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Sultan Qaboos’ environmental legacy hits economic roadblock in Oman

Strict environmental laws protected Oman’s pristine ecosystems, benefited public health and strengthened tourism’s value proposition, but will it last?
This picture shows a view of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque following heavy rainfall, Muscat, Oman, Jan. 4, 2022.

“Investors have historically complained that Oman's environmental regulatory architecture is draconian. Most investors in Oman are not billion-dollar firms, right? They are small investors from neighboring countries and are not interested in stringent environmental legislation,” said Manishankar Prasad, an Indian consultant who advised Oman’s environmental authorities and free zones during the Sultan Qaboos and Sultan Haitham eras.

Qaboos bin Said Al Said, ruler of Oman from 1970 until his death in 2020, set up the Gulf region’s first office for environmental protection in 1974, as well as the first Ministry for the Environment in 1984. Under the Basic Statute of the State, Oman’s constitution, environmental conservation and pollution prevention are considered the state’s responsibility.

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