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

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.

Saudi Arabia PIF’s $40bn boost aimed at post-pandemic profit

Updated 7 min 36 sec ago

Saudi Arabia PIF’s $40bn boost aimed at post-pandemic profit

  • Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the PIF has spent $7.7 billion amassing a portfolio

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s ambitious sovereign wealth fund, is seeking to use the extra $40 billion it was recently granted from government reserves to benefit the Kingdom and its citizens when the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is over.

A spokesperson for the PIF said that the injection from reserves held by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority — announced last week — “allow us to tap into a number of local and global investment opportunities at attractive prices. This includes investments in sectors that are well positioned to drive economic growth and value creation and derive benefits for the citizens of our country well beyond the current crisis.”

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the PIF has spent $7.7 billion amassing a portfolio of shake stakes in some of the best-known corporate brand names in the world, including Boeing, Disney, Facebook and Marriott International. It also took big holdings in independent oil companies Shell, Total and BP, as well as banking giants like Citigroup and Bank of America.

The shares of these and other investments in the PIF spending spree had been affected by the dramatic downturn in the US stock market after the first pandemic related lockdowns. They have since recovered almost to all-time highs as US authorities took emergency measures to support its financial institutions.

Some investors are calculating that there will be a rapid economic recovery when the lockdowns end, to send stock markets soaring again.

“The PIF’s role is to invest the nation’s wealth in a way that generates long-term attractive returns and a diversified source of wealth for the Saudi people. The uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and the subsequent drop in global oil prices, highlights why our economic diversification efforts are so important. Capital injections from the government are an established source of funding for the PIF, as outlined in our strategy as part of our Vision Realization Program,” the PIF spokesman said.

The fresh resources for the fund, which has $320 billion of assets under management, will provide extra firepower to take advantage of perceived bargains. Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, said last month: “You don’t want to waste a crisis. We’re looking into any opportunities.”