On Sunday, the Sultanate of Oman announced the exclusion of foreign workers from several private sector activities in the Gulf country, a region that seeks to promote the employment of nationals in the face of the economic crisis.
Foreigners account for about 40% of the population of Oman, which has about 4.5 million inhabitants. More than 25 million foreigners live in the Gulf, and they even make up the majority of the population in Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
“A number of occupations in the private sector will be reserved for nationals,” the Omani Ministry of Labour announced on Twitter.
As a result, work permits for foreigners in these positions will not be renewed, according to the same source.
Various jobs in insurance companies, shops and car dealerships will henceforth be “limited to Omanis only”. The profession of driver, “whatever the nature of the vehicle”, will also be reserved for them, the ministry said.
In April 2020, Oman, faced with many economic challenges, including the fall in oil prices, had already called on state-owned enterprises to replace their foreign employees with nationals.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the directive aimed to “provide employment opportunities for skilled Omani” and to “strengthen national skills and capacities”.
Many Asian and Arab workers are settled in the Gulf countries, which have grown extensively through the export of fossil fuels such as oil to Saudi Arabia or gas to Qatar.
But since 2014, Gulf states, faced with falling black gold prices, have put in place policies to promote the integration of their nationals into the labour market.
The working conditions and accommodation of immigrant workers are regularly denounced by human rights organizations.
By CCEiT (AFP source)