The Middle East is on the threshold of phenomenal growth in e-commerce and Oman is one of the countries at the forefront of a fast transition into the world of Information Communication Technology. The volume of e-Commerce in the Sultanate will grow under the influence of a booming economy, high disposable income, retailers offering a multi-channel offer especially fashion, consumer electronics and the like, says a study commissioned by Visa, one of the world’s leading payment solutions providers. Total e-Commerce volume was valued at $70 million in 2010 but will reach $100 million by end of 2011, or an increase of 43 per cent. Another factor that could influence the expansion of e-Commerce in the Sultanate is the increase in the number of Internet users — from 3.52 per hundred inhabitants to 62.6 per hundred or a growth of over 1,600 per cent since 2000, according to the study.
( Critical Factors in the Adoption and Diffusion of E-government Initiatives in Oman :HafedhAlShihi) The study found that non-technical barriers in Oman, such as users’ lack of IT knowledge and the absence of marketing campaigns, have negatively affected people’s decisions to use the technology and inhibited decision makers from implementing or adopting technology initiatives. In addition, several country-specific limits to e-government growth were identified. Government decision makers in Oman were found to be prone to short-term planning, which prevents them from anticipating the long-term potential of e-government. Additionally, frequent structural changes within ministries, and the fact that the e-government project is not given high priority nor urgently needed at present, have contributed in delaying development of and improvements to such a system. Ultimately, this research delivered a socio-technical framework for adoption, detailing causes and effects of the critical factors in the adoption and diffusion of e-government initiatives in Oman.