Oman’s expat engineers fall as visa ban continues

Approximately 55,000 expatriates who previously worked in Oman have been dismissed by companies in one year, up to March, 2019. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 27 May 2019
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Oman’s expat engineers fall as visa ban continues

  • The change is part of Oman’s ongoing strategy to replace foreign workers with locals from the country’s labor pool
  • The Gulf states have since launched nationalization programs to absorb more of their citizens into the labor force

DUBAI: The number of expats working in certain engineering professions in Oman’s private sector fell by nearly 7 percent by March 2019, compared to 2018, as the country continued in its push to cut unemployment among its local population, national daily Times of Oman reported.

There were 758,929 expats working in principal and auxiliary engineering professions in the private sector by March 2019, that’s down from 813,599 in 2018 and 838,802 in 2017, a difference of 54,670 engineers over the past year, according to data from the National Center for Statistics and Information.

The number of Omanis working in these positions in the private sector increased from 52,275 in 2017 to 55,731 in 2018, and again to 58,452 in 2019 – that’s an overall increase of nearly 12 percent - NCSI data shows.

Approximately 55,000 expatriates who previously worked in Oman have been dismissed by companies in one year, up to March, 2019, according to data published by the Omani government.

The change is part of Oman’s ongoing strategy to replace foreign workers with locals from the country’s labor pool, as the government continues its Omanization drive.

In Qatar, the expat 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.

The 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.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019
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Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.