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External Factors Affecting Projects - Tendering for projects in Oman.

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Introduction

External Factors Affecting Projects Assignment Contents Para Introduction..................................................................... 1 Background..................................................................... 2 Political Climate.............................................................. 3 Economic Climate........................................................... 4 Culture............................................................................ 5 Tendering........................................................................ 6 Anecdotal Evidence......................................................... 7 Conclusion........................................................................ 8 Bibliography..................................................................... 9 Annexes The Free Trade Agreement Between the EU and GCC A Example Tender for Seismic Survey Services with PDO B Briefing Paper - Tendering for Projects in Oman 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The purpose of this briefing paper is to introduce the possibilities of tendering for projects in the Middle East and more specifically Oman. Oman's recently exploited oil wealth and subsequent government expenditure, under the direction of Sultan Qaboos, has had the effect of catapulting the country into modernisation bringing rapid material and social change. However, the country is now trying to build up its industrial and commercial base in an effort to get away from its almost total reliance on oil. 1.2 Although Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken in business circles, with many Omani businessmen having been schooled in the UK. Unlike some of its stricter Muslim neighbours, Omani Arabs are an exceptionally friendly people and reasonably tolerant of westerners and their culture. 2. BACKGROUND 2.1 Oman has a very rich history with Britain becoming an integral part of that history since the 1700's. The Sultanate of Oman currently occupies the south-eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula with a land area slightly larger than that of the UK. However, that was not always the case. At its peak in the 19th century, Oman had control of an area, which stretched from as far south as Zanzibar, Mombassa, Somalia and, until as late as 1958, as far north as Pakistan. 2.2 Unusually for the time, Britain did not colonise Oman but established favourable trading, legal and religious rights without establishing formal relations. This continued until the late 18th century when new strategic realities altered the balance of power in the region. ...read more.

Middle

Oil was not discovered in Oman until 1964, and then only small reserves have been found. Oman did not begin exporting oil until 1967. 4.2 Oman's economy is dominated by the oil industry and accounts for almost 50% of the countries Gross Domestic profit (GDP). Omani crude oil is extracted and processed by the Petroleum Development Organisation (PDO) which is 60% government owned and 34% owned by Royal Dutch Shell with the remainder by other oil companies. Oman is not a member of OPEC. 4.3 Omani citizens enjoy good living standards but the future is uncertain with oil reserves likely to last less than 20 years. The Omani government is keen to pursue policies that will allow the country to diversify its economy and allow them to rely less on these diminishing oil reserves. However, the country is rich in other mineral resources such as copper, chromium and gypsum but these have yet to be exploited. Areas for economic diversification are likely to lie with oil refining, petrochemicals, fertilisers and plastics, and cement as well as shipbuilding and repairs. 4.4 In 1970 there was only 10km of paved roadway and 1 700km of unpaved track in the country. Since Qaboos has come to power, he has substantially improved this situation and there is now over 7 000km of paved and 25 000 of unpaved road and track. Attention is currently being given to widening existing highways and linking towns and villages of the interior with local road schemes. 4.5 There is no railway system in Oman. There are several seaports and an international airport close to the capital and the country has a large array of airfields, mostly dirtstrip, which the Omani Airforce use to distribute aid or assistance to outlying or hard to reach areas in the interior. 4.6 The Sultanate of Oman became the 139th member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ...read more.

Conclusion

It is very real and can be invoked by Omani nationals and lead to you being flown out of the country on the morning or afternoon, that is within a few hours, of the transgression. 7.4 Lack of time keeping is a major cause of frustration for Westerners. Yet Omanis will always say that they are always available and access to them is simple. Westerners have no concept of the absolute duty that Arabs have towards family situations, which is far greater than those expected in Western societies. A phone call from a brother wanting to see them will take an overriding priority on the day. Unfortunately, a call to reschedule a meeting is unlikely to occur, they will just not appear. The Arab culture is so much different to Western priorities that they just simply cannot comprehend the Western fascination with the minor matter of 'Time'. Patience and plenty of it is an absolute requirement. 7.5 Another source of irritation is the time it takes to get-to-the-point at meetings, even more so if 'the point' is likely to be contentious or controversial. Arabs will way up the mood and feelings of the decision-makers at the meeting and only bring up unpopular items if the mood is right. They see no point in advertising and bringing up these matters if the influential person or persons are not going to be receptive. Therefore, you may have to await several meetings before an item is discussed. 7.6 Arabs hate to be the bearer of bad news such as saying no. They will hesitate or defer continually, keeping your hopes alive, when they have no intention of agreeing. 8. CONCLUSION 8.1 Bidding for project tenders in Oman should not be seen as all doom and gloom. The country is extremely friendly to Westerners and the people keen to learn. Careful preparation by the company prior to bidding will ensure a successful tender bid and a subsequent well run project. Careful maintenance of a good relationship as well as quality of the project will ensure a long and prosperous presence in the country. 9. ...read more.

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