Oman orders firing of expats from public sector: reports

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Oman orders firing of expats from public sector: reports

The Sultanate of Oman has ordered the expulsion of all expats employed in the Gulf country's public sector, according to reports on Friday.

Although Wednesday's order is limited to the state-owned companies, it is understood that the private sector will soon be under pressure to follow the public sector in prioritising the hiring of Omani nationals over foreigners. According to government figures, around a third of Oman's 4.6 million residents are expats. 

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq inherited the Sultanate from his late cousin in March this year. Bin Tariq is said to have aready assured India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, that the salaries and well-being of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in Oman would be protected from the economic fall-out of covid-19.

Although Wednesday's order is limited to the state-owned companies, it is understood that the private sector will soon be under pressure to follow the public sector in prioritising the hiring of Omani nationals."

Oman's state sector employs around 800,000 Indian expats, according to the ministry of employment. It was not clear at the time of writing how many NRIs would be affected by Wednesday's announcement by the ministry of manpower (labour).

Oman, along with many of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, has cracked down on its expat workforce in favour of so-called "Omanisation." II reported in February when Muscat confirmed an extension of its visa ban for expats working in certain sectors, with the ministry of manpower confirming that visas will no longer be renewed once their licence has expired.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.