Over the past 52 years, Oman has created an interest among the global business communities in terms of an ideal destination for investment. Reasons for them are safety, security and connectivity. The country is strategically located between UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Arabian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman, with proximity to the Hormuz Strait and Iran, besides sharing maritime frontiers with Pakistan, making it the most economical investment destination for interested people from any part of the world map, besides the fact that Oman economy has been globally recognised as a competitive, diversified and resilient economy that empowers a thriving business community.
The ambitious economy has been guided by Oman Vision 2040, which seeks to provide job opportunities, diversify the economy, exports developments, attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), accelerate economic growth, development of governorates and sustainable cities, accentuate the In-Country Value (ICV), and improving the Sultanate of Oman’s ranking in the global index.
For this, the country has identified a number of important sectors, such as manufacturing, education, healthcare, logistics, agriculture and fisheries, ICT, tourism, mining and circular economy.
Oman’s Economic Stimulus Plan for (2021-2022)
There have been several initiatives towards stimulating the economy, especially in the post-Covid era, engaging all sectors of the sources of national income and encouraging the investors and trade and business as a whole. Some of the salient features of the National Economic Stimulus Plan are:
1) An allowance of a 5-year tax exemption is given
2) 25 per cent lease reduction
3) Permit for 88 per cent of business activities
4) Registration fees reduction for foreign businesses
5) Own land plots of 5000 m² or more
6) Service agreement with the Ministry for every strategic project
7) Residency to foreign investors
8) Recruitment permits for the expat workforce
As one of the most suitable, safe and secure countries to do business, the Sultanate of Oman allows foreign firms free repatriation of profits and capital as and when they wish to while providing 100 per cent ownership to those foreign firms or individuals. There are no foreign exchange controls, and the country doesn’t charge any personal income tax. The business environment and general law provide legal transparency, while English is a widely spoken language and is accepted as a common medium of communication. The Sultanate of Oman is open to ideas and beliefs, and the people are friendly and innovative with a global outlook.
INVESTOR RESIDENCY PROGRAMME:
To attract and retain investments in the country, the Sultanate of Oman has been offering two Investment Residency Programmes since 2021, through real estate, commercial investment and long-term bank deposits on a renewable five and ten-year basis, subject to applicants meeting specific criteria. There are two types of investor residency permits.
Tier One Terms & Conditions:
1) Make an investment of not less than RO 500,000 in a
liability company, public joint-stock company or government bonds, or
2) Buy a property in the Sultanate of Oman to the value of RO 500,000, or
3) Establish a company employing a minimum of 50 Omani nationals – specification of company capital not required.
The validity of Oman’s Tier One Extended Residency permit is ten (10) years, subject to extension Fees. The fee to obtain an Omani residence card is RO 500 for the applicant and RO 100 for each first-degree relative.
Tier Two Terms & Conditions:
1) Make an investment of not less than RO 250,000 in a limited liability company or public joint-stock company, or
2) Buy a property in the Sultanate of Oman to the value of RO 250,000, or
3) Expatriate workers currently residing in Oman who wish to retire in the Sultanate of Oman can obtain an Extended Residence permit by providing evidence of a fixed income of no less than RO 4,000 a month.
The validity of Oman’s Tier Two Extended Residency permit is five (5) years, subject to extension.
The fee to obtain an Oman residence card is RO 300 for the applicant and RO 50 for each first-degree relative.
INVESTOR RESIDENCY PROGRAMME INCENTIVES:
The investor resident card holders can work in Oman without the requirement of a local sponsor besides getting Oman residence permits for the investor’s first-degree relatives. In addition, investors’ relatives can be issued visitor’s visas as and when required and employ domestic workers. Additionally, he or she can conduct business activities in the Sultanate of Oman, own property outside the designated Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs), and open bank accounts in Oman.
INITIATIVES FROM THE MINISTRY:
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) offers an extensive, free and confidential package of assistance to help identify the full range of hard and soft benefits of choosing Oman as an investment destination and business location. One advantage of investing in the Sultanate of Oman over the past few decades is that Oman has positioned itself. Oman has a highly pro-business environment, which is congruent with creating new investment opportunities while promoting the available investment opportunities. Besides, it has made investment registration, licenses and permits, and other documentation simpler and easier, thanks to the ‘Invest Easy’ platform, in addition to offering a gamut of post-investment services to those who invest their funds in the country. The Invest in Oman platform is a state initiative to connect project owners, investors and entrepreneurs with the domestic and international business community and to provide instructions on how to do business in Oman, among other services.