Despite contractions, real estate, auto, gadget markets set to grow

The real estate transactions in Oman declined by 64.7 in the first nine months of 2017, compared to the period last year, said the National Centre for Statistics and Information. (NCSI).
The number of properties issued to GCC citizens too dropped by 37.3 per in the first nine months of 2017 to 938 from 1,496 during the same period in 2016.
But the Business Monitor International (BMI) Research in its recent report forecasts a growth of 10.1 per cent over the next five years and expects the country’s construction sector to expand by an annualised average of 10.7 per cent.
The report says that the Port of Duqm and the Special Economic Zone will remain a key focal point of infrastructure development in the Sultanate in the coming years.
Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company has awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the $7 billion for the refinery project in August 2017.
Among other indicators, the number of private vehicles registered during the first nine months of 2017 dropped by 19.9 per cent to 45,498, from 56,782 during the same period last year.
But BMI points out that there is a scope for a rebound of three per cent in new vehicle sales across 2018.
The BMI report also points towards an upward trend in the audio-visual segment at (3.4 per cent), especially for higher resolution and larger screen TV sets, as well as flat-panel TV and smartphone complimentary audio devices. In the smartphone segment, with strong demographic support, there will be a modest growth momentum of 5.6 per cent in the handset market.
The latest NCSI figures also point out towards the changing demographics among the expatriate population, as there has been a decline of around 0.2 per cent in the number of expatriate workers with university and master degrees.
The total number of expatriate workers in the private and domestic sectors declined by 0.2 per cent from 1,806, 267 in August 2017 to 1,802, 409 in September this year.
According to statistics provided by National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the number of Indian expatriates declined by 0.1 per cent to 692,449 from the previous month, while that of Bangladesh nationals declined by 0.9 per cent to 695,583 and Pakistan by 0.2 per cent to 236.448.

Vinod Nair