Muscat: Roughly 60,000 new expatriates have come to Oman in the first two months of 2022, figures released by the government show.
57,870 expatriates arrived in Oman between 1 January 2022 and the end of February, according to statistics published by the National Centre for Statistics and Information in its monthly statistical bulletin for March 2022.
Oman’s population accordingly rose from 4,527,446 at the end of December 2021, to 4,595,661 in February of this year. Correspondingly, there has been an increase in the number of expatriates employed in the country -- up from 1.409 million employees at the end of December 2021 to 1.461 million as of February 2022.
A sharp dip (10.7 percent) in the number of expatriates working in the government sector was also recorded during the period: there were 36,928 foreign nationals employed in government as of February 2022 as opposed to 37,996 in 2021.
Bangladeshis largest group Bangladeshis continue to make up the largest expatriate community in the country: There are 546,182 expatriates from that country in Oman. The Indian expatriate population is the second-largest with 490,114 people. There is also a significant expatriate population from Pakistan: 206,083 Pakistani nationals live in Oman.
There are smaller communities from other countries as well, including the Philippines (46,240 people), Egypt (31,817), Sri Lanka (20,306), Nepal (18,367), Tanzania (11,854) and Sudan (8,020).
Majority in Muscat
A majority of expatriate workers live in Muscat, which is home to 608,571 people. There is also a significant population from overseas in the southern Dhofar region, which houses 168,739 people. Al Batinah North (207,086 people), Ad Dakhiliyah (97,267) and Al Batinah South (98,472) also have a sizeable expatriate population.
Expatriate workers also make up a significant portion of the population in South Al Sharqiyah (85,090), North Al Sharqiyah (73,607), Ad Dhahirah (48,933), Al Buraimi (37,861) and Al Wusta (25,382). The smallest proportion of expatriates live in the northern region of Musandam, which hosts just above 10,000 foreign nationals.
The construction sector is the single largest employer of expatriates in the country employing nearly 400,000 workers. Nearly 180,000 expatriates are employed in manufacturing and more than 200,000 in automobile sales and repair. The agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors employ a further 85,000 expatriates, while more than 70,000 work in administration and support services.
Storage and transport companies employ another 65,000 expatriates, while more than 100,000 work in the hospitality and restaurant sector. Roughly 20,000 expats are employed in scientific and technical roles and more than 12,000 each work in education and healthcare and social welfare sectors.
A vast majority of expatriates are employed as engineers (nearly 600,000), while more than 400,000 are in service jobs.
Industrial, chemical and food industry roles account for another 100,000 expatriates, as do sales jobs. Scientific and technical research sees employment provided for more than 85,000 expatriates, while nearly 32,000 are employed as administrators, directors and managers.
The NCSI recognises private sector employees as “individuals working in establishments owned by one or more individuals, which they have established for profit. These establishments must have commercial registrations and municipality permits that enables them to earn revenue.