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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Expatriate population drops to 37% amid pandemic

Experts believe the number of expats will make a gradual increase as many of them started returning after the lifting the ban on entry to the Sultanate
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With the continuous fall in the number of expatriates, the Sultanate’s total population dropped above five per cent during the two-year period up to September 2021.


According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, the percentage of expatriates decreased to 37.10 per cent after a gap of four years when their number exceeded two million in 2017 at a rate of not less than 40 per cent.


Oman’s total population stood at 4,416,603 as of September 4, comprising 2,778,872 Omanis and 1,637,731 expatriates.


The population clock by the state-owned statistical agency showed a decrease of nearly 17,912 expatriates within two weeks, as their number on August 21, 2021, stood at 1,655,643.


The NCSI figures also noticed a continuous decrease in the number of arrivals, as their percentage in July 2020 reached 40 per cent of the total population in the Sultanate while their percentage at the beginning of 2020 stood at 42.30 per cent.


On April 22, 2017, the percentage of expatriates out of a total population reached the highest ever 46 per cent.


Experts in human resources are of the opinion that the number of expats will make a gradual increase as many of them started returning after the lifting the ban on entry to the Sultanate.


“Not only that thousands of expat employees who are stranded in different countries will return to the Sultanate, but also there will be new job opportunities as the Omani economy is on the path to revival”, said Rasheed al Sulaimani, Human Resource Manager with a leading finance company.


However, he did not rule out the possibility of loss of more jobs held by expats as part of the nationalization policy.


According to the NCSI data, 1,102,320 expats are working in the private sector while 39,306 are in the government sector. The number of family members and dependents reached 241,068 by the end of August 2021.


The Muscat Governorate tops the list with 528,102 employees followed by the North Al Batinah Governorate with 194,503 and the Dhofar Governorate with 158,215.


Bangladeshi nationals continue to lead the number with 528,682, followed by Indians with 465,037 and the Pakistanis are in the third position with 179,408.


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