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 the Republic of 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 during the Classical Age dated to circa third century BCE.[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.

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.[4] 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.[5][6][7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11]

Gas pipeline[edit]

India has been considering the construction of a 1,100-km-long underwater natural gas pipeline from Oman. Called the South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), it will act as an alternative to the Iran–Pakistan–India pipeline. The project has been slow in materialising although it was first mooted in 1985.[12][13][14][15]

Defence co-operation[edit]

Indian Adm. Robin Dhowan receiving Omani Rear Admiral Abdullah Bin Khasim Bin Abdullah Al Raisi at South Block, New Delhi; 7 September 2015

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.[16] 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,[17] 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.[18][19][20] Oman has approached India in order to fence along the Oman-Yemen border in order to protect the nation from growing unrest in Yemen.[21] The standard issue rifle of the Royal Army of Oman is India's INSAS rifle. India has a listening post at Ras al Hadd.[22][23][24][25] and birthing rights for the Indian Navy at Mascat naval base.[26][27]

Naseem al-Bahr[edit]

Naseem al-Bahr is a bilateral maritime exercise between India and Oman. The exercise was first held in 1993. The tenth edition was held in January 2016.[28]


In February 2018, India announced that it had secured access to the facilities at Duqm for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.[29][30] Duqm had previously served as a port for the INS Mumbai.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Embassy in Muscat". Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. 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. ^ "PM's speech at the Indian Community Reception in Oman". Retrieved 20 December 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Udupi: Omani Students Celebrate National Day at Manipal Varsity". Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  6. ^ "48 Omani students graduate in Pune". Archived from the original on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Omanis opting for India as medical tourism destination". Economic Times. July 18, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Oman goes all out to woo Indian tourists". The Hindu. January 21, 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Big jump in India-Oman bilateral trade". The Hindu Businessline. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  10. ^ "India gives Oman nod to hike gas price for fertiliser plant". The Hindu. April 28, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Oman Oil refuses to raise stake in Bina refinery JV". Business Standard. January 29, 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  12. ^ "IOC seeks nod to join deep sea gas pipeline project of SAGE". The Hindu. June 19, 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  13. ^ "India considering deepwater gas pipeline from Oman: Report". Economic Times. September 20, 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  14. ^ "The Oman-India Gas Pipeline Project: Need to Resurrect Again". Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Bruno de Paiva (2011-05-23). "Uganda and Burundi to Fight Islamists with US Drones". Jakarta Post.
  17. ^ India set to drop anchor off China Archived 2011-08-27 at the Wayback Machine. Deccan Chronicle (26 June 2011). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Second India-Oman joint air exercises end". The Hindu. October 22, 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  19. ^ "India, Oman conduct first joint air exercise". The Hindu. October 31, 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  20. ^ "India, Oman still studying undersea pipeline". The Hindu. October 30, 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  21. ^ "India to bag Oman-Yemen border fencing contract".
  22. ^ " India activates first listening post on foreign soil: radars in Madagascar", Indian Express, 18 July 2007.
  23. ^ "Indian Listening Station In Oman Monitoring Pakistan’s Naval Communications.", CloseWar.Com.
  24. ^ ".", World Politics Review, 7 January 2015.
  25. ^ "India's string of flowers:India obtains two strategically significant toeholds in the Indian Ocean.", India Today, 27 March 2015.
  26. ^ Overseas Military Bases of Indian Archived 2017-07-31 at the Wayback Machine, Defence News.
  27. ^ "Naval muscle should fetch economic returns.", The Tribune, 20 March 2015.
  28. ^ "Maritime cooperation: India and Oman conduct bilateral naval exercise 'Naseem Al Bahr'". The Economic Times. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  29. ^ Dominguez, Gabriel; Bedi, Rahul (February 14, 2018). "Indian Navy to get increased access to Omani port of Duqm, says report". Jane's Information Group. The MOU allows IN vessels to use the facilities at Duqm Port during visits “in terms of services and the use of the dry dock for maintenance”, according to the report, which was published during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the sultanate.
  30. ^ a b Roy, Shubhajit (February 13, 2018). "India gets access to strategic Oman port Duqm for military use, Chabahar-Gwadar in sight". Indian Express.

External links[edit]