Oman launches new job center service for locals as expat visa ban continues

There has been an expat visa ban in place in Oman since January, 2018 to help tackle the country's unemployment. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 06 January 2019
0

Oman launches new job center service for locals as expat visa ban continues

  • The Job Center will help identify Omanis suited to job openings in the country
  • The service is the latest in the push to reduce unemployment in Oman's local population

DUBAI: The ongoing push to help Omanis into work continues with the introduction of a job center service that will provide information on vacancies and help identify possible candidates, national daily Times of Oman reported.

Oman’s National Center for Employment has been created to help the ongoing efforts to identify Omanis for positions that might have previously been filled by expats, the report added, adding that the service was set to open in February.

“The new center will act as a one-stop center for jobseekers, to unify employment efforts and effectively coordinate the supply and demand of job opportunities in the Sultanate,” Mohammed Al-Busaidi, Chairman of the Youth and Human Resources Development Committee at the Shura Council, told Times of Oman.
“The center will direct jobseekers towards employment opportunities in the private and public sectors.”

And the center, which is open to both the private and public sectors, will not just help people into employment, Al-Busaidi explained.

“The center will also follow up with people who have been employed and those who are yet to be employed due to their degrees, in which case, the center will provide training for those jobseekers or ensure their re-specialization.”

Under the new system companies that fail to employ Omanis identified as suitable for a position, and recruit expats instead, will not be granted the appropriate documents.

The center is the latest in the ongoing efforts to employ Omanis which started in January, 2018, with a six-month visa ban for expats in certain areas of work.

The ban was extended to other areas of work later in the year and again at the end of the year.

Since the ban was introduced there has been a 3.4 percent reduction in the expat labor force between October 2017 and 2018.

The biggest decline in unemployment was for Omani citizens aged 25 to 29 where there was a drop of 13.6 percent over the last month, according to the National Center for Statistics and Information.

Meanwhile the unemployment rate for Omanis aged 30 to 34 dropped by 11 percent, and by 7.1 per cent for those from 35 to 39-years-old.

In contrast the number of expats working in Oman dropped by 3.4 percent from 1,795,689 in December 2017 to 1,739,473 now – with the biggest drop in the construction sector, which saw a 13.69 percent reduction from nearly 651,000 in December 2016 to just under 572,600 in October 2018.


Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

Updated 17 June 2019
0

Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

  • Cautious mood among investors as fears of military confrontation rise

DUBAI: Stock markets in the Gulf extended losses on Sunday reflecting a cautious mood among investors following last week’s oil tanker attacks. 

The attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday raised fears of a military confrontation in a vital shipping route for global oil supply and heightened tensions between Iran and the US, which have been in a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. 

The Saudi index had dropped 1.6 percent on Thursday and fell a further 0.6 percent on Sunday after slight gains in early trade. Most Saudi banks were down, despite Sunday’s announcement by Saudi British Bank that its merger with Alawwal Bank was completed. 

HIGHLIGHTS

• Gulf stocks reverse early gains.

• Gulf of Oman tanker attacks dampen investor mood.

• Saudi banks mostly down despite SABB-Alawwal merger.

The two banks have combined to create the country’s third largest lender, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. SABB’s shares shed 0.1 percent. Alinma Bank, however, gained 0.4 percent, and was one of the stocks registering the highest trading volume on Sunday. 

In the UAE, the Dubai and Abu Dhabi indexes fell 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The Dubai market had risen earlier in the day, boosted by DAMAC Properties and Union Properties, which closed up 2.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. But heavyweight Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the emirate, fell 2.5 percent, weighing on the index. 

Dubai’s telecom operator Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co) shed 0.4 percent, reversing earlier gains, after it said the UAE sovereign wealth fund Emirates Investment Authority had increased its stake by buying 463.3 million shares from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments. 

In Abu Dhabi, blue chip companies Aldar Properties, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution, led losses, dragging down the main index. The other Gulf markets were all in the red, except for the Bahrain index, which rose slightly. 

In Egypt, the index gained 0.2 percent, boosted by a 4.5 percent gain by Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investments. The company said one of its divisions, Arab Dairy Products, had received a letter of intent from a Netherlands based company about a plan to buy it.