Expat worker numbers in Oman down by a quarter of a million in 2020

Oman Sunday 27/December/2020 21:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Expat worker numbers in Oman down by a quarter of a million in 2020

Muscat: More than a quarter of a million expatriate workers have left Oman during the first 11 months of 2020, according to figures released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

NCSI numbers reveal that 272,126 expatriate workers left between January and November 2020. At the beginning of the year, there were 1,712,798 non-Omani workers in the country, a number that has dropped to 1,440,672 workers.

Despite large numbers of workers leaving the country, Bangladeshis continue to make up the largest expat community in the country: their numbers fell from 630,681 to 552,389. Similarly, Indians, who have the second-largest foreign representation in Oman, saw their numbers fall from 617,730 to 491,980.

The numbers of Pakistani workers also fell (207,288 to 181,025), as did the number of Filipinos (49,456 to 44,120), Egyptians (35,048 to 30,926), Sri Lankans (23,099 to 20,840), Nepalese (16,571 to 13,833), Tanzanians (14,742 to 13,508) and Ugandans (20,997 to 11,458). The numbers of expats holding nationalities apart from these also fell from 97,186 to 80,543.

In terms of percentages, the biggest drop was seen in the numbers of Nepalese (36.8 per cent), followed by the Ugandans (30.1 per cent), Indians (20.7 per cent), Pakistanis (13.1 per cent), Bangladeshis (13 per cent), and Egyptians (11.2 per cent).

The majority of expatriate workers in Oman are employed in the country’s private sector (1.14 million), with a further 42,000 working in government. About 250,000 people work for families in the country.

As of November 2020, the country’s construction sector employed the highest number of expatriates, at 381,092, followed by the vehicle trade (204,489), and the manufacturing (168,027) sectors.

Muscat is home to roughly 40 per cent of expat workers in the country (about 600,000), with North Al Batinah having another 200,000 non-Omanis. The southern Dhofar Governorate has about 160,000 workers, with the rest distribuited among the other eight governorates of the country.