Omanisation: The ball in realty sector’s court

Ali Al Matani –
ali.matani2@gmail.com –

At a time when the different economic sectors are striving to support the government’s efforts to give job opportunities to Omanis in one way or the other, the real estate sector is lagging behind.
The contribution of the realty sector in shouldering national responsibility is quite minimum.
There are tens of thousands of buildings in the Sultanate, including in Muscat, which can hire Omani youth as security guards.
This could have been possible if the owners of multi-storeyed buildings, residential apartments, commercial buildings or other such properties were made to hire Omani youth as guards. Omanis can easily replace expatriates.
This could have been an initiative of owners in the real estate sector to back the efforts to employ more and more locals. It can also be a matter of satisfaction for those living in these buildings.
All economic sectors have to play a serious role in Omanisation and the employment of local youth. It is a major support for the efforts being made by the government in this direction.
There are some sectors such as industry and tourism, in which the ratio of Omanisation is satisfying. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the real estate sector.
Therefore, legislations are required to make the owners of real estate sector provide security guards. This issue should be linked with the renewal of rent contracts.
The cost of providing security has become high these days. Therefore, owners of real estate and properties should share this burden.
Time has come when they should abide by their commitments made for the country and its people, particularly in terms of employment. This is an area of everyone’s concern. It is a subject that unites all. Today there are a number of job-seekers with qualifications below general diploma. It is important to absorb them in such jobs.
The security and safety services is one of the agencies in which tens of thousands of Omanis are working. Being the biggest employer of local cadres, the agency can propose legislations to make it mandatory for owners of buildings to provide security guards.
The country keeps doing favours to the real estate owners. It provides them with land as well as loans through banks. Therefore, it’s the duty of owners of industries/tourism companies to pay back and abide by Omanisation obligations. We have to be fair at this point.
Fairness requires transparency in the framework that makes it mandatory for them to play a national role. We are confident they will willingly address the national requirements and come forward to fulfil them.
People might object to it, saying such decisions will result in owners of buildings increasing the rents. But they should realize that creation of jobs is priority. The local youth cannot be left without employment. Jobs have to be created and they have to be absorbed.
Some minor sacrifices are required to perform such crucial duties. It is not going to be a major burden for the people.
We hope the authorities will act quickly in bringing legislation making it obligatory for realtors to provide security guards.
This is a service that has noble objectives and goals. Fulfilling the needs of youth of the country and addressing their aspirations will bring smiles on their faces. For such noble national objectives, such small sacrifices can be made at any time.