Oman: Expat Numbers Drop As Nationalisation Kicks In

Expatriate numbers in Oman make up only 43.7 per cent of the total population, the lowest they have been since July 2015.

According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, as of February 25, 2019, there were 2,040,274 expats in the Sultanate, which accounts for 43.7 per cent of the country’s total population.

This is the lowest the expat population percentage has been since July 2015, when expats made up 43.6 per cent of Oman’s population.

On the same date (February 25) in 2018, it stood at 45.1 per cent, having dropped from 45.9 per cent in 2017. It was also 45.1 per cent on the same date in 2016.

And with Oman looking to only step up its Omanisation plans in the future, Ramanuj Venkatesh, a financial analyst working in the country, has said that expats living in the country will need to get used to this fact.

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Indian nationals account for 36.9 per cent of all expat workers in Oman, followed by Bangladeshi nationals at 36.8 per cent.

The number of Indians, Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals in the Sultanate all dropped by 4.1 per cent, 4.8 per cent, and 7.3 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

But with Oman also looking to expand its economy under the Tanfeedh programme for economic diversification, PK Subudhi, the general manager for Mustafa Sultan Exchange, says there will be certain specialised jobs for Oman in the future.

In addition, Oman’s high Quality of Life Ranking in the Expat Insider 2018 survey shows that expats still rate the Sultanate as a good place to work. Oman was ranked third across the GCC nations, with only the UAE and Bahrain finishing above Oman, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait trailing the Sultanate.

According to Oman’s Labour Law issued by the Sultanate’s Ministry of Manpower, Article 11 states that employers shall employ Omani workers to the maximum possible extent.

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The ratio of Omanis to foreigners in the various economic sectors or the activities covered by each sector as may be necessitated by the circumstances of each sector or activity and the extent of availability of necessary Omani workers, shall be determined by the decision of the minister.

The employer shall ensure the equality of all workers when the nature and conditions of their work are similar. Article 18 adds that employers are prohibited from bringing forward non-Omani workers unless they have obtained a permit from the Ministry of Manpower, which is provided when employers have proved that there are not enough Omanis to handle the work in question, or when the employer has complied with the prescribed percentages of Omanisation, in addition to the payment of determined fees.

 Source: Times Of Oman