Overseas Health Insurance News: Oman reviewing its expat policies -
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Overseas Health Insurance News: Oman reviewing its expat policies

Expatriates living in Oman may find it harder to get a work permit in the future, as the sultanate looks likely to follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia in terms of its policies on foreign employees.

The move would mean that the government stance would be to favour local workers as opposed to those coming in from abroad.

More and more Middle Eastern countries are introducing measures to curb expats within the workforce with the likes of Saudi Arabia having imposed levies on companies hiring more foreign workers than locals.

Oman has started to assess which industries should be employing more native citizens with the prospect of quotas for foreign workers likely to be introduced.

At present there are a large number of foreign workers in Oman employed in areas such as oil, gas, construction and education.

Of the three million people living in Oman, a third are foreigners, the majority of whom are working in the private sector, with Omani nationals finding more work in the public sector.

A British expat living and working 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."

Since Oman is not as stable in terms of finance as other nations in the Gulf which produce oil, state budgets are due to be slashed meaning there will be fewer jobs of the type that many Omanis have.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the ruler of Oman, recently said that the private sector would have to provide more jobs for the native population in the future.

He told an advisory council that this was the long-term plan, but as the situation is moving in the opposite direction, measures to implement this will have to be taken.

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