Oman: expats banned from working in 10 sectors

The Omani Ministry of Manpower has issued a six-month decree banning the sultanate’s private sector from hiring foreign expats in 10 sectors in a bid to promote locally trained skills.

The temporary ban targets information systems, sales, marketing, administration, human resources, insurance, media, airports, engineering and technical professions sectors.

The companies are required to hire Omanis in those sectors that have been dominated by foreign expats.

In 2016, there was 1,825,603 foreign workers in the Gulf country, up from 660,950 in 2007, reports say.

Authorities say the new restriction is meant to correct the attitude of companies, which are more inclined to hire foreign skills.

“This is a period that is long enough to hire Omanis for whatever positions and after this they can analyse whether they have had the desired effect of this ruling. It will also help identify mismatches or gaps in the labor market. Moreover if the economy improves with current oil prices, there won’t be a need for this law as there will be enough jobs created for both Omanis and expats,” Fabio Scacciavillani, Chief Economist at Oman Investment Fund told local media Times of Oman.

The decision does not apply to establishments owned by employers wholly devoted to management of their establishments, which are registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development and insured with the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI), the media notes.

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