The Sultanate of Oman is known for its internal peace, tranquility and political harmony. The country has long been a success story of growth and development in the region. The past few decades of development have not only brought about developmental transformation but have also improved the governance, standards of living and prosperity of its population. However, the recent economic globalization and technological changes have posed a number of challenges for the depleting resources of the Sultanate of Oman. Policy makers are compelled to confront these challenges by adapting the traditional development paths and striving to diversify the economy in an attempt to wean the country from its dependence on natural resources. The earlier development trajectory of the country was based on state-led development models with an important role being envisaged for the public sector. However, the diversification strategies that have been adopted recently are based on the proactive role of the private sector. These include creating an enabling business environment, attracting direct foreign investment and increasing the investment on human capital. The development vision is largely focused on strengthening the tourism, logistics and infrastructure sectors to create job opportunities for the fast growing young and educated population. The development of human capital is also a key challenge which needs to be addressed to reduce knowledge and educational deficits; the countrys labour market imbalances in terms of mismatch of skills needs to be corrected through the policies of Omanization of its national work force. The country is facing new set of regional peace and security challenges in changing regional political dynamics. This book contains original research contributions which largely address these issues and challenges in recent times. The researchers have traced the development and diversification paths in Omans historical context including the investigation of trade patterns, energy and water consumption uses and the socio-economic impact of trade with the rest of the world. Key issues of Omani culture and identity, peace and security that are linked to the preservation of the Omani national heritage and language identity are also explored. The book has explored the developmental trajectories in recent decades with its limitations and has provided in detail the answers to the use of scarce resources such as oil, gas, water and energy resources, their consumption patterns, as well as the impact of climate change in these changing and uncertain economic times. The book has also addressed the Arabic language issue and the Omani and other dialects which are very important to the Omani identity. The book debates the factors that have contributed to the growth as well as threatened the very survival of Omani dialects. The book has further investigated the significant performance challenges to Omani SMEs. The challenges of development and diversification and the barriers to diversification efforts, the composition and direction of trade flows, peace and security and the trading patterns of Oman and its attendant complexities are also discussed. The book is an original narration of the developmental and transformational journey Oman has taken to maintain inclusive development, diversification and high standards of living in this unpredictable economic climate.
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