Many foreigners working in Oman, including thousands of Indians will not be able to renew their work permits after the expiry date. This is because, the Government of Oman has decided to hire only Omani citizens for certain jobs in certain sectors. This is Oman’s way of providing more employment opportunities to its own citizens, as it works out ways to recover from the pandemic-induced economic slump that caused oil prices to dip drastically and affect its revenues. Also, henceforth, only Omanis will be hired as drivers, irrespective of the kind of vehicle.
About 40 per cent of Oman’s 4.5 million population comprises expats, who are a source of cheap labour. However, now the sultanate has decided to reserve certain administrative, financial and commercial positions in the insurance, retail and automotive space for Omanis alone.
Other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are also thinking in terms of creating jobs for their own citizens, for which many jobs in the private sector will have to be nationalised. As part of this strategy, countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain have also been trying to create more job opportunities for the fresh local graduates. They have all introduced rules and regulations that favour their own nationals over foreigners when it comes to employment, in the public and private sectors.
Last year, Oman had begun efforts to replace foreign employees with Omanis in senior jobs in the private sector.