Oman recently announced a renewable five and ten-year extended residency permit to foreign investors to attract quality investments.
The new Investment Residency Program (IRP), to be launched in September 2021, targets sectors like industry, tourism, mining, logistics, agriculture, fisheries, education, health, and information technology (IT).
The major announcement was made to attract investments, create jobs, and enhance growth and targets the enabling sectors represented by the green and circular economy.
This program comes alongside other enhancements to the Sultanate’s commercial environment, such as the provision of quality digital services and the streamlining of procedures and processes.
Oman’s debt as a percentage of economic output will climb to 82.7% in 2021 from 79.2% last year. The government’s total outstanding debt stood at $51.2 billion by the end of 2020, up from $45.7 bn the previous year.
The country successfully tapped the international debt market in January, raising $3.25 bn. The country is planning a second debt sale in 2021 with a dollar sukuk.
The finance ministry has said that as of end-March, it was more than halfway to meeting its total funding needs of almost $11 bn for this year, thanks to borrowing and drawdowns from the sovereign wealth fund.
Oman’s low cost of living
Muscat has been named the third-cheapest city to live in among the GCC.
The 2021 Cost of Living City Ranking, issued by Mercer, places Muscat after Kuwait City and Doha when it comes to affordability.
Kuwait City was listed 115th, dropping two places from last year while Doha, which is ranked 130th, fell 21 places.
Muscat dropped 12 places from 96th position last year, to 108 this year.
Overall, the costs of living in the major GCC cities dropped because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.
Riyadh (29) is the most expensive city in the region, having risen two places. Dubai (42) is second, although it has dropped 19 places since last year.
Abu Dhabi is 56th. Manama is ranked 71st, having fallen 19 places.
The three most expensive cities in the world are Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan; Hong Kong and Beirut in Lebanon.