The absolute monarchy remains effectively unopposed. The regime’s refusal to appoint a prime minister or/and a crown prince, and the excessive security measures used against protesters illustrate the lack of willingness to distribute even a small degree of power.

The sharp fall of oil prices since mid-2014 significantly reduced state revenues (total oil and gas revenues halved between 2014 and 2017) and put significant pressure on the Omani economy.

Although Omani society is split along social, ethnic and regional lines, the regime has been successful in imposing the idea of an Omani nation as the collective framework of belonging. The state’s power and its insistence on national unity and loyalty to the sultan has long mitigated any potential societal conflict.

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