Oman's expat population shrinks after temporary work ban

Expat numbers in Oman fall by 96,000 since a decision to issue a temporary ban on the issuance of work visas for expatriates in 10 sectors
By Sam Bridge
Thu 12 Jul 2018 02:02 PM

Oman's expat population has decreased by more than 96,000 since a decision to issue a temporary ban on the issuance of work visas for expatriates in 10 sectors. 

Latest figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) show that the number of expatriates in Oman has fallen to 2,002,378 compared to 2,098,542 in January when the ban was announced, affecting sectors including nformation systems, engineering, aviation and certain technical professions.

The sultanate’s total population stood 4,584,591 on July 10, which included 2,581,390 Omanis - representing just over 56 percent.

In May, Oman extended the ban on hiring expatriates for another six months in a bid to create more job opportunities for Omani nationals.

The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) imposed a series of six-month bans on the hiring of foreigners in multiple industries affecting 95 types of jobs.

The ban does not extend to the replacement of existing foreign employees in the private sector.

The hiring ban is the latest in a series of initiatives by the Omani government to reduce high unemployment, which rose to 16.9 percent in 2017 on the back of low oil prices and lower revenues.

Last October the government announced that it would begin creating 25,000 new jobs from December, with 60 percent of those jobs being created in the public sector, plus a drive to employ nationals in the private sector.

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Last Updated: Thu 12 Jul 2018 02:05 PM GST

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