Gemalto to provide Oman 2.5 million smart cards

Published 21 September 2006

Contract the latest international success for the Dutch company; Oman a regional leader in smart card adoption; modern country, strong in oil and finance, a prime target for savvy investers

The Sultanate of Oman. The very name of the small oil and natural gas-producing Persian Gulf conjures up visions of harems, scimitars, and camels. In truth, however, Oman is one of the most modern countries in the Middle East, with strong trade relations with the United States, membership in the World Trade Organizations, and comparatively liberal social policies. English is an official second language. Considering all this, we are not suprised Oman has contracted with Gemalto to implement the second phase of that country’s national ID program. The Amsterdam, Holland-based Gemalto seems to have a special touch in accessing the international market, having recently announced e-passport deals with Poland, France, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, and of course the United States. Under the contract with Oman, Gemalto will update the country’s current National Registration System and supply 2.5 million smart ID cards.

Investors should take note: Oman has big plans for its national ID program. The National Registration System is designed as the linchpin of all future Omani e-government initiatives, and the sultanate intends a large-scale technical training program for the Royal Oman Police force, the local authority managing the program. In the near future, the national ID card will also integrate an electronic purse.

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