Starting from checking in the current financial health of your account in Oman to engage in daily conversation with your best friend living in Muscat, the capital city of Oman for geographical challenges, the ease of accessing the online world via laptop, smartphone or tablet definitely makes our spinning world feel much smaller.
Stand up now for the chorus of howls that will spread across the planet, which even the poor tinnitus sufferer surely won’t fail to notice – and that politely. Ah… here it is. What is… Oman? Are you serious? Never heard of that place. Is it somewhere in Alaska? Don’t you mean Oman Street in Nashville? NO! Just go to Google Maps and enter Oman in the search box. Know where we are now?
Exotic travel destinations
Yes, that’s right, Oman is pretty far off the tourist trail for most of us and can therefore be considered exotic. But it is ‘discovered’ by more and more foreign travelers every year. Indeed, capturing foreign currency in the form of US dollars, British pounds, Swiss francs or Indian rupees is big business in Oman. In 2012, for example, tourism accounted for about 7% of GDP, or about $5.2 billion.
In anticipation of a larger share of the GDP pie generated by tourism for the remainder of the decade, hotel developments in the country must keep pace with growing demand, adding an expected 3,000 rooms by the end of this year. Alone.
The rise of mobile broadband
Internet, and broadband in particular, is another big earner in the country with two major providers, Omantel and Nawras, leveraging it for available revenue. According to the Oxford Business Group (OBG), both operators are active in all areas of the market, providing telephone and internet services via mobile devices and fixed-line connections.
Of the 5.3 million mobile subscribers, Omantel accounts for 49% and Nawras 41%, with the rest made up by resellers, according to the latest data from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
The number of mobile broadband subscribers has more than quadrupled over the past few years, jumping from 425,000 in 2009 to 1.9 million in March 2013, TRA said. This equates to a mobile broadband penetration rate of 52.43%, indicating a large room for growth in the market.
Expand health services
Oman wants to improve its health sector with public and private funds channeled into creating better facilities that offer greater choice to its citizens. Center stage will be the construction of the $1 billion International Medical City project in Salalah, overseen by Saudi-based Apex Medical Group.
The project, says ConstructionWeekOnline, is designed to position Oman as a global medical tourism hub and will feature three main components – a healthcare resort with staff accommodation, a healthcare complex and a healthcare education complex – built in two phases. The center is a 530-bed multi-tertiary hospital serving no less than 21 different specialties. View all ConstructionWeekOnline article here.