Muscat: More jobs and better opportunities have made Muscat a favourable destination for people from interior regions, according to fresh graduates and HR managers in Muscat.
Jaber Al Ajmi, a media researcher at one of the companies in Muscat came to work in the capital in 2011, the decision to move to Muscat was not forced on him, but he was determined to live and work in Muscat after studying in Salalah and Nizwa for five years.
According to Al Ajmi, “People are coming to Muscat from everywhere in the interiors, a lot of my friends have also moved to Muscat in search of more exposure, better jobs and career growth. Working in the interiors is fine, but Muscat is a different world for some of us from the interiors, there is a lot more to see and do here than back home.”
He further said this trend of economic migration is not a new thing, but has been happening all over the world.
“People all over the world want to move to the top cities because of the centralisation of the companies, so when we speak of Muscat, all the public sector companies are in Muscat, the private sector companies’ headquarters are also here, so it is obvious that the availability of jobs will be much more in the urban areas.”
Al Ajmi hails from Saham, near Sohar, which is the second fastest growing city after Muscat, but he still prefers to work in the capital because of the career growth opportunities here.
“Sohar is thriving with lots of opportunities, but there is a lot more I can expect to learn by working in Muscat, you also get exposed to others cultures, so you learn. Besides I work in the media sector and if I started in the interiors, I would probably not go too far in my career.”
He spent three years at the Salalah College of Applied Sciences (CAS) and two at the Nizwa CAS, but did not think of working in any of these cities, because of the lack of international exposure. Al Ajmi said he would love to go back to his hometown in Saham, but that will have to wait.
“I would go to Saham, but that will be when I become an expert in whatever I am doing, I will eventually go there to share my knowledge with the new generation there.”
Badriya Al Amri, from Sur in the Sharqiyah region, also spoke of a similar feel when choosing to move to Muscat after studying in the Sur University College.
“It is a little difficult to get jobs back in the interior regions because there are not too many companies there, some of my friends got jobs there but I did not, plus I was also very ambitious and would not settle for working in the interior, because that would not help me go forward in my career.”
Al Amri has been working for a private company in Muscat for the last three years and is happy with the decision she made.
“Initially, it was a little tough, especially with the sudden exposure to too many cultures and the way of working all at once, but I have adjusted to this now and live in a female hostel, which works for me.”
Said Al Saadi, advisor at the Ministry of Manpower, thinks that although the economic migration is taking place, it will hopefully reduce the large industrial investments made in the interior regions.
“Economic migrations are taking place, but now we are better because the government is scattering the industrial area (development) everywhere, before it was only confined to Muscat, but now it is in many places in the interiors too, so we expect migrations to reduce,” Al Saadi told the Times of Oman.
He further said that although people always prefer moving to the capital area from the interiors, the job market in the interiors is also expanding.
“Capital is capital, and everyone is looking to move to the central areas, but in terms of job opportunities, there is the Sohar industrial area, Duqm investments, Nizwa and Samail also have large industrial areas. Owing to these, economic migration will hopefully go down in the coming years.”
Tonia Gray at the Competence HR said there has been a rise in the number of fresh graduates coming from the interiors, who are applying to work in Muscat. “We have certainly noticed an increase in fresh degree or diploma graduates seeking employment in Muscat. In particular, they are applying to work for the larger organisations that undertake annual graduate recruitment (primarily banking and oil/gas industries) and are responding to adverts placed in the media.”
“I haven’t really seen an increase in experienced individuals seeking to move to Muscat. The reason I imagine young people are seeking work in Muscat is that there are limited opportunities for them in the interior regions and perhaps they believe they will move more rapidly up the career ladder,” she added.