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Coronavirus: More than 270,000 expatriate workers left Oman this year

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Oman’s expatriate worker population fell by more than 270,000, or nearly 16 percent, from the end of 2019 to November 2020, data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information showed.

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Oman had 1.44 million non-Omani workers as of November, according to the data, down from 1.71 million expatriate workers at the end of last year.

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Many foreign workers have left Gulf countries this year as their hydrocarbon-dependent economies were simultaneously hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the drop in oil demand and prices that came with it.

Read more: Oman discusses plans for replacing expats with locals in government firms

The International Labour Organization said earlier this year that it expected an expatriate exodus from the Gulf to be larger than after the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the 2014-2015 plunge in prices for oil, the region’s main export.

More than 340,000 foreign workers left Oman in 2010 following the financial crisis.