Bucking global trends, leaders in Oman are feeling less pressure to immediately invest in AI, and are instead taking their time seeing how the technology will develop. In the meantime, company leaders are focused on embedding ESG into their businesses to create value, and adopting their growth strategies in response to interrelated challenges such as global recession, climate change and emerging technologies.

These are some of the key takeaways of this year’s CEO Outlook, which surveyed 1,325 top executives worldwide, including two dozen in Oman. More than 90% of the local CEOs were confident in their companies’ growth prospects, and 88% were confident in their country’s growth.

By harnessing digital innovation for long-term economic growth, Oman is moving away from its reliance on hydrocarbons and establishing itself as a premier destination for digital growth and connectivity.

Economic outlook

Oman witnessed substantial economic growth, with CEOs expressing confidence in their companies and the country's prospects. However, Omani CEOs are slower to adapt growth strategies compared to their global counterparts in response to challenges like global recession, climate change, and AI.

92 %

of CEOs reported increased revenues, compared to 2022

92 %

were confident or very confident in growth prospects for company

64 %

expect to grow by 2.5% or more over the next three years

44 %

have already adapted their strategies to prepare for challenges like global recession, climate change and AI

ESG to the fore

Oman CEOs have fully incorporated ESG into their businesses, facing challenges in addressing multiple ESG priorities simultaneously. Their primary focus includes governance, transparency, environmental challenges, net-zero policies, and social initiatives, aligning with the country's goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 and a global hub for green hydrogen.

60 %

have fully embedded ESG into business as a means to create value

72 %

said it was impossible to address all ESG priorities simultaneously

56 %

reported lack of technical solutions as the biggest barrier to achieving net zero

Disruptive technology

Oman CEOs have initiated investments in AI, with a focus on its potential for increased profits and innovation. While not a top investment priority for all, government initiatives aim to encourage AI adoption, addressing concerns related to ethics, technical capabilities, and costs.

36 %

of CEOs in Oman agreed that AI is a top investment priority

96 %

said lack of regulation and direction within the industry was a barrier to organizational success

Managing talent

Oman CEOs prefer collaborative leadership, investing in human capital with new hires and workforce development. Many expect a full return to the office and plan to reward employees with raises and promotions.

64 %

expect to hire new talent in the next three years, though most by less than 5%

92 %

embrace collaborative leadership styles

72 %

expect a full return to office in the next three years

Exploring opportunities for growth


  • Embrace generative AI in a way that is ethical, makes the most sense for your business and keeps the needs of your employees and clients at the forefront.

  • Stay up to date with cyber-attack strategies so you and your employees do not expose the business to risk.


  • Take a long-term view when it comes to employees’ desire for hybrid or remote working to ensure that talent is nurtured and supported.

  • Set the tone at the top. Senior leadership should make IDE a stated priority, set real targets, fund initiatives and appoint management to lead programs with clear accountability.


  • Position ESG as a driver for value creation when it comes to business growth, rather than as a risk to be managed. New avenues open when ESG is considered in the growth conversation.

  • Stay attuned to shifting ESG regulations to help maintain your business’ brand reputation and client relationships.

  • Focus ESG investments on areas in line with your values and those of the business.

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Oman CEO outlook 2023

An emphasis on empathy and diversification

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About the KPMG 2023 CEO Outlook

The 9th edition of the KPMG CEO Outlook, conducted with 1,325 CEOs, including more than two dozen in Oman, between 15 August and 15 September 2023, provides unique insight into the mindset, strategies and planning tactics of CEOs.

All respondents have annual revenues over US$500M and one-third of the companies surveyed have more than US$10B in annual revenue. The survey included leaders from 11 markets (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and US) and 11 key industry sectors (asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications).

NOTE: Some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.