Oman’s welcomed U-turn in Islamic banking policy
Oman has finally bowed to the demand dynamics of Islamic banking.
The first application to launch an Islamic bank, Nizwa Bank, has already been submitted. This could take over a year because Oman must develop and adopt a regulatory and supervisory regime for Islamic banking and the government has yet to introduce an enabling Islamic banking law.
Omani banks have in general been very hostile and indifferent to Islamic banking, considering it unworkable. Some banking sources reveiled that the decision to allow Islamic banking was partly because of the growth of new demand especially from young Omanis for Shariah-compliant financial products.