By Gavin Gibbon
Six-month ban implemented by Sultanate Ministry of Manpower
Oman has ruled out issuing visas to expat construction workers and cleaners for the next six months.
The temporary ban was announced by the Ministry of Manpower in a statement, although companies who employ more than 100 workers are exempt from the new ruling.
“The authorisation for the recruitment of non-Omani manpower in private sector establishments engaged in construction and cleaning works shall be suspended for six months. The permit will continue with an outgoing allowance,” the Ministry announced.
The wording of the ban read: “The decision does not apply to establishments employing 100 or more workers, establishments operating in the implementation of government projects, enterprises owned by full-time employers registered with the Public Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, and establishments registered in the world category and based in free zones.”
According to National Centre of Statistics and Information, there are 1.7 million foreign workers in the Sultanate, 508,690 of them employed in the construction sector in 2019 compared to 619,744 expatriates working in construction in 2017.
Oman’s Ministry of Manpower extended a temporary visa ban on hiring expats for six months, beginning August 5 this year, to include four more professions.
It applies to jobs in the sectors of IT, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, management and human resources, insurance, media, medical, airports and engineering.