Oman’s expat visa ban extended again

The extension was effective from the end of May. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 02 June 2019

Oman’s expat visa ban extended again

  • Visa ban extension came into force on May 31, 2019
  • Oman is working to drive down unemployment among its local population

DUBAI: Oman’s government has extended the expat visa ban for a further six months in certain professions and industries, national daily Times of Oman reported.

The ban covers a number of jobs, most noticeably in industries like sales and marketing and procurement.

The Ministry of Manpower first introduced the visa ban in January, 2018 as it worked to reduce the number of unemployed locals in the country as part of the Omanization project.

The ban has been extended a number of times since it was introduced.

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.

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.


Egypt banks step up anti-virus efforts

Updated 26 November 2020

Egypt banks step up anti-virus efforts

  • asures recommended by the Federation of Egyptian Banks also include a ban on face-to-face meetings.

CAIRO: Up to half of bank employees in Egypt will be encouraged to work from home under guidelines to counter a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Measures recommended by the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) also include a ban on face-to-face meetings.

In a letter to banks, the FEB said its guidelines were aimed at ensuring sustainable operations “in the current circumstances.”

Banks will continue to operate from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the public and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for employees.

Previous guidelines were issued by the FEB on March 30 and April 5.

The federation's latest plan includes a follow-up on alternative workplaces to allow departments to continue working in cases of forced interruption.

The plan also issues strict instructions on wearing face masks in the workplace and while using the bank’s buses.

Employees also have been urged to follow precautionary measures while using public or private transport, and to avoid crowded places.

The FEB banned face-to-face meetings, replacing these with video conference meetings, and also underlined instructions to sanitize all surfaces using alcohol-based sanitizers, to regularly sanitize all workplaces at weekends, to provide sanitizers in areas that host employees and clients, and to regularly sanitize all main elevators.

Office boys and janitors have been instructed to wear face masks and to use paper cups instead of glass or metal ones.

The FEB said it will continue to post awareness videos and statements on combating the coronavirus.

It has urged banks to use e-payments, to continue banning delivery persons from entering the workplace, to continue halting the delivery of daily newspapers and magazines, and to continue temperature testing by security officials at workplace entrances.