Ties between Oman and Kenya date back to the 17th century when Mombasa and other coastal cities were occupied by the Sultanate of Oman. Mombasa and other coastal cities were occupied between 1698–1728, after which Mombasa was occupied for one year by the Portuguese and 1729–1824 where Mombasa was conquered by Britain and again between 1826-1887 where the territory was conquered by Britain again. Kenya's coastal strip was occupied by Oman for a total of 186 years.
Kenya's coastal cities and towns still have traces of architecture and culture from Oman. Some of the residents of these cities can trace their ancestry. Mombasa, is Kenya's second largest city and Omani architecture and culture is evident in the city.
Present day Kenya and Oman established diplomatic relations in 1976. In 1977, the first Omani ambassador presented credentials to Kenya's President Kenyatta. The Omani embassy was closed in 1986 and reopened in 2013.
The Kenyan embassy in Muscat was opened in 2011 by Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula.
Both countries are members of the Indian-Ocean Rim Association.
Kenya and Oman are working on a MOU and cooperation agreement to increase cooperation in trade, education, culture, tourism, sports, business, investments and labour.
The MOU will also set a framework to make Mombasa and Muscat sister cities.
Kenyan exports to Oman stand at KES. 1.2 billion (EUR. 11.5 million). Kenyan imports from Oman stand at KES. 1.5 billion (EUR. 14.2 million).
Main exports from Kenya to Oman include: oils obtained from bituminous minerals, metallic salts, tea and mate, meat, vegetable materials, coffee and coffee substitutes, medicaments, fruits and nuts.
Main exports from Oman to Kenya include: petroleum, stones, machine tools, crude minerals, aluminium, pumps, ships and boats. Oman is a potential market for other Kenyan goods such as meat products, nuts, tea, coffee and flowers.
- Abhishek G Bhaya, Muscat, Mombasa can be sister cities: Kenyan envoy. September 28, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Kenya-Oman Bilateral Relations. Retrieved January 20, 2015.