Year Founded: 1970
Situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is an absolute monarchy with its sultan serving as the prime minister and minister of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Finance at the same time. After the reform led by former Sultan, Qaboos bin Said al Said, the state has transformed from an economically underdeveloped desert kingdom to a high-income economy. In 2019, oil and other associated industries accounted for 65.5% of the total value of exports. Recent oil price cuts took a toll on Oman’s national income. The new Sultan released a series of policies, such as levying a 5% additional value added tax, reduction of subsidies, lowering the threshold for retirement age and cutting back on the government budget. Despite small scale protests in the wake of these measures, the Sultan still has a firm grasp on the throne. The state enjoys relative political stability among Gulf countries.