Contrast and Comparison of UAE and OMAN
The legacy of physical science attributes along with the intangible attributes of a country differs from another as every country has its own traits that are associated with the history, culture, demography and economy of the country. Mostly each country has its own story behind the rich cultural history. Tangible and intangible heritage of countries can help in differentiating current social structure and customs of the country. In order to understand the social and cultural differences of UAE with other countries, this essay attempts to shed light on the comparative study between two Middle-Eastern countries: UAE and Oman.
Comparison and contrast of the countries
In order to understand the similarities and the dissimilarities this study eminently focuses on the following aspects.
In order to compare both the countries it is important to explore the nuances of the historical conflicts of the countries.
In their 19th century treatise The Trucial States of the Persian gulf coast granted the control of the foreign affairs and defense to UK. In 1971 six of theses states merged and formed UAE. The six states of which UAE is consisted of are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn. In 1972 these sates were joined by Ra’s al Khaymah. However the inhabitants of Oman have long prospered from the Indian ocean trade. In the late 18th century, the nascent sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain (Risso, 2016). Over time, Oman's dependence on British political and military advisors increased, although the Sultanate never became a British colony.
- People and Custom
Every country has its own characteristic features regarding the people and customs. In order to understand the similarities and the contrast it is important to explore several aspects of the customs and people of both the countries.
As per the population estimation of July, 2016 UN estimated that UAE’s total population was 9,267,000 and the immigrants have increased it about 88% of the total population but in Oman the calculation differs vastly from UAE (Indexmundi.com., 2017). As per the July, 2016 estimation the population of Oman is 3,355,262 and the immigrants increased the population over 40% of the total population. The population growth of these two countries are similar. The population growth of UAE is 2.47% and for Oman it is 2.05% (Indexmundi.com., 2017). Being the Arab countries the culture of the two countries have similar traits and the primary religion is Islam (Indexmundi.com., 2017).
In UAE 76% of the total population is Muslim whereas in Oman 85.9% of the total population is Muslim. Both of the countries have minority religions like Chirstian, Parsi, Hindu and Buddhists. The major difference between these two countries is 85% of UAE’s total population consists of 85% of noncitizens (Indexmundi.com., 2017). However, Omani citizens represent approximately 60% are Muslim. Arabic is the official language of both the countries but the other prevalent languages vary in these two countries. UAE has chiefly Persian, English, Hindi and Urdu language but Oman has Baluchi, Urdu and Indian dialects. Both of the countries do not encourage citizenship by birth.
In UAE customs have existed more than one hundred years and has gone through several changes and different phases before it has taken an institutional shape in the age of the late Sheikhs Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum who are the rulers of Dubai. Before the official declaration of a Federal Customs Authority people wanted a unified custom law and a federal entity for more economic integration between the emirates (Risso, 2016). UAE can be classified as mainland Customs Zones or Free Trade Zones. Though Arabian countries can seem to be similar to each other they have distinct culture when they are studied minutely.
Oman as a distinct Arabian country has its own traditional characteristics. The foreigners are made freely welcome in Oman but the citizens expect them to follow the cultural customs strictly. When the tourists generally visit the villages the villagers expect the privacy of the locals. They exercise discretion and behave in a friendly manner (Zahlan, 2016). In Oman displaying affection in public is not illegal but it is frowned upon by the locals. In UAE people are more accustomed to such affairs due to a large number of tourists coming to the country every year. In both the Arabic countries expressions of anger and raising one’s voice is not encouraged. Innocuous hand gestures are punishable under Omani law.
Economics is an integral aspect that facilitates the understanding of a nation. Economic variation is vivid in the comparative study of both the countries.
As far as the economy of these two countries is concerned the UAE has an open economy with high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. But Oman is heavily dependent on its dwindling oil resources and it generates 84% of the government revenue (Indexmundi.com., 2017). The GDP of the two countries also varies from each other. As per the 2016 estimation 667.2 billion dollars of UAE and for Oman it was 173.1% billion dollars. Both of the countries’ economy is based on the oil industry mostly petroleum and petrochemicals in UAE and crude oil generation and refining in Oman.
To conclude it can be stated that both UAE and Oman are situated in the Middle East; therefore, evidently both of the countries have similarities and dissimilarities as well. As far as the cultural backgrounds of theses countries are concerned, many similar traits are found.