Embassy of India

Bilateral Brief

1. The Sultanate of Oman is a strategic partner of India and an important interlocutor at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League, and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) fora. India and Oman are linked by geography, history, and culture and enjoy warm and cordial relations. While people-to-people contact between India and Oman can be traced back 5000 years, diplomatic relations were established in 1955, and the relationship was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership in 2008. 

Political Relations:

2. Oman is a crucial pillar of India's West Asia Policy and its oldest regional strategic partner. The political engagement between the two countries has increasingly taken on a more strategic shape.  The historical India-Oman bilateral ties were transformed into a strategic partnership in November 2008.

3. As a mark of this special friendship, India has extended an invitation to the sultanate of Oman to participate in the G20 Summit and meetings as a guest country during India's Presidency in 2023.  Discussions are also underway to take forward the cooperation in strategic areas like Space, Rare Earth Minerals, and Cyber Security.

4. Visits at the highest level have been exchanged frequently between India and Oman.

Visits from India to Oman:

a)   Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Oman in February 2018. 

b)  Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (CPV) & OIA, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India visited Oman on 27 February 2023 for India-Oman Strategic Consultative Group (IOSCG) meeting.

b) Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar visited Oman on 24-25 November 2022 to attend the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) in Muscat.

c) Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan visited Oman on 3-4 October 2022  and on 15-17 December 2020.

d) External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar visited Oman on 23-25 December 2019.

Visits from Oman to India:

a) The Foreign Minister of Oman, H.E. Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi visited India on 01-03 March 2023 to participate in G20 Foreign Minister’s Meeting.

b) Dr. Fatma Al Ajmi Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Administrative, Financial and Planning Affairs led 5 member delegation to India on 24-25 February 2023 to participate in 1st JWG meeting on Health. 

c) H.E. Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman visited India in May 2022 to attend 10th JCM. 

d) The Foreign Minister of Oman, H.E. Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi (FMSB) visited India on 23-24 March 2022.

e) Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi, then Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs (MRDA) visited India in September 2018.

Agreements and Bilateral Cooperation mechanisms:

5. Key bilateral agreements/MoUs between India and Oman cover cooperation in Health; Tourism; Military Cooperation; peaceful uses of Outer Space; visa exemption for diplomats/officials; Legal and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters; Extradition; legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters; Agriculture; Civil Aviation; Avoidance of Double Taxation; Standards and Measures; Manpower; Maritime Issues; Maritime Transport; Joint Investment Fund; and Cultural Cooperation. There are also MoUs for Cooperation between Oman’s National Defence College (NDC) and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) of India; Cooperation between FSI and Omani Diplomatic Institute; and State Audit Institution of Oman and the Office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

6. During the visit of Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan (MOSVM) in October 2022, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to link the payment systems between the two countries. Another MOU between Oman News Agency and Asia News International was exchanged. The MOU facilitates the exchange of news and information between both countries.

Defence Cooperation:

7. Oman is India’s closest defense partner in Gulf region and defense cooperation has emerged as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and Oman. Oman is the first Gulf country with which all the three wings of India’s defense forces hold joint exercises. Recently, in August 2022, a 13 day joint military exercise Al Najah IV was held in Rajasthan. In recent years, both countries have cooperated for ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. In this regard, the first meeting of the Joint Maritime Committee was held on 23 February 2022 virtually.

Economic & Commercial Relations:

8. The economic and commercial relations between India and Oman have been robust and buoyant. The bilateral trade between the two countries touched USD 9.988 billion in 2021-2022, an increase of nearly 90% from the previous year. India’s exports in 2021-2022 is  USD 3.148 billion while India’s imports is USD 6.840 billion.

9. Oman-India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF) is a 50-50 Joint Venture between the State Bank of India and the erstwhile State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman. It was set up in July 2010 as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to invest in India. OIJIF commenced its operations in 2011 witoh an initial seed capital of US$ 100 million, fully invested across seven Indian companies from diversified sectors. OIJIF has raised another US$ 220 million for its Tranche-II and is being invested in India.

10. India is among Oman’s top trading partners. India is the 2nd largest market for Oman’s crude oil exports for the year 2022 after China. India is also the 4th largest market for Oman’s non-oil exports for the year 2022 after UAE, US and Saudi Arabia and 2nd largest source of its import after UAE.


Export from India

Import by India

Total trade





















11. Main items of India’s exports to Oman: Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; articles of iron and steel; cereals; machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical machinery & equipment; rice; iron & steel; organic chemicals; etc. in addition to traditional export items like tea, coffee, spices, dairy produce, articles of apparel, meat and other food items, etc.

12. Main items of India’s imports from Oman: Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals crude; Liquified Natural Gas; petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons; mineral or chemical fertilizers (nitrogenous); salt, sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, gypsum, lime and cement; urea; crude oil (through spot purchase); aluminium; iron & steel; cement, asbestos, mica, organic chemicals; ores, slag and ash; etc.

Cultural Cooperation:

13. There is also a deep socio-cultural bond between India and Oman, rooted in the strength of people-to-people contact. Omanis are familiar with Indian culture because of the millennia-old people-to-people exchange, the presence of a large Indian community in Oman, and geographical proximity. Yoga is quite popular in Oman, especially among expatriates and local youth. As a run-up to the IDY, Embassy organized more than 150 curated events by several yoga enthusiasts/volunteers across Oman, which received wide reception in the country.  Embassy also organized a mega event on 21 June 2022 to commemorate the 8th IDY. On 16 February 2023 Embassy organized a special Yoga Session for Oman’s National Hockey Team (Men and Women) and launched ‘Oman Yoga Yatra’. 

14. Indian films have also been filmed in Omani locales, introducing Arab culture to India and further strengthening the cultural ties between the two countries. Bollywood has garnered tremendous viewership in Oman, which depicts the deep cultural bond shared by the people of both countries. Realizing the increasing popularity of Bollywood, major cine houses in Oman screen Indian hits regularly.

Indian Community in Oman:

15. There are about 673,789 Indians in Oman including 5,68,314 work visa holders. There are some Indian families living in Oman for more than 150-200 years. A total of 1797 Indian-origin people have Omani citizenship as on January 2023. Thousands of Indians work as doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, teachers, lecturers, nurses, managers, etc. The role played by the Indian expatriate community in building Oman is often acknowledged by Omani Government. 21 Indian schools are offering a curriculum catering to the educational needs of more than 40,000 Indian students. 

16. Indian community in Oman is organized under Indian Social clubs in Muscat, Salalah, Sohar, and Sur. These clubs have several sub-groups called Linguistic Wings which cater to their members' cultural and social needs.

17. The Hindu merchant community has two temples, one over a century old, and cremation grounds. Churches have been permitted, and a Gurudwara has been there for over two decades, along with at least two other temporary structures used as Gurudwaras. Indian Embassy receives good support from local authorities in delivering services aimed at the welfare of the Indian community in Oman.

18. Outstanding contributions of Indians and People of Indian Origin in Oman to the strengthening of our bilateral relations have been recognized by the Government of India through Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees from Oman are: ShriKanaksiKhimji (2003), Dr. P. Mohamed Ali (2004), P.N.C. Menon (2009), S.K. Virmani (2010), Kiran Asher (2012) R.M Parakh (2015).

March 2023