The population in Oman is growing fast, inching towards the four million mark, and expatriates account for almost half of those living in the country.
And this figure is increasing all the time, according to a new study.
By the end of February, the number of expats living and working in Oman hit 1.766 million, up by 0.28 per cent from the previous month, said the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Expats now make up 44.2 per cent of the nation’s total population of 3.992 million.
The NCSI was able to break down the figures even further. Of these expats in Oman, 1.535 million are employed and working in various sectors while 232,000 are expat family members living in the Sultanate.
A huge growth in the construction sector, especially infrastructure projects, is believed to be the reason behind the increasing flow of foreign workers into the country. The government has earmarked around RO3.2 billion for investment in major projects.
Of the different nationalities that make up Oman’s expat population, the NCSI reports that Indians are the largest with a total of 597,334 expatriates, closely followed by Bangladeshis with 508,774. Pakistanis (223,219) and Ethiopians (44,411) are among the largest groups of foreign nationals working in Oman.
A total of 1.25 million expats are working in the private sector, 56,468 in government jobs and almost a quarter of a million are employed by families.
Muscat has the largest expatriate working population with 664,639.
Despite the increase, the government is still intent on reducing the country’s reliance on expats by creating more job opportunities for nationals.