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Oman Government


Oman is an absolute monarchy whereby the Sultan of Oman is not only head of state, but also the head of government. Chief of state and government is the hereditary sultan, Qaboos ibn Said as-Said, who appoints a cabinet to assist him. Sultan Qaboos also serves as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Finance.

The Basic Statute of the State is the cornerstone of the Omani legal system and it operates as a constitution for the country. The Basic Statute was issued in the year 1996 and only amended once in the year 2011. It stipulates that the system of governance is Sultani hereditary in the male descendants of Sayyid Turki bin Said bin Sultan, that the Sultan is the Head of the State and the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, that he is to preside over the Council of Ministers, and that he is responsible for promulgating laws and appointing judges. It also stipulates that the Council of Ministers is the body responsible for implementing the general policies of the state, that Council of Oman, which is made up of the State Council, an appointed body, and the Shura Council, an elected body, is responsible for reviewing legislation and submitting it to the Sultan for Royal Assent, and that the judiciary is guaranteed independence.

The court system in Oman is regulated by Royal Decree 90/99. There are three court levels in Oman, the Elementary Court is the lowest court, followed by the Court of Appeal, and then the Supreme Court as the highest court in the country. In addition to this there is an Administrative Court that looks into cases made against the government.

Administratively, the populated regions are divided into 59 districts (wilayats), presided over by governors (walis) responsible for settling local disputes, collecting taxes, and maintaining peace. Most wilayats are small; an exception is the wilayat of Dhofar, which comprises the whole province. The wali of Dhofar is an important government figure, holding cabinet rank, while other walis operate under the guidance of the Ministry of Interior.


Country name
conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Muscat and Oman

Government type

name: Muscat
geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat); Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Buraymi, Al Wusta, Az Zahirah, Janub al Batinah (Al Batinah South), Janub ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah South), Masqat (Muscat), Musandam, Shamal al Batinah (Al Batinah North), Shamal ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah North), Zufar (Dhofar)

1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)

National holiday
Birthday of Sultan QABUS, 18 November (1940)

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