Muscat: Omanis work longer in five-star hotels than they do in other hotels, according to government data.
While the number of Omanis working in hotels dropped in 2014 and 2015, some top-level hotels actually boosted their Omanisation rates over the same period.
The manager of a five-star hotel said, “We have had a small increase in Omanisation and managed to recruit a few more Omanis. I am not aware of the overall scenario, but we are always looking for talented Omanis. The focus is on qualification. We’ve had employees here that have spent over three or four years at the hotel.”
According to data released by the National Centre for Statistical Information (NCSI), Omanisation in hotels slipped 1 per cent each in the years 2014 and 2015, from 32 per cent in 2013, all the way to 29.3 per cent in 2015.
However, data shows that this indicator remained constant in 2015, dropping by only 0.1 per cent in 2016. For most of this time, five-star hotels remained constant at around 33 per cent.
This is similar to four-star hotels, which even showed an increase of 1 per cent in the past two years. In 2014, three-star hotels went down.
The manager added, “Of course, higher star hotels have a higher number of Omanis. It’s because we provide a better service. That difference will always be there. Whenever we have a vacancy, we always check first with the Ministry of Manpower.”
Someone at a smaller hotel said, “We always have a shortage of Omanis. It’s not difficult to find the employees, but they don’t stay long. They’re always coming and going.”
A former hotel front desk employee revealed that she had left the job because she was not satisfied with her salary. “But also,” she added, “I wanted a better future, and I got the chance to become a flight attendant. I’ve always wanted to travel. Being in a large hotel can provide you with better future employment opportunities, but that’s not true of smaller hotels.”
One corporate employee was trained in hospitality, but then moved to a different sector.
“I wanted to continue my education, but the work hours in a hotel just don’t let you do that,” he said. “There was so much pressure. And then, when I got my masters, I was qualified to work in a completely different sector, so I went there. Also, the job market at the time was difficult to penetrate.”
A hotel spokesperson said, “We don’t really ask employees why they want to leave. I’ve heard enough to tell you that there are so many reasons; we can’t specifically pinpoint one issue to tackle in order to keep our Omani employees.”