Muscat reserves former top expat jobs for Omani nationals

Published:  13 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Citizenship, Jobs
In a shock announcement on Sunday, Muscat’s government banned expats from a slew of top managerial positions.

Minister of Manpower Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al Bakri made the decision to ban the recruitment of expatriate professionals for a swathe of top jobs as well as from all clerical and admin positions in the Sultanate. Foreign employees who are at present holding such jobs will be allowed to continue until their contracts expire, but will not be offered new contracts. The new rule will become effective form the day it’s published in the Official Gazette.

Positions affected include assistant general managers, human resources managers and directors, training managers, employee affairs managers, public relations managers, admin managers and several other managerial positions. It’s not the first time such a ban has been introduces, as an earlier attempt several years ago aimed to restrict and regulate the local jobs market in favour of Omani citizens. Even CEOs of major foreign companies in the private sector were at risk of being made redundant in the push to provide more top jobs for locals.

Oman’s government recently set up a National Centre for Employment intended to identify locals with the ability to take up appointments normally filled by expat professionals. Jobs at risk in the education and other sectors included directors of various departments such as Student Affairs, Career Guidance and Quality Assurance as well as other managerial positions, with the latest move intended to support the freeze on expat work visas. The strategy seems to be working, as the numbers of expatriate workers in the Sultanate at the end of March had fallen by 3.5 per cent to 1,776,375.
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