We continue our GCC journey to Muscat, Oman, where we meet Country Manager Amin Halaseh. With an area of 309,500 km2, Oman is the second largest country in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia. As with other Gulf nations, oil is the mainstay of the economy, providing a GDP of approximately USD 70 billion, but compared to its neighbors Oman is a modest oil producer. Tourism, agriculture and fishing are additional important sources of income. The country also enjoys political stability, even after the unrest in 2011, which the Sultan dealt with wisely.

Mr. Halaseh, Oman, with its ethnically diverse population, holds a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Oman has modest oil and gas reserves (ranking 25th globally). What makes the country’s economy strong?

The political stability and good relationship that Oman enjoys with all its neighboring countries, including Iran, reflect the solidity and steady growth of the economy and GDP.

Oman is attractive for foreign invest­ment; with the country’s progress and development plan still at an early stage compared with other GCC countries, foreign investors see that there is still a great deal of opportunity for investing in and profiting from the growing economy

Government policy is encouraging investment in the industrial, oil & gas and housing segments.

How about the construction market? Where does Oman need Sika most?

The construction market in Oman is progressively growing. Cement consumption is estimated at about 8.5 million tons a year (close to current UAE consumption), with the market divided into two main segments:

  • The government sector, including infrastructure, oil and gas, and municipal projects
  • The private sector, which continues to grow in the residential and services industries. However, the country’s vast geographical expanse means that a large proportion of this private sector is located in distant underdeveloped regions

The Omani market needs Sika as a reputable international solution provider in the construction chemical sector. Sika’s international experience, its product portfolio and the quality of its systems and solutions are appreciated by the market, as are the reliable services that local competitors cannot provide to the same level of efficiency.

Are there any extraordinary Sika projects you would like to tell us about?

We recently supplied products out of the whole Sika product range for the Muscat Airport Development Project.
With our recent success in delivering Sika concrete admixtures to Bechtel for Oman and the contract to supply Lafarge in Oman, we have established a good base for creating our own supply chain footprint there.

In 2010 the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. Oman also received a peace award. Where does this enormous positive strength come from?

There are several contributory factors, including:

  • Political stability and a good relationship with all influential countries in the region and worldwide
  • The government’s new policy of following the massive regional development witnessed in GCC countries over the last 7 to 8 years
  • The strategy of developing the country starting with infrastructure and services, followed by industrial and housing growth, to create more opportunities for the Omani people and ensure stability at the grassroots level.
  • The policy of “Omanization”: Oman follows a strict policy of increasing “Omanization” among all government and private sectors in order to reduce unemployment among Omani’s new graduates and to reduce the outflow of capital from the country.

Visit Sika Oman`s website here: Sika Oman

Alternatively check out the entire Sika GCC website.