State companies in Oman told to sack all expat workers

Published:  30 Apr at 6 PM
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The Omani government is instructing state companies to sack expat workers and replace them with locals.

In the midst of the devastating coronavirus pandemic, the Omani finance ministry is urging all state-owned companies to get rid of their expat workers and replace them with Omani citizens. The report, published by the state-owned Oman News Agency, indicates Omanisation is still alive and kicking expats even amidst a worldwide pandemic and the threat of a worldwide economic crash.

The pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for Oman, as oil prices crashed to an all-time low and the deadly virus took its toll both economically and psychologically. The emirate’s debt is rated at ‘junk’ by the world’s major rating agencies, wita government order coming just two weeks ago and forcing private companies to stop firing Omani citizens. The order also instructed companies to fire their expatriate workers and replace them with locals, a tall order since over a third of the population are from overseas.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s active coronavirus infection numbers have risen by 1,325, with deaths to date standing at 157. Of the new cases, 85 per cent are expats, and infections are now being found all across the kingdom. Social distancing and the wearing of masks is now mandatory, but curfews have been slightly loosened due to the start of the Muslim faith’s holy month of Ramadan. Expats in the kingdom are in fear of the continued spread of the virus, with some opting to leave for almost anywhere in the world which doesn’t have a ban on foreign entry.
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