Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said is the Supreme Commander of the Omani forces. The forces’ size is quite manageable. Around 43 000 soldiers are active in the country, ensuring safe borders. Above all, these soldiers also ensure that that the unrest of recent years in the bordering countries of Yemen and Saudi Arabia does not spill over into Oman. Additionally, the military assists the police in maintaining order in the country. The military consists of four sectors: – The Ground Forces – The Artillery – The Maritime Forces – The Air Forces Compulsory military service does not exist in Oman – the army is a purely professional army. In December, Oman celebrates “Armed Forces Day” – a tribute to the Sultan’s final victory over insurgents in the south of the country in 1975.
The military of Oman – a growing sector
An analysis of the expenditures that have been made in the Omani military sector over the past two decades demonstrates that they are steadily growing – from about $ 3.59 billion in 2001 to $9.08 billion in 2016. The absolute height of Omani military spending in 2012 amounted to $ 12.63 billion. However, this large increase from 5.37 billion US dollars in 2010 to the aforementioned 12.63 billion US dollars in 2012 is easily explained in the context of the Arab Spring and the various unrests in the countries bordering Oman. The current expenditures clearly show that Oman is not a country interested in active armament.
As in most other countries worldwide, unauthorized persons are not allowed to enter, photograph or film military facilities. Even at military or police checkpoints on the highways in Oman, one should not stay longer than necessary and of course, avoid photographing and filming at these locations.