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Oman’s Administrative Developments Since 1970 Essay

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Updated: Aug 22nd, 2021


Oman is a sultanate which has entered the modern world about twenty-five years ago, due to the progressive leadership of Sultan Qaboos Al bu Said and the willingness of the nation to conserve traditional customs and at the same time accepting revolution and transformation. The Sultanate has procgressed into a significant competitor on the local and global front. The ‘Majlis Ash’Shura’ in Oman is developed by acclimatizing the ancient conception of ‘shura’ into a contemporary, conscientious organization which is a constructive and pioneering elucidation of traditional principles. [1]

When he ascended the throne in late July 1970, Sultan Qaboos announced the rejection of the name “Muscat and Oman” and declared that the country would now be known as the ‘Sultanate of Oman’. [1] He also declared that a Council of Ministers would be formed that the Sultanate would have a new flag thereby signaling the onset of a new era.

The Majlis Ash’Shura (Consultative Assembly) was created in 1991 which comprised of 45 members with 17 selected from the central government, 11 from the private sector, and 17 from the wilayats, the purpose of which was to simply proffer an opinion. [1] On December 21, 1991, the Majlis Ash’Shura was instated by the Sultan. [2] The election procedure to the Majlis Ash’Shura was altered in 1994, but the universal functions have continued to be constant. The tenure of the membership for the Majlis is three years, and reappointment is only by the Sultan. The Majlis prepares its budget, which must be approved by the Sultan. The Majlis has five standing committees which are:

‘The Legal Committee’, ‘The Economic Committee’, ‘The Committee for Health and Social Affairs, ‘The Committee for Education and Culture’ and ‘The Committee of Services and Development of the Local Communities’.

Improves in politics

Since 1970 conditions for women have improved markedly in several areas. Oman permitted women to be selected for every seat in the Majlis Ash’Shura in 1994. While in 1970 there were no schools for girls, the current figures from the Ministry of Education in 1999 reported registration of almost 90 percent for all girls. Significantly, women comprise about half of the 5,000 apprentices at Sultan Qaboos University which has a quota system and is supposed to allow women to represent a greater part in several additional branches. [3]

Women also have accomplished noteworthy gains in the workforce. Several learned women have achieved powerful positions in government offices, businesses as also the media. Roughly thirty percent of all municipal workers are women. Primarily due to the encouragement of the Sultan over the years, currently there subsist more female graduates than male graduates. The women of Oman have the right to elect and stand for the election of officers in the ‘Consultative Council’ elections which are held every four years. Oman has three women in its Cabinet and has generated the first completely recognized woman representative to the United States from the Arab race, H.E. Hunaina Sultan al-Mughairy. [1]

Women are allowed to take maternal departure and also to equal pay for equal work in the public as well as the private segments. Nonetheless, there are considerable instances of educated women facing job prejudice because potential owners worry that they might give up their job to get married or else look after family units.

Inside the Government, the concerns of women are the accountability of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, and Vocational Training. The Ministry grants support for the dealings of women by supporting and endowing the ‘Oman Women’s Association’ or the ‘OWA’ and ‘Local Community Development Centers’ also known as the ‘LCDC’s’. [4]

The OWA in addition makes available unofficial psychotherapy and supports the women with annulment (divorce) connected complexities, girls who are enforced to get married besides their wish, in addition to women and girls tormenting from domestic violence. The central function of the fifty LCDC’s situated all over the kingdom is to promote women to progress the value of life for their family units and to advance their offerings to society. LCDC actions center on wellbeing and sociology address, themes related to childcare along with farming and conventional handiwork guidance curriculum. [4]

Oman has made considerable advancement through the years in assimilating its financial system within the international market thereby advancing monetary liberalization. According to a Report, Oman ranks as the seventeenth freest economy in the world connecting Oman with Finland and placing the Sultanate of Oman further ahead of countries such as Germany which ranks nineteenth, Taiwan which is at the twenty-fourth position, Spain and Japan with a tie at the thirtieth place, South Korea at thirty-five, and Italy at number fifty-four. [5]

Oil in Oman

The weighty reliance of Oman is on its Oil reserves which constitute approximately forty percent of the GDP of the country, more than eighty percent of the country’s exports, and about seventy-five percent of the government’s incomes. [6] It is this overwhelming reliance on oil, that causes immense apprehension to the Government of Oman because the life cycle of the nation’s oil fields is in a recession. Keeping this fact in the focus of its concern, Oman is assertively trying to diversify and privatize, particularly in the form of “Omanization” by reinstating The Oman nationals in place of the expatriate workers. [6]

In its endeavor to construct Oman as additionally magnetizing potential associates worldwide, Oman has abandoned the necessities of exclusive agency agreements which the overseas companies had to accept.

Oman is also in the race of developing into the second Arab country to put the ‘U.S. Container Security Initiative’ in place thereby permitting the U.S. employees to examine the shipments headed to the United States. [7]

A powerful dedication towards education is a core constituent of the ability of Oman to promote economic development, and Oman currently displays one of the most appreciated literacy figures in the Arab world. The nation as a whole has made extraordinary development since 1970 when H.M. Sultan Qaboos came to the throne. [7] Before 1970, Oman merely had three schools where only boys were permitted to obtain education a stark contrast to the contemporary times when Oman prides in encompassing more than one thousand schools where boys and girls are uniformly embodied.

The Basic Law of the State was disseminated on the 6th of November 1996 and includes eighty-one articles that embody a legal framework of indication, administering the role of the diverse ministers and extrication of their powers. [8] It also protects to assure the liberty, self-respect, and human rights of an individual, thereby laying down the guiding principles symbolized by policies of the state giving the thorough specifications of the public human rights and obligations. It encloses precise codes about the Head of State, the Council of Ministers, and the judiciary. [8]

The Basic Stature knew as the “The white book” was endorsed in 1996, the intent of which is to offer the power for political and communal constancy while warranting the civil rights and liberty of the human being. It lays down a procedure for the progression to the throne, the decree offered for the configuration of the ‘State Council of Oman’. It is an extensive manuscript describing the function of the Government and the judiciary, along with the definition of policies of the State towards the financial system, defense, edification, and communal progress of the nation. [8]


Oman is a flourishing country whose citizens are habituated to an elevated living standard. There is the absence of poverty and income tax, and each civilian has been assured a contented existence.

Oman’s principal apprehension for the future is financial viability. Oman has a restricted supply of water and oil as compared to comparatively towering attained standard of life and fashionable prospects for the steady compliance of which Oman will have to toil hard to maintain its regeneration. Oman’s subsequent most important apprehension, which is entangled to the primary concern, is the subject of domination and admired contribution. This problem develops into a severe one taking into consideration that Oman will be faced sooner or later with the Sultan’s transience and the veracity of the requirement of a descendant to take his place.


  1. ‘The World Factbook’ 2004, Oman, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Website. Web.
  2. ‘Majlis Ash’Shura’. Web.
  3. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2001 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 2002.
  4. Peterson, “Oman: Three and a Half Decades of Change and Development,”.
  5. Economic Freedom of the World: 2005 Annual Report, published by The Fraser Institute.
  6. “Shell Raised Oman Oil Reserves as Output Fell–NYT,” Reuters, 2004; and Jeff Gerth and Stephen Labaton, “Oman Oil Yield in Long Decline, Despite Shell’s Claims,” International Herald Tribune, 2004. Assessing the Political Stability of Oman Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 8, No. 3.
  7. Judith Miller, Creating Modern Oman: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76.
  8. CIA, “World Factbook 2004–Oman.”
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