DUBAI: The number of expats working in certain engineering professions in Oman’s private sector fell by nearly 7 percent by March 2019, compared to 2018, as the country continued in its push to cut unemployment among its local population, national daily Times of Oman reported.
There were 758,929 expats working in principal and auxiliary engineering professions in the private sector by March 2019, that’s down from 813,599 in 2018 and 838,802 in 2017, a difference of 54,670 engineers over the past year, according to data from the National Center for Statistics and Information.
The number of Omanis working in these positions in the private sector increased from 52,275 in 2017 to 55,731 in 2018, and again to 58,452 in 2019 – that’s an overall increase of nearly 12 percent – NCSI data shows.
Approximately 55,000 expatriates who previously worked in Oman have been dismissed by companies in one year, up to March, 2019, according to data published by the Omani government.
The change is part of Oman’s ongoing strategy to replace foreign workers with locals from the country’s labor pool, as the government continues its Omanization drive.
In Qatar, the expat workforce was as high as 95 percent while in the UAE it was 94 percent; 83 percent in Kuwait; 64 percent in Bahrain and 49 percent in Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf states have since launched nationalization programs to absorb more of their citizens into the labor force, as well as address high levels of unemployment.