Oman’s economy: collateral damage in the oil price war

Summary: Oman faces deepening economic woes, heightened by the coronavirus and the oil price war. To find a way out, the sultanate may be  forced to surrender its independent foreign policy.

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1 thought on “Oman’s economy: collateral damage in the oil price war”

  1. Thanks for your perceptive and timely piece on Oman’s economy. Strained relations between Oman and the UAE are not of course new; it has always been unlikely that MBZ would do Oman any serious financial favour. Saudi Arabia is different; there is friction over Mahra Province (Yemen) and on a wider front over Iran and Qatar but equally there is Saudi interest in Oman helping find a way out of Yemen through accommodation with the Houthis – there are few other avenues out of the morass. In 2011 Riyadh and Kuwait put $10 billion over ten years on the table to help Oman through the costs of dampening popular demonstrations; the rising oil price meant it was not necessary to draw down more than $1 billion but the offer was there. Today Oman maintains good relations with both Kuwait and Qatar. It is not totally without rich friends. And is a policy naive if it has protected Oman from external aggression for 40 odd years? As you say, it’s been an admirable strategy.

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