'No curbs' on work permits for expats in Oman
The Ministry of Manpower in Oman is not restricting any new work permits or imposing restrictions on visa-renewals for expatriates, an official of the ministry told Times of Oman, while adding that over 2,000 jobs had been created for Omanis in the month of June alone.
In an effort to create a balance between Oman’s needs to sustain its development and create enough jobs for its graduates, the Sultanate would not compromise the growth of its private sector, the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media, said.
“We have created more than 2,000 jobs in the private sector this June for Omanis and more are to come in July and beyond. We have already created nearly 30,000 jobs since the protests started. We are proud of that record,” the official noted, while assuring the private sector that their need for skilled expatriates would not be restricted.
“We are still issuing new work permits for expatriates and renewing expiring ones. Oman’s economy is rapidly expanding and we need both workforces (local and foreign) to meet our growth targets. We have many important projects, either ongoing or about to be signed, and we cannot be complacent,” he added, while declining to reveal how many new work permits had been issued recently.
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said had ordered 50,000 jobs for nationals in March and the government is well on its way to achieving this target. The Ministry of Manpower says there is still room for skilled expatriates to contribute to the economy.
Part of the government’s ambitious projects is the development of Duqm, expansion of the industries in Sohar, and increasing crude oil production to a million barrels per day in two years time – from the 880,000 barrels per day now.
Four new airports are being built and two are being expanded, while power stations, ports and road networks projects have been already awarded.
A refinery and a petrochemical plant are on the anvil as well.
The government has been increasing its fiscal budget at an average growth of nine per cent per year in the last five years to make Oman one of the fastest growing countries in Asia.