Saturday, January 19, 2008

Business Opportunities in Oman

Business Opportunities in Oman

OK you entrepreneurs. Here is the first set (of hopefully many) good business opportunities for Omani, courtesy of Dragon Consulting.

Fancy Water.
There is a market for Omani water in a fancy (Bombay Sapphire blue seems fashionable) glass bottles, for both tourists, snobs and the Chedi [refer recent post of Suburban]. In addition, make a sparkling version too please, by simply injecting it with CO2. Your only competition is high priced Pelligrino and Perrier.

Salad greens
so called spring salad mix aka mesclun mix aka field greens aka spring mix. Did you know that Oman is importing (airflown) fancy baby salad greens all the way from France, Australia and California? It retails at more than 4 rials/400g bag, and still the expats fight for it. This stuff must grow like wildfire here with a bit of decent hydroponics. But note, it's got to be triple washed, nicely packaged (probably with a nitrogen fill) and actual baby greens, not the monster rocket (aka arugula) we normally get locally. Commercial mixes usually include arugula, mizuna, tat soi, frisee, oakleaf, red chard, radicchio, mustard greens, and radicchio. See here for a how to on spring mix.

A Casino.
Really. I know, traditionally seen as somewhat Haram, but hey, just ban Omani Muslims! But, remember one thing Dubai doesn’t have (yet?) is a casino. Tourists love casinos. Hey, we all do. And they are a licence to print money. Maybe site the thing in Buraimi or even better Mahdah (that little piece of Oman in the UAE, between Musandam and main Oman). Not only will you get tourists from UAE and Oman, but think of money you can take off the Saudi, Kuwaiti and UAE Princes and Sheikhs! Serve lots of booze, and never close 24/7.

There is a world shortage of good hops. Prices are now around $50 a kilo. It should grow well with sun and irrigation, and would make a good export. See here. Do a deal with a big regional brewer for support and long term contracts.

Which leads us to...
A brewery
Oman imports a lot of beer. It’s about time there was a local brew, using the fantastic water and the local hops (see above). It could be exported to the UAE and Bahrain etc, as well as sold alongside the imports here (especially if there was a bit of a tax discount). It could also be easily smuggled across into Saudi for a healthy profit.

Date Liquor
The tourists would buy it in half bottles as a present for the folks back home. Yum.

Go Oman!


  1. Spot on re: the greens! WHAT a hole in the local market. One could have a major success even if the producte were only (promptly) sent to market fresh and not packaged! I've rarely seen such dreadful stuff as even the best supermarkets try to pass off. A steady supply of nice fresh rocket and mesclun would dry the import market up entirely - not to mention replacing the bedraggled, nasty stuff now on offer...

  2. Amen Brotha.

    I would kill for some reasonably priced baby salad greens. Sometimes I get so desperate that I buy one of the 200 gm bags of Californian Spring mix for four rials. Shocking.

    The best idea by far is the casino. Let's stick it near Jabal al Fuad on the way to Hatta. Let's operate it for the benefit of charity here in Oman. All revenue would benefit Disabled children, Environment, the poor, and provide medical treatment overseas for kids suffering from complicated medical conditions. We're talking millions of rials annually.

    I love the idea of taking squillions of dirty rials from the hands of the Euros, Saudis, Emiratis, and eveyrbody else and turning it for charity. It's like Assisted Zakat. I also love that it would likely annoy the hell out of Dubai / UAE, since we would essentially be inviting the devil to dance on thier turf. Bloody brillaint.

  3. You know, you're right - especially in one of those desolate non-contiguous parts of the Sultanate, a casino could be a real goldmine - especially as it would have to be accompanied by hotel/hospitality facilities, etc.

    Another possibility - and possibly a less controversial one - would be turning an Omani island into a casino/resort/entertainment "free zone" of some kind.

  4. Hey some great idea's there, love the fancy bottled water one!! The Casino makes perfect logical sense if Oman wants to attract tourists, but I'm not sure it will be received very well by Omani's :(

    An assmebly plant for Toyota land cruisers would be good too ;)

  5. well hello, i have only recently read your blogg and found your last post interesting also i like the subtle humor used hehe :) loool why kick out the omani muslims heheh they (we) will make more money for the casino :-) ohh as for the other haram stuff heheh i think we will be having it more than others hehe :)

    as for greens i hate them we have a personal war going on :)

  6. Thanks for the comments! Maybe the Omani youngsters can start getting into real businesses, actually making stuff that people need and are willing to pay for. Leverage the cheap Indian labour, the abundant sunshine and land, and cheap loans.

    The casino would be a slam dunk, albeit this is strictly an idea for the Government. Watch how quickly Dubai would build one too. But, really, huge employment for Omanis as casinos are very labour intensive.

  7. I had a meeting with the guys from Tanuf and conveyed to them your idea about the fancy water. It's up to them now whether to take you up on it :)

    They're planning to launch sparkling water this year, so at leas that's one step in the right direction.

  8. Thanks Muscati!

    I think the key might be to pitch it in the middle - glass bottle, nice label, from a natural aquifer, and priced in between Pelligrino/Perrier and standard Tanuf/Arwa. Yum.

    Hope you can get a piece of the action!!!!!

  9. Please let me know the scope of granite business in Oman. Would like to export from India, presently supplying to several Asian.

  10. Whoah! Thanks for revealing this kind of business opportunities. It sounds very helpful to any interested parties.

    I just wonder how to start any of those you've mention. How much investments needed for those businesses?

  11. I think the idea of casino is an insualt to Omanies. We will not accept this in million years. Oman is Oman it will not become Dubai "A country with out a nation "


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