BDC Snapshots: Neutral Oman is clear winner of Gulf crisis and resolution

Muscat, Oman.- In photos taken on November 13, 2020, it shows the streets of Muscat during the coronavirus pandemic. Oman has received $ 1 billion in direct financial aid from Qatar, at a time when the sultanate is trying to mitigate its economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices.

Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.

Oman has come out as one of the clear winners of the 2017 Gulf rift. Throughout the crisis, Muscat preserved neutrality despite pressures from the Saudi-Emirati bloc.

At the same time, it gained strengthened economic ties with Doha as Omani exports to Qatar increased by more than 100 percent, while Qatari exports to Oman increased by 440 percent from 2017 to 2018. The sultanate now stands to benefit greatly from the resolution, especially in terms of seeking aid and maintaining its neutral foreign policy. This resolution comes just short of the one-year mark of Sultan Qaboos’ death, which had raised fears that Riyadh or Abu-Dhabi might pressure the newly appointed Sultan Haitham to break from his predecessor’s neutral policy, or that they might form a blockade against Oman itself. The sultanate is now less vulnerable to such an outcome and may seek aid from its neighbors if it perceives that there may be less strings attached.English Graph