The challenge of foreign workers in the Persian/Arabian Gulf: The case of Oman

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Abstract

The ascendancy of Sultan Qabus bin Sa'id in July 1970 and the dramatic increase in oil prices following the October 1973 'oil boom' opened a new era in Oman. While the new Omani regime strove to achieve rapid socio-economic development, the relatively small and unskilled national workforce required a massive import of foreign workers, which from the early 1980s onwards constituted the majority of Oman's total labour force. This article first examines the number of foreign workers in the Sultanate from the early 1970s onwards, and then analyses the Omani policies towards the foreign workers, including the Omanization policy and the various obstacles to implementing such a policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-52
Number of pages30
JournalImmigrants and Minorities
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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