New Delhi: The Head of State of the Sultanate of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, will be arriving in India today on Friday for his three-day state visit.

He comes with a high-level delegation of senior ministers and officials, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in an official release on Sunday.

Notably, India and Oman share a long-standing friendship rooted in historical, cultural, and economic ties. The people-to-people contact between the two countries can be traced back 5,000 years.

The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1955, and the relationship was upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2008.

According to MEA, this will be the first state visit of Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to India and marks a significant milestone in the diplomatic relations between India and the Sultanate of Oman.

Upon his arrival, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will call upon Oman's Sultan in the national capital today.

The Oman Sultan will be coming to India on the invitation of President Droupadi Murmu and will be received by PM Modi and President Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for a ceremonial welcome on December 16.

He will visit the National Gallery of Modern Art here and also hold a meeting with PM Modi at Hyderabad House on day two of his visit. During his visit, PM Modi will also host a luncheon in his honour.

The visit will be an opportunity to explore avenues for future collaboration between India and Oman for regional stability, progress and prosperity, the MEA release said.

Notably, India's prime ministers have regularly visited Oman: Rajiv Gandhi (1985), PV Narasimha Rao (1993), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998), and Dr Manmohan Singh (2008).

In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Oman marked a significant chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries.

Oman is also home to a large and vibrant Indian expatriate community, playing a crucial role in Oman's economic development and cultural diversity. The Indian diaspora in Oman has grown substantially, surpassing 700,000 individuals in the post-pandemic era.

Additionally, the diaspora includes a substantial presence of blue-collar workers.

Oman is India's closest defence partner in the Gulf region as well, and defence cooperation has emerged as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and Oman, according to MEA.

Oman is the only country in West Asia with which all three services of the Indian Armed Forces conduct regular bilateral exercises and service-level staff talks.

Given the strong relationship with Oman, India also extended a special invitation to the Sultanate of Oman to participate in the G20 Summit and meetings as a guest country under India's G20 Presidency.

Oman actively participated in over 150 working group meetings, and nine ministers from Oman participated in various G20 ministerial meetings.