Definition of Youth

No national youth policy, nor governmental authority for youth affairs exists in Oman, and therefore no definition of youth could be ascertained.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 18
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 18
  • XX

  • While the legal minimum age is 18, “custom still recognises marriages below the age of 18”. Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA, UNICEF (2011)

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Between 9-13 years, children may only be kept in a penitentiary and not imprisoned. Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 99.20% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.17% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 89.72%Male %
  • 86.33% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 4.90% Male (13-15) %
  • 1.70% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Oman has no national youth policy. Youth issues are tackled through sectoral development plans.

No national youth policy exists, however Youth & Sports does feature in the Eighth Five-Year Development Plan 2011-2015.   According to a 2011 report, Oman’s Eighth Five-Year Development Plan (2011–15), “focuses on the role of higher education in helping youth contribute to Oman’s development.” Oman has a “Fund for Development of Youth Projects” which acts as a “venture capital fund dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) started
by Omani youth.”

The UNICEF country programme document 2012-2015 (2011) notes that the data and knowledge management work strand will support the development of a “multisectoral youth policy.” To date, there is not any indication that the development of a youth policy has started.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
No single youth authority exists, but youth affairs is separated across numerous government ministries. The Ministry of Education is responsible for primary and secondary level learning, the Ministry of Higher Education responsible to the admission and management of university level education. The Ministry of Sports Affairs has responsibility for youth hostels.   The Ministry of Social Development is responsible for children, women, families and NGOs, and is the lead authority in the UN Child Rights Periodic reports (2000 and 2006).

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The official Facebook page of the Omani Youth Council (OYC) describes its vision as being the representation of Oman, by young people, at international forums and events. This is achieved through youth exchanges, international competitions, and by connecting national associations to international organisations. However, the structure and role of young people is unclear, and its role as a representation structure for youth is unclear.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
The Oman Economic Research report (2011) notes that the Oman Budget 2011 and the Eighth Five Year Plan 2011-2015 allocates a budget for “Youth and Sports” of OMR 25 million (USD 65.0 million). However, it is unclear how much is specifically spent on youth. According to the World Bank, Oman spent 4.32% of its GDP on education in 2009, but does not calculate what this translates to in terms of percentage of government expenditure.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

The Youth in GCC Countries – Meeting the challenge (2011), analyses the youth situation across the Gulf Cooperation Council:
GCC countries are at a historic juncture in their economic and social development because of a unique demographic event: Young people make up a larger part of their population than ever before. [...]
The region’s governments are aware of the needs of their youth and have launched national strategies for improving the lives of young people. However, more needs to be done to meet the needs and aspirations of GCC youth. [...]
This new paradigm rests on the recognition that today’s GCC youth want to contribute to the development of their country. It also recognizes that they aspire to live in technologically advanced, prosperous nations with a well-educated citizenry. Ambitious to complete their education and find suit- able employment, they also are keenly aware of the importance of being part of a globalized technological world. [...]
These young people face major challenges in the high cost of living, high unemployment rates, poor preparation for the workplace, and insufficient affordable housing. They want improved education systems built on international standards that provide them with modern
skills relevant to a global, dynamic economy. They want increased access to the decision-making process, policy formulation, and civic and community development at the
local level, as well as the creation
of local youth councils for effective participation in society.