, PhD, Computing Department, Middle East College, KOM, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, and others)

Chapter 4. Indoor Environment and Air-Conditioning of Residential Buildings in a Hot, Dry Climate (Oman): Present and Future
(Abdul Majid Noor Hanita, PhD, Nozomi Takagi, MD, Shuichi Hokoi, PhD, Tomoko Uno, PhD, and Sri N.N. Ekasiwi, PhD, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design, International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and others)

Chapter 5. Water Loss Management in Muscat: Case Study of Al-Seeb Water Supply System
(Mohammed F.M. Abushammala, PhD, Manal M. Al-Bulushi and Wajeeha A. Qazi, Department of Civil Engineering, Middle East College, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman)

Chapter 6. The Use of Modern Standard Arabic and Arabic Dialects in Oman for Internal Cohesion and External Distinction
(Rahma Al-Mahrooqi and C. J. Denman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, and others)

Chapter 7. Factors Impacting on Research Output in Oman: An Exploratory Study
(Muneer Karadsheh, Humanities Research Centre, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman and C. J. Denman, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)

Chapter 8. Peace and Security in Non-State Actors Regions between Oman, Pakistan and Iran
(Beatrice Nicolini, PhD, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Catholic University, Milan, Italy)

Index

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