Oman has traditionally relied on Gulf & Indian Ocean sea trade, supplemented by fishing and basic agriculture. In the 18th century the sultanate of Oman signed the first of series of agreements with the United Kingdom. Although it became closer and more dependant on the UK, it was never a colony in the British Empire.
In 1970 Qaboos bin Said Al-Said overthrew his father's regime and established a more open and progressive society that has been generally well received. Still, there have been protests as part of the wave Arab uprisings, but calling for faster progress in reforms and asking for higher pay and lower prices, while continuing to voice support for the Sulta
Unlike its neighbours, Oman doesn’t have immense oil resources, however it has found oil reserves totaling 5 billion barrels in the mid 1990s. Due to its complex geology, exploration is difficult and expensive. In recent time, improvements in technology have attributed to enhanced recovery of oil reserves. However the reserves are dwindling, the government of Oman has in place five-year plans to diversify, modernize and 'Omanize' the economy such that oil will only contribute 9% of GDP by 2020.
Oman’s GDP per capita has expanded continuously. In the 60s it grew 339 percent percent to reach 1,307 percent in the 70s. Although in the 80s growth was only 12 percent and rose again to 34 percent in the 90s. At the turn of the millennium, Oman’s economic performance improved with the rise in oil prices.
GDP (PPP) for Oman in 2010 was US$ 78.1 billion making Oman the 76th largest economy in world rankings. In the previous year, 2009, GDP for Oman was US$ 73.90 billion, an increase of 5.68 percent between 2009 and 2010. Oman’s forecasted GPD (PPP) for 2011 is US$82.82 billion, up 6.04 percent from 2010.
GDP Per Capita (PPP), for Oman in 2010 was US$ 26,197.69 making the Omanis the 35th richest in world rankings. In the previous year, 2009, GDP Per Capita (PPP), for Oman was US$ 25,635.21. Oman’s forecasted GDP Per Capita (PPP) in 2011 is US$26,861.46, increasing 2.53 percent from 2010.
Average inflation for Oman in 2010 was 4.35 percent. In the previous year, 2009, Oman's inflation rate was 3.54 percent Inflation. Oman’s forecasted Inflation rate in 2011 is 3.50 percent, down around 1% from 2010.
Current Account Balance (% GDP) for Oman in 2010 was 5.813 percent making Oman number 23 in world rankings. Oman’s forecasted Current Account Balance (% GDP) in 2011 is 6.09 percent, which is 4.75 percent more than the 2010 figure.