Oman. The Arab Spring was expressed in Oman in demands for higher wages, lower prices and reduced corruption, rather than for radical political changes. In the important industrial city of Sohar, where a giant harbor was recently completed, 2,000 young people demonstrated on February 27-28 that the port had not given the jobs they hoped for. According to Countryaah official site, the protesters set fire to several government buildings, after which the police and military broke down the protests and a demonstrator was killed. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of OMN that stands for the country of Oman.
The protests continued during the spring both in Sohar, where another demonstrator was killed on April 1, in the capital Muskat and elsewhere. The human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the regime for crimes against freedom of speech.
Sultan Qabus ibn Said, who is both head of state and government, handled the protests by dismissing a total of twelve ministers and promising, among other things, 50,000 new jobs and increased grants in various forms. He also promised that the country’s parliament, which had only advisory power, would have certain legislative powers which he did not specify. An election to Parliament’s lower house, Majlis ash-Shura, on October 15 attracted no major interest.
According to United Nations estimates in 1991 the population of the sultanate was 1,559,000 residents (but 2,142,450 residents according to internal estimates). The dominant ethnic group is Arab, with minorities of Indians, Pakistanis and Iranians, of ancient immigration. Small groups of nomads or semi-nomads still live in the interior, dedicated to breeding. The average population density is very low due to the difficult environmental conditions. Most of the residents gather in the Masqaṭ and especially in the coastal strip, where the main centers of the country arise, including Maṭraḥ, Ṣuḥār and the capital Masqaṭ itself. They have been part of the O since 1967. also the Kūriā Mūriā islands (78 km 2), claimed by the Republic of Yemen.
The country was once an important trading area between India, the Arab world and East Africa; today this function has been completely extinguished, while the strategic importance determined by the position at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf has resulted in the financial support of the numerous states that are interested in the safety of maritime traffic in the area.
Despite a subsistence agriculture, which allows a limited production of citrus fruits, cereals, cotton, tobacco and sugar cane, a very poor breeding and fishing practiced with backward means, the Oman has definitively emerged from a centuries-old situation of underdevelopment thanks to oil, which contributes 91% to the total value of exports (1991). See baglib.com for Oman sights, UNESCO, climate, and geography.
In 1991 oil production was 34.9 million tons: the main wells are those of Ǧibāl, Faḥūd, Naṭīḥ, al-Huwaysa, al-Ḥuwayr; a 280 km long oil pipeline connects the fields with the Mīnā᾽ al-Faḥal oil terminal. Natural gas, which is abundant in the south of the country, is extracted at a rate of 4.8 million m 3 per day; in 1989 the reserves were valued at around 283,000 million m 3. The weakening of the oil market since the mid-1980s has slowed the trend positive of the economy. Furthermore, the Gulf War forced the government to face increasingly onerous financial commitments in the field of defense, which in 1989 represented 42% of total expenditure. The only industrial activities are a copper refinery, active since 1983, an oil refinery, inaugurated in 1982, and two cement factories, in production since 1984.
In addition to oil, whose main buyer is Japan, exports (US $ 5488 million in 1990) are made up of dates, fruit, tobacco and fish. Imports (2519 million US dollars in 1990) consist of machinery and means of transport, various industrial products, foodstuffs. The trade balance is back in surplus, after the years of crisis due to the decrease in the quantity of oil extracted; the most intense exchanges are with the United Arab Emirates, Japan and the United Kingdom.