India–Oman relations

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India-Oman relations
Map indicating locations of India and Oman


Special Envoy of the Sultan of Oman meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi; August 2014.

India–Oman relations are foreign relations between India and the Sultanate of Oman. India has an embassy in Muscat, Oman. An Indian consulate was opened in Muscat in February 1955 which was upgraded to a Consulate General in 1960 and later into a full-fledged Embassy in 1971. The first Ambassador of India arrived in Muscat in 1973.[1] Oman established its Embassy in New Delhi in 1972 and a Consulate General in Mumbai in 1976. India and Oman have had trade and people-to-people ties for several millennia. Oman is home to a large Indian expatriate community and for Oman, India is an important trading partner. Politically, Oman has been supportive of India's bid for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.[2]


Trade between India and Oman has a history of several millenniums and archaeological excavations in Oman have unearthed evidence to show Indo-Oman trade in the Roman and pre- Islamic times.[3] Later, Oman had links with the Indian states in Gujarat and along the Malabar Coast. The Indian prince Tipu Sultan sent a diplomatic delegation to Oman during his reign. Taimur bin Feisal , the grandfather of the current ruler had spent more than 30 years in the Indian commercial capital Mumbai till his death in 1965 and he was buried there.[4]

Expatriate community[edit]

Oman has over five hundred thousand Indian nationals living there making them the largest expatriate community in Oman. They annually remit $780 million to India.[5] India is a major destination for Omani students pursuing higher studies and in recent years there have been increasing numbers of medical tourists coming into the country from Oman.[6][7][8] Oman has also been trying to promote itself as a tourist destination in India. Annually around 12,000 Indians visit Oman on tourist visas and that number is expected to triple by 2015.[9]

Economic relations[edit]

In 2010, bilateral trade between India and Oman stood at $4.5 billion. India was Oman's second largest destination for its non-oil exports and its fourth largest source for imports. Indian and Omani firms have undertaken joint ventures in a wide range of sectors including fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, energy and engineering.[10] The Oman-India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO) plant at Sur in Oman and the Bharat-Oman Oil Refinery at Bina have been set up as joint ventures between Indian public sector companies and Oman Oil Company.[11][12]

Gas pipeline[edit]

India has been considering the construction of a 1,100-km-long underwater gas pipeline from Oman for transporting natural gas. Called the South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), it will act as an alternative to the Iran–Pakistan–India pipeline. The proposed sub-sea pipeline will meet the additional gas requirement of the UAE, Oman, and India, besides easing gas transportation issues of producing countries like Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar. The project has been slow in materialising although it was first mooted in 1985.[13][14][15][16]

$5.6 bn Oman-India energy pipeline plans progressing: Fox Petroleum Group envisions a roughly five-year timeframe for the execution of the pipeline project. [17]

Ajay Kumar, the chairman and managing director of Fox Petroleum, based in New Delhi, which is an associate company of Fox Petroleum FZC in the UAE, said that Mr Modi had “fired the best weapon of economic development and growth”. “He has given a red carpet for global players to invest in India,” Mr Kumar added. “It will boost all sectors of industry – especially for small-scale manufacturing units and heavy industries too.” [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

Defence co-operation[edit]

Oman is the first Gulf nation to have formalised defence relations with India. Both countries conducted joint military exercises in 2006 and subsequently signed a defense agreement.[23] Following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Oman in 2008, defence co-operation between the two countries was further stepped up. The Indian Navy has berthing rights in Oman,[24] and has been utilising Oman's ports as bases for conducting anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Air Force has also been holding biannual joint exercises with the Royal Air Force of Oman since 2009.[25][26][27] Oman has approached India in order to fence along the Oman-Yemen border in order to protect the nation from growing unrest in Yemen.[28]

France-based global intelligence gathering organisation, Indigo Publications, stated in its Intelligence Online publication in January 2013, that a listening post had been constructed in Ras al-Hadd, Oman's north-easternmost point, within one year after signing the defence agreement between India and Oman in 2008. The post is located directly across from Gwadar Port in Balochistan, Pakistan, separated by approximately 400 km of the Arabian Sea. Access to the site where the post is located, is blocked by Omani police checkpoints. The post is not listed among the United States listening posts in Oman, leading European intelligence services to speculate that it is India's first listening post in the Persian Gulf.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Embassy in Muscat". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Oman hails UNSC seat for India". The Hindu. October 20, 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Potsherd with Tamil-Brahmi script found in Oman". The Hindu. October 28, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Sultanate of Oman". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "PM's speech at the Indian Community Reception in Oman". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Udupi: Omani Students Celebrate National Day at Manipal Varsity". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "48 Omani students graduate in Pune". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Omanis opting for India as medical tourism destination". Economic Times. July 18, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Oman goes all out to woo Indian tourists". The Hindu. January 21, 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Big jump in India-Oman bilateral trade". The Hindu Businessline. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "India gives Oman nod to hike gas price for fertiliser plant". The Hindu. April 28, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Oman Oil refuses to raise stake in Bina refinery JV". Business Standard. January 29, 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "IOC seeks nod to join deep sea gas pipeline project of SAGE". The Hindu. June 19, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "India considering deepwater gas pipeline from Oman: Report". Economic Times. September 20, 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Oman-India Gas Pipeline Project: Need to Resurrect Again". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
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  23. ^ Bruno de Paiva (2011-05-23). "Uganda and Burundi to Fight Islamists with US Drones". Jakarta Post. 
  24. ^ India set to drop anchor off China. Deccan Chronicle (26 June 2011). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  25. ^ "Second India-Oman joint air exercises end". The Hindu. October 22, 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "India, Oman conduct first joint air exercise". The Hindu. October 31, 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "India, Oman still studying undersea pipeline". The Hindu. October 30, 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  28. ^ "India to bag Oman-Yemen border fencing contract". 
  29. ^

External links[edit]