Exporting guide to

Oman

Overview

The Sultanate of Oman is the second largest country geographically in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Its strategic location within the Arabian Peninsula, internal political stability, a favourable tax regime and strong existing links with the UK offer significant export opportunities for UK businesses.

Trade statistics

£1.0 billion total UK exports to Oman for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023)

65th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023)

0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q2 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023)

Strategic location

Oman is located in the south eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula. As the only GCC member state outside the Straits of Hormuz, Oman offers assured Gulf access and shorter shipping times along major maritime routes. Its deep seawater ports and airports provide a gateway to Indian, Asian and African markets.

Political stability

Dubbed the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’, Oman provides a politically neutral voice in a region prone to diplomatic tension. With significant investments in social as well as hard infrastructure over the past 50 years, the ‘Omani Renaissance’ has brought political stability internally as well as to its international relations.

Strong UK links

The UK-Omani bilateral relationship is underpinned by strong and growing military cooperation and very close diplomatic ties. The UK is a significant investor in Oman. Many Omanis choose to study overseas in the UK, and English is widely spoken and accepted as a business language.

Top five UK goods exported to Oman , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

Goods Value (£ million )
Mechanical power generators (intermediate) 96.4
Cars 52.5
General industrial machinery (capital) 37.7
Miscellaneous electrical goods (intermediate) 32.1
Scientific instruments (capital) 29.8

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: November 2023
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Oman.

Oman: at a glance

Economic growth

2.9%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.6% (IMF, 2021, actual figure)

GDP per capita

$19,479

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $46,422 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Currency

Rial

Business language

Arabic, English

Time zone

GMT +4

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities in Oman for UK companies across a broad range of industries. UK products are services are well received, and the British brand is strong here. Our trade advisers in Oman have identified the following sectors as offering specific and tangible opportunities for UK businesses:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Oman

Preparing to export

Tax

The UK and Oman have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

The tax regime is generally seen as favourable, with no personal income tax and one of the lowest rates of corporate income tax globally (15%).

The Oman Tax Authority (part of the Ministry of Finance) oversees taxation.

VAT

In June 2016, all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states signed the Common VAT Agreement. It was agreed that each GCC Member State would introduce a VAT system at a rate of 5%.

As a result of this agreement, Oman introduced VAT at a rate of 5% in April 2021. Some sectors and products are exempt from VAT, and exporters are advised to consult a tax accountant if they are unsure.

Standards

British standards are widely used in Oman. Responsibility for standards sits with the Directorate General of Standards and Specifications at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion.

Agents, importers or cargo companies can provide guidance and advice about labelling and packaging regulations.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Oman.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Oman

Challenges

A long-term approach and focus on building relationships are essential for successful market penetration and sustaining market share in Oman.

Local partnerships or agents often play a crucial role in product promotion and marketing. In many cases, a product’s success in this market will depend on the local agent.

UK businesses operating in Oman may face challenges relating to:

  • the amount of time it takes to set up a local operation (if outside free trade zones) and to obtain the required government licenses
  • local ownership requirements (if outside free trade zones)
  • the requirement to employ Omani nationals

Businesses operating in or exporting to Oman may face delays in payment.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

View guidance on IP in Oman on GOV.UK.

Commercial agents

Omani agents supply goods or services on behalf of foreign businesses without a registered entity in Oman. Agency agreements:

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