Fate of more than 16,000 expat workers in Oman hangs in balance

18 Feb 2018
POSTED BY Y Magazine

More than 16,000 expatriates in Oman are under the threat of losing their jobs in the private sector, reports Hasan al Lawati.

Muscat: More than 16,000 expatriates are under the threat of losing their jobs after Oman’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) on Saturday announced to stop dealing with 199 private firms in the country, citing “the companies’ failure to employ local citizens”.

Each company on the list, according to the ministry, has at least 50 employees and are of first and excellent classes.

“No Omanis work in these business establishments,” the Manpower tweeted on Saturday.

Of the listed companies, 21 are in Muscat, 78 in Dhofar, 27 in North Al Sharqiyah and 25 in South Al Sharqiyah.

The 199 companies currently provide jobs for 16,544 non-Omani employees.

Extreme measures

Scrapping deals with these companies means that they will not be given permits to employ or renew contracts if they failed to achieve a minimum Omanisation rate of 10%

The decision by MoM can be labelled as “extreme measures” to curb the increasing number of expatriate labour force in Oman. Tens of thousands of Omanis are registered as jobseekers. Many of them have voiced their frustration over “lack of job opportunities”.

In 2017-end, the Sultanate’s government vowed to provide 25,000 vacancies for its citizens this year.

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