Oman has announced it will bar expatriates from certain jobs in an effort to create more employment opportunities for its citizens amid an economic downturn. In a region that depends heavily on cheap foreign labour, expats in the sultanate make up about 40 percent of the country’s 4.5 million-strong population.
Faced with an economic slump and a sharp drop in oil revenues, Oman and other Gulf Cooperation Council states have stepped up efforts to create jobs for their own citizens. “A number of jobs in the private sector will be nationalised,” the Omani labour ministry announced on Twitter. It added the work permits of foreigners in those professions will not be renewed after their expiry date.
Various jobs in insurance companies, shops and car dealerships, including finance, commercial and administrative positions, will be “limited to Omanis only”, the ministry said. Work as a driver, “no matter what the vehicle”, will also be reserved for citizens, it added.
In April 2020, Oman ordered state-owned companies to accelerate the process of replacing foreign staff with Omani nationals, especially in senior positions, to create more jobs for citizens.—AFP