Oman has made significant changes to the law for its citizens to marry foreign nationals, removing the requirement for government permission. According to Omani state media, a royal decree has been issued stating that Omani citizens no longer need state permission to marry a foreign national. This royal decree is being hailed as a rare example of social reform in a Gulf country.
According to local newspaper reports on the matter, the Omani government exercises strict control over the media and public dissent, and previously, Omani citizens had to fulfill certain conditions, such as being a certain age, to marry a foreign national, and were penalized for illegal marriages.
After assuming power in 2020 following the 50-year rule of the late Sultan Qaboos, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said began a series of reforms aimed at improving fiscal stability and attracting foreign investment, which had been delayed for a long time.
On Sunday, Sultan Haitham issued a decree on 23/2023, which revoked a 1993 law requiring any Omani citizen to obtain permission from the Ministry of Interior to marry a foreign national.
The decree states that individuals who engage in such marriages should not violate Sharia law, public safety, or compromise the employment of some government officials, and should not commit other violations against marrying foreigners. However, previously, marriages with foreigners were considered illegal, but now they are permitted under certain conditions