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Ministry issues list of activities prohibited for foreign investment

12 Dec 2020

H E Qais bin Mohammed bin Moosa al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, has issued Ministerial Decision No 209/2020 listing the activities that are prohibited for foreign investors based on the Foreign Capital Investment Law issued by Royal Decree No 50/ 2019.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) emphasises that the list of prohibited activities for foreign investment will be updated at every stage to keep  pace with the economic developments in the sultanate.

The ministerial decision aims to promote local products and entrepreneurship projects while providing priority to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which enhance the national economy of Oman. 

The decision also aims to ensure that projects and activities related to national identity and Omani heritage are not affected by foreign investments.

According to the decision, an Omani investor can invest in all activities and enter into a partnership with a foreign investor, taking into account the enforced agreements in the field of trade and investment.

Article 1 of the ministerial decision specifies the activities that foreign investors are prohibited from engaging in, including making Omani halwa and Omani khanjar, retail sale of Omani khanjar and handicrafts, designing and tailoring of Omani kummah, tailoring and sewing of traditional women’s gowns, Arab and non-Arab men’s and women’s clothes, sportswear and military clothes. 

The full list of activities disallowed from foreign investment:

– Transporting and sale of drinking water

– Repairing vehicle electricity connections, charging car batteries, repairing and cleaning car radiators, repairing tyres, adjusting wheel scales, vehicle washing and lubrication stations, activities for changing vehicle oils, repairing car air conditioners, repairing vehicle exhaust, cleaning and polishing vehicles

– Vehicle fuel stations

– Managing and operating fuel stations

– Wholesale of fruits and vegetables

– Selling cooking gas and LPG filling stations

– Retail sale of empty gas cylinders

– Retail sale of honey and bee-keeping supplies

– Retail sale in specialised stores of phones and accessories

– Sale of mobile phones and accessories

– Retail sale of antiques and paintings

– Retail sale of natural flowers and plants

– Retail sale of pottery and handicrafts

– Retail activities in stores for gifts and silverware, telecom cards, animal food, bags and wedding supplies, wedding cards

– Sale of fireworks 

– Transportation of pilgrims and Umrah performers

– Road transport by trucks of cooking gas cylinders

– Loading and unloading of goods

– Activities of customs clearance offices

– Valuation of cancelled vehicles

– Insurance agent 

– Real estate brokerage

– Foreign manpower recruitment offices

– Employment and public cleaning of offices and buildings

– Copying services, printing documents and offices for tracking transactions 

– Collecting and installing neon panels

– Specialised rehabilitation centres, homes for the elderly and orphanages. 

– Activities related to libraries and archives

– Washing all kinds of clothes and textiles, barring in tourist establishments, ironing clothes, washing and ironing with steam (dry washing)

– Hairdressing and shaving for men, hairdressing and cosmetic treatment for women, and hairdressing for children



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