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Omani passport issuance increases by 22pc

In 2022, the issuance and renewal of Omani passports saw a substantial increase, reaching a total of 368,669, which represented a significant growth of 22 per cent compared to the previous year when 301,112 passports were processed.


The distribution of passports was not uniform across the country. Muscat, the capital city, stood out as the most active in this regard by issuing 103,044 passports. Al Batinah North followed Muscat with 76,817 passports, while al Dakhiliyah issued 41,117, and Dhofar Governorate processed 22,090.


Conversely, the issuance of new national identity cards in 2022 displayed a noticeable decline. It dropped by 36 per cent to 69,591, in contrast to the previous year’s figures. Muscat registered the largest share of these cards, issuing 19,241. Al Batinah North and al Dakhiliyah issued 12,194 and 8,110 cards, respectively. Interestingly, there was a slight disparity in the distribution of these identity cards between genders, with 33,851 cards issued to men and 35,740 issued to women, highlighting a subtle gender-based variation in this aspect of the data.


The decline in the issuance of identity cards in 2022, with a notable decrease of 36 per cent, can be attributed, in part, to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


The pandemic introduced various challenges that affected the processing of identity cards. During the initial phases of the pandemic in 2021, many countries, including Oman, implemented lockdowns and strict social distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus. These measures often resulted in the temporary closure or limited operation of government offices responsible for issuing identity cards. In-person application processes were either halted or significantly slowed down to reduce the risk of virus transmission. When services started to return to normal in 2022, there was a noticeable increase in the issuance of identity cards. This can be attributed to a backlog of pending applications from 2021, as well as new applications that were delayed due to the pandemic. As government offices resumed regular operations, they likely focused on addressing this backlog, which led to an increased issuance of cards.











Oman Daily Observer