Oman’s expat visa ban extended on certain jobs

A view of Oman's capital Muscat in the evening. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 June 2018

Oman’s expat visa ban extended on certain jobs

DUBAI: Oman’s temporary visa ban on hiring expatriates in specific jobs has been extended for another six months according to the country’s Ministry of Manpower, local daily Times of Oman reported.
“The period of the ban on permits to bring temporary expatriate manpower into private sector establishments for the professions specified in Ministerial Decision No. 38/2018 shall continue for a period of six months from July 30, 2018,” a statement from the ministry read.
Meanwhile Oman’s Royal Police (ROP) also announced that expats who work in government agencies are now able to sponsor visa applicants.
Expats who own specific properties in the country are also allowed to receive a visa without a sponsor.
“This means that expatriates will be able to become sponsors of their own family members as long as they meet certain conditions,” the statement from ROP read.
Earlier this year, the Omani government imposed the initial six month ban on expat workers getting visas for jobs in 87 industries, including media, engineering, marketing and sales, accounting and finance, IT, insurance, technicians, administration and HR.
The Omanization drive is part of a government’s push to recruit more of its citizens, a similar push is underway across the GCC where countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been trying to increase the number of locals in employment.

UAE passenger jet makes long haul journey on locally produced biofuel

Updated 23 min 19 sec ago

UAE passenger jet makes long haul journey on locally produced biofuel

  • The biofuel was produced from plants grown in a local saltwater ecosystem in Abu Dhabi
  • It can be refined using existing infrastructure and used with current engines and airport fueling systems

DUBAI: Etihad Airways flew the first commercial flight powered by locally produced sustainable fuel Wednesday, Emirati airlines Etihad Airways reported on their website from an announcement by the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC).

The Boeing 787, flying from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, used biofuel produced from the oil of Salicornia plants, which are grown in the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS), in Masdar City near the UAE capital - Abu Dhabi.

The SEAS project is the world’s first desert ecosystem made specially to produce fuel and food in saltwater.

While Etihad is not the first airline to use biofuel in its aircraft, it is the first time in the UAE for the source of the biofuel to be grown and produced in the country.

“Etihad’s flight proves SEAS is a game-changer that can substantially benefit air transport and the world,” said Vice President of strategy and market development for Boeing International Sean Schwinn.

“The research and technology being developed shows significant promise to transform coastal deserts into productive farmland supporting food security and cleaner skies.”

The biofuel can be produced using existing refinery facilities, it can be blended with regular jet fuel, and used with existing aircraft, engines and airport fueling delivery systems

Biofuels were introduced for commercial flight use in 2011.

Since then nearly 160,000 passengers have flown on flights powered by a blend of sustainable and traditional jet fuels.

The water used for the SEAS project is drawn from fish and shrimp farmeries that produce food for the UAE.

The system is expected to expand to cover 2 mln square meters over the course of the next few years.