Oman considers extending expat visa ban

These steps taken by the government are part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 December 2018
0

Oman considers extending expat visa ban

  • The current ban, which is expected to expire at the end of January 2019, has halted the hiring of expats to jobs across 87 sectors
  • These steps taken by the government are part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies

DUBAI: Oman’s Ministry of Manpower is considering extending the expatriate visa ban that was implemented early this year, national daily Times of Oman reported.

The current ban, which is expected to expire at the end of January 2019, has halted the hiring of expats to jobs across 87 sectors which include information systems, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, administration, human resources and insurance.

“The decision to regulate the labour market, provide job opportunities for job seekers in these disciplines, reduce the recruitment of labour force in the country, and the ban for a period of six months can be renewed based on the results of the study and the success in providing job opportunities in these disciplines,” Salim bin Nasser Al Hadhrami, Director General of Planning and Development at the Manpower Ministry told the daily.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Manpower announced that companies will have to secure the ministry’s go ahead before they can hire expats.

A new traffic light-themed online system is currently being rolled out in Oman, in which companies’ Omanization quotas are being monitored.

Under this new system, companies that meet Omanization standards set by the government will receive a green signal online, allowing them to proceed with hiring expat employees.

These steps taken by the government are part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies, a similar push is underway across the GCC where countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been trying to increase the number of nationals in private sector employment.


Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

Updated 20 January 2019
0

Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

  • The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages
  • The program will also help the two countries evaluate the monetary policies of a centralized currency

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched a joint cryptocurrency during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination council Saturday in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s national press agency WAM said.

The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages, until the governments have a better understanding of how Blockchain technology operates cross-borders.

The currency operates on the use of a “distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides,” aiming to protect customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The new program will also help evaluate the impacts of a central currency on monetary policies.

During the meeting, representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE also signed the Joint Supply Chained Security Cooperation program, which tests the two countries abilities to provide vital supplies during times of crisis and national emergencies, as well as share expertise and knowledge in the field.

All 16 members of the executive committee of the council followed up on the execution of the initiatives mentioned in the Strategy of Resolve.

Representatives also set five other initiatives to enhance the cooperation between the two countries, such as facilitating the traffic between ports, improving airports to make it easier for people with disabilities to travel, creating a financial awareness program for children aged 7-18, starting a joint platform to support local SMEs, and the integration of civil aviation markets,

The committee was headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Gergawi, minister of cabinet of affairs and the future of UAE, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Twaijri, minister of economy and planning in Saudi. The committee will also monitor the implementation of the initiatives.