Senior management roles next in line for Oman expat visa ban

The latest visa ban will see certain managerial jobs given exclusively to Omanis. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 13 May 2019
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Senior management roles next in line for Oman expat visa ban

  • Existing managers will be able to keep their jobs until their current visas expire
  • The management visa ban is an extension of the ongoing program

DUBAI: Oman’s expat visa ban has again been extended, this time to senior management positions in the private sector, as the country continues to push its Omanization policy in a bid to cut unemployment among its citizens.

Under the new rules those expats currently working in the specified roles will be able to work until the end of their current residency visas, but will not be able to renew them, national daily Times of Oman reported.

The roles will then be entirely staffed by Omanis

The roles affected by the latest decision by the Ministry of Manpower are: assistant general manager, administration director, human resources director, personnel director, training director, follow-up director, public relations director, assistant manager, and all administrative and clerical duties.

The story did not specify how many of the current 37,299 managerial and administrative roles would be given to Omani nationals.

Oman introduced the expat visa bans in January 2018 for a six-month period for certain professions.

There have been a number of extensions since then and the ban has been expanded to cover other industries and professions – during that time tens of thousands of Omanis have found work.

Historically Gulf countries have been dependent on expatriate workers to power their economies; with a 2013 study indicating as much as 71 percent of Oman’s labor force were foreign-nationals.

In Qatar, expatriate workforce was as high as 95 percent while in the UAE it was 94 percent; 83 percent in Kuwait; 64 percent in Bahrain and 49 percent in Saudi Arabia.

Some Gulf states have since launched nationalization programs to absorb more of their citizens into the labor force, as well as address high levels of unemployment.

Oman's expat population has dropped significantly since the introduction of the ban.


British Steel collapses, threatening thousands of jobs

Updated 22 May 2019
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British Steel collapses, threatening thousands of jobs

LONDON: British Steel Ltd. has been ordered into liquidation as it struggles with industry-wide troubles and Brexit, threatening 5,000 workers and another 20,000 jobs in the supply chain.
The company had asked for a package of support to tackle issues related to Britain’s pending departure from the European Union. Talks with the government failed to secure a bailout, and the Insolvency Service announced the liquidation on Wednesday.
“The immediate priority following my appointment as liquidator of British Steel is to continue safe operation of the site,” said David Chapman, the official receiver, referring to the Scunthorpe plant in northeast England.
The company will continue to trade and supply its customers while Chapman considers options for the business. A team from financial firm EY will work with the receiver and all parties to “secure a solution.”
“To this end they have commenced a sale process to identify a purchaser for the businesses,” EY said in a statement.
The government said it had done all it could for the company, including providing a 120 million pound ($152 million) bridging facility to help meet emission trading compliance costs. Going further would not be lawful as it could be considered illegal state aid, Business Secretary Greg Clark said.
“I have been advised that it would be unlawful to provide a guarantee or loan on the terms of any proposals that the company or any other party has made,” he said.
Unions had called for the government to nationalize the business, but the government demurred.
The opposition Labour Party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson described the news as “devastating.”
“It is testament to the government’s industrial policy vacuum, and the farce of its failed Brexit,” he said in a tweet.
The crisis underscores the anxieties of British manufacturers, who have been demanding clarity around plans for Britain’s departure from the EU. Longstanding issues such as uncompetitive electricity prices also continue to deter investment in UK manufacturing, said Gareth Stace, the director-general of UK Steel, the trade association of the industry.
“Many of our challenges are far from unique to steel — the whole manufacturing sector is crying out for certainty over Brexit,” Stace said. “Unable to decipher the trading relationship the UK will have with its biggest market in just five months’ time, planning and decision making has become nightmarish in its complexity.”
Greybull Capital, which bought British Steel in 2016 for a nominal sum, said turning around the company was always going to be a challenge. It praised the trade union and management team, but said Brexit-related issues proved to be insurmountable.
“We are grateful to all those who supported British Steel on the attempted journey to resurrect this vital part of British industry,” it said in a statement.