COVID-19 and Plummeting Oil Prices; a Time of Reckoning for Oman
Authoral Mukhaini, Ahmed Ali M.
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As Oman braces itself to embark on the 'Oman 2040 Vision', the year 2020 comes as a year of reckoning in several regards. The death of Sultan Qaboos on 10th January, marked the beginning of an era where state institutions were put to test. Though the power transition was remarkably smooth, and Qaboos' legacy seems to be lending itself well to Sultan Haitham, the new Sultan, in his 60s, is facing unprecedented financial and fiscal challenges. He has in front of him several 'socially intolerable' options, which, as the clock ticks away, are morphing into inevitabilities. If he manages to steer the country to safety through this perilous situation, he will certainly create a legacy parallel to that of Sultan Qaboos when he assumed power in 1970. Plummeting oil prices, successive credit rating downgrades, and COVID-19 economic impacts are mere compounding factors.