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Demography, Migration, and the Labour Market in Oman

  • Françoise De Bel-Air
Publisher: Gulf Research Center
Date of Publication: Sep 2015
Publications Categories: Research Papers & Analysis


As of May 27, 2015, estimates of Oman’s total population stood at 4,187,516 persons, of whom 1,849,412 (44.2 per cent) were foreign nationals. Foreign workers are overwhelmingly from the Asian subcontinent: Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis together made up 87 per cent of the workforce in 2013. Eighty-two per cent of all foreign workers were employed in the private sector that year, and 12 per cent were filling managerial and “white collar” posts. The flow of foreign workers to Oman has been rising over the 2000s up till today. Lagging youth employment and rising poverty levels spurred popular protests in 2011 which slowed down economic diversification and the private sector’s development process. However, sectoral Omanisation quotas are now enforced and the hiring of Omani nationals in every business has become mandatory. Aggressive measures also target foreign residents in irregular situation which has led to several massive amnesty and deportation campaigns since 2010.

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