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Oman is looking to emulate its gulf neighbour Saudi Arabia and reduce the employment opportunities for expats in order to boost job prospects for its domestic workforce.
The emirate on the coast of the Arabian peninsular will cut the number of work permit available to expats in order to reduce the supply of expert labour from Western educated nations. It is unclear if the lack of supply of similarly skilled workers from within Oman itself will damage the economy in the short to medium term.
Government departments are also looking into introducing quotas for expat workers in order to make room for Omanis in a move aping that of its near neighbour Saudi Arabia.
In a country of 3 million people expats make up a third with the proportion in the workforce far higher. Omanis are traditionally over represented in the public sector with domestic workers unable to compete in the open private sector jobs market.
One expat currently living in Oman told The Telegraph, “Expats are definitely top-heavy in the private sector as most locals prefer working in government roles where pay is better and working hours are shorter. So private companies are forced to employ foreign workers to fill these hard-to-recruit roles. It is becoming a very sensitive issue.”