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Over 270,000 expatriates left Oman in 2020 due to pandemic

A worker, wearing face masks as a protective measure against the coronavirus pandemic, fills the banana rack at the vegetables section of a supermarket in a commercial centre in Oman's capital Muscat on October 14, 2020. - Oman, which announced earlier this week the introduction of five-percent VAT on goods and services, to offset a slump in oil prices and an economic downturn exacerbated by coronavirus, has so far recorded 106,575 cases of Covid-19, including 1,046 deaths. (Photo by MOHAMMED MAHJOUB / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP via Getty Images)
A worker, wearing face masks as a protective measure against the coronavirus pandemic, fills the banana rack at the vegetables section of a supermarket in a commercial centre in Oman's capital Muscat on October 14, 2020 [MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP via Getty Images]

More than 270,000 expatriate workers left Oman as a result of the repercussions of the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Sultanate's National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) announced yesterday.

"Oman's expatriate worker population fell by more than 270,000, or nearly 16 per cent, from the end of 2019 to November 2020," NCSI's statement was quoted by Reuters.

The official data centre pointed out that Oman had 1.44 million foreign workers in November, down from 1.710 million at the end of 2019.

Many foreign workers left Gulf countries this year as their oil-dependent economies were simultaneously hit by the pandemic and the drop in global oil demand and prices.

The Omani government recently said it was "intensifying efforts to localise several jobs and redress the imbalance in the country's demographics." Since 2018, the Sultanate has been running its so-called "Omanisation" policy, which prohibits expatriates from working in 87 designated jobs.

READ: Oman's Sultan approves launch of Vision 2040

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