Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Those pesky runaway expats - but we don't deserve Tier 3...

Following on from the Tier 3 knee-jerk reaction, this beauty from yesterday's papers (in this case the Tribune version) on those pesky runaway expats. I was shocked myself that there are apparently over 64,000 expats that are effectively missing. Gee, I wonder why, seeing as things are so great here for all expats, why 64,000 would abscond? I mean, the number seems to indicate about 50 expats per day go missing, or 'runaway'.

Or at least, I hope they absconded, and aren't just buried in the desert somewhere. Do you think the ROP would actually investigate any of these cases?

And the response is not to wonder why they runaway and perhaps think about what that means, but to enforce 'strict penalties'. Go Oman! The expat labourer's paradise...

Majlis A’Shura focuses on runaway expatriates
Muscat Majlis A’Shura held its 10th regular session of the first annual term under the chairmanship of HE Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Isa’ee on Sunday.

Omar Bin Ali Al Hosoni, deputy chairman, read out the legal committee report and pointed out that the study of the legal committee to the proposed amendments on the labour law has been delegated by Majlis A’Shura and was limited only to the articles to which the amendments will be introduced.

“The first part of the report addresses the issue of runaway expatriates by applying strict penalties, which the ministry believes, will provide a radical and decisive
solution to the problem which has a negative impact on job market,” he added.

Majlis A’Shura appr-oved the report of the legal committee on the proposed amendments to the labour law. The report included the recommendations of the committee and the proposed amendments on some of the labour law provisions, especially those related to the runaway expatriates.

The number of run-away expatriates, as at the end of 2007, stood at 64,487, a 33.97 per cent growth compared to the last two years, he said.


  1. I love this post and this blog. I am acord whit this text.
    Happy day

  2. I thought there was a law amendment to help solve this issue and conform with international labor agreements ?!

    see link :


  3. Yes, er, umm the 64,000 question. Mmmmmm... How does it go?

    One little, two little, three little Indians
    Four little, five little, six little Indians
    Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
    Ten little Indian boys...

  4. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/pressass/20080702/tuk-170-freed-in-trafficking-crackdown-6323e80.html

  5. mind your own business expats or leave the country

  6. Expats leave the country? I think they did... 64,000 of them.

  7. Let them go to wherever they want. Don't put Oman's name in every shitty thing you face. They weren't oppressed by the Omanis or you think they were? Tier3? WTF? Why give a damn about what some MF's saying in some other part of the world. Same people who daily kill children, women and people living on their land. Same people who spread fear, problems and killing all over, the least is not cooperating with other nations as in Kyoto Protocol, what else do you expect from such zombies? This country is not perfect, not democratic, still a long way ahead, but in its way to provide whatever good for its people. It'll all be good with patience, dedication and strong leadership.

  8. The UAE Tier 2? Please... Spare me the fcuking crap.



  9. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indians_Abroad/UAE_arrests_3000_Indian_workers_for_rioting/articleshow/3208446.cms


  10. Kickass-
    The problem is that you and yours cannot kick ass. You cannot defend yourselves from the Iranians. You cannot defend yourselves from the Saudis. You could not defend yourselves from the Indians should regional politics create a change that necessitated that.

    Indians toil away in the capital while able Omanis sit outside beachside and mountainside shacks only tens of kilometers away. Change all that and then all the expats will leave you alone. Your attitude is the reason why the region will continue to be the way it is. An economic backwater, important only for its oil, holding dreams of world-class status it held centuries ago (but mostly in Andalusia) and will never reach again as long as your attitude dominates.


  11. "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."

    Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum


  12. Leo,

    Though you digressed and started waffling, but nevermind. I think I can sum up your points in the following,

    1- Oman cannot defend itself? How relevant is this? Anyway, when there's a political situation causing this much of misery, time will tell you whether this country deserves to exist or not. This land holds this name for more than wherever you come from has its name, and it will always.

    2- Indians? I wasn't referring to Indians only, NOT Omani is an expat. As a matter of fact, and don't take it personal, you could be worse. A lot to say in here, but not feel like it now. One thing, cut the crap and don't be repulsive by using words like, 'Change that', 'Your attitude', that's rather ridiculous and makes of you anything but educated.


    Yeah so? You showing that you envy those people? All wars were started because some idiots envy others for why they are better than them. Chill, and leave the country that you have nothing for it but hate and envy. How hypocrite.

  13. Kickass-
    The reason why I referred to defense issues is because of your childish choice of a nickname. Whose ass is it that you plan on kicking? It is reflective of the complete lack of logic and also the tenuous grasp on the English language that your comments make plain.

    Second, regardless of America's policy choices of late, which have admittedly been poor, Oman and the Gulf in general have long been threatened by Iran and Saudi Arabia. The only reason why states like Oman have not either grown stronger or been gobbled up by another, stronger nation-state is because of outside protections and outside economic assistance.

    Western companies have assisted Oman and other countries in extracting oil under unfavorable contracts and due to their own self-interest. But, could those states have grown so quickly to economic prosperity without Western assistance? Have regional schools and culture produced engineers to replace the expats working at PDO? Managers? Laborers? Gulf states have bought experience, educated workers, and abiility to develop infrastructure, so they have never had to develop the indigenous capability to do so, and that means that states are weak. It is a co-dependent relationship and you would do well to recognize that.

    In the security realm, an author named Charles Tilly has put forward an argument that the state makes war and war makes the state. European nation-states grew strong because they lived in a dog-eat-dog world. Either they created strong nation-state institutions or they got gobbled up by stronger states. That has not happened in the post-colonial world because the developed world has defended the artificial states they created. Thus, because you don't have to "kick ass," you don't develop the institutions required for it... and your states are weaker for it. Look at the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq would have stretched from Turkey to Yemen within a year and would probably have gobbled up the rest of the Gulf states within a few years if it wasn't for Western intervention.

    Of course, a small nation like Oman could never stand up to a large nation like Iran or Saudi or Iraq in 1991, but without Western assistance and protection, Gulf armies would have to work much more seriously than the very limited hours they do and would be forced to give up their spats and work together to protect themselves.

    And in a personal jab at you, I would bet that if we came toe-to-toe, you would turn tail and use your Omani status to have me deported... after blustering with physical threats and telling me how powerful your relatives are. I've seen it before. I don't mean to say that all Omanis are like that, but I'd bet that someone who labels himself as "kickass" is. I am confident on my odds with you physically and mentally, therefore my name is not some similar form of rhetorical bravado.

    By being in a co-dependent security and economic relationship with the West, you (the Gulf in general) have come to rely on the West and have not created strong states. This is a curse to you and us. And this is why your "get out" attitude is ridiculous.

    People like you look at Westerners as a high-paid form of the south Asian laborers you treat like dirt. In American parlance, they are "TCNs": third-country nationals. Western expats are "management TCNs" with a bit higher status, but looked on with almost equal disdain by people like you. But the bottom line is that, despite your disdain for us, your country cannot do without. And from your English, in a country where English is the language of business, science, engineering, medicine..., I imagine that you have not done much to push us out.

    I have left your country. And due to people like you, I have left with many and respected Arab friends, but my respect for Arab human development in general has been greatly eroded. There is far too much decadence and arrogance amongst a sizable minority that is blocking the majority from achieving their potential. You are one of the decadent, arrogant minority.

  14. wow, quite an argument brewing here.

    Where's the dragon? Holidays? Prison?

    Leo - When did you leave Oman?

    Kickass - I'm sorry you feel the way you do about ex-pats. But seeing as you've been so free to tell us what you think of us, I'll tell you what I think of narrow-minded people like you: not a lot, and nothing good.

    Gulf states like Oman need Indians and the like, and Western ex-pats. Without the Indians (and sri-lankans, Pakistani's, etc) to do the cheap manual labour & middle management, construction, and thus development, would be even more expensive and slower. Without Western ex-pat expertise, developments would be even slower. So those roads you drive on, schools you may of went to, hospitals you visit, ROP, RAFO & SAF you trust in, Oman Air planes you may fly in, petrol you have pumped into your car - all of it, would not be as available as it is now (if at all) without ex-pat help.

    And to carry your narrow-mindedness further, you don't want expats in your country, so does that mean you don't want any products or materials from outside your country too? So you better stop posting on the internet because I don't think your PC came from Oman, and in fact really you should just throw away your sun glasses and cell phone too, because, well, Oman didn't make them now did they? And your car too, better get rid of that filthy infidel device as well, right?

    You cant have your cake and eat it. Welcome to the new world, kickass. It's a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-continental world. Get used to it.

  15. Leo,

    You came all the way from your country to assist the people of this country to extract oil? why not help them in harvesting dates too then? How ironic. So you're suggesting that Shell is doing it for fun, and all the fights and destruction that happened in the past for the region and particularly for this country was to assist them? It's pitty how Shell is not helping Somalia, or any bloody shitty place. It's all a mutual realtionship, but unfortunately, because some idiots out there don't know how to play the game well, it's working favourably for those leechers. I'm not personally against you or anybody as the next mate's comment pointed out. I'm not even concerned about that. You're looking for a better life and your destiny brought you here so what. It's all for what's best for this country and its people. It's all to work for the same target you refered to, a strong state that is able to "kick asses" if it happened to be necessary.

    It's NOT assistance, Western companies and all the west got SO much Oil for So little money that's why all the "assistance' came. The prosperity you're talking about is nothing compared to the oil that was exctracted.

    We have not created strong states and kept on relying on what you called the west because we have weak leaders, as simple as that. The west have benefited from Oil more than The Gulf producing countries.

    It should and will be a win-win situation. I must agree with you, or I'll just be contradicting myself like you that without West Oil may be just something useless, but life works that way. West needs oil to live, and these countries need to know how to make the best out of that, no harm for either, or the worst scenario the harm for what your instinct tells you. At the moment we're not living in what you called 'dog-eat-dog' world, but worse 'predators and preys' world, and you surely don't wnat to be the prey.

    I'll just quote the following;

    "And in a personal jab at you, I would bet that if we came toe-to-toe, you would turn tail and use your Omani status to have me deported... after blustering with physical threats and telling me how powerful your relatives are. I've seen it before. I don't mean to say that all Omanis are like that, but I'd bet that someone who labels himself as "kickass" is. I am confident on my odds with you physically and mentally, therefore my name is not some similar form of rhetorical bravado."

    You're sick mate, you really need to see a psychiatrist.



    Can you justify calling someone "narrow-minded", aren't you just the same then?

    The rest is too superficial. Put in your mind that, not whoever you call 'expat' is an expert, or it'll be alright to work and of-course be highly paid as leo moaned or what's the point. You bring someone from outside expecting to fill-in the gap not the opposite.

  16. "Kickass"

    If you read my post again, you'll see that I openly admit that Western oil companies assisted "under unfavorable contracts and due to their own self-interest." There are precious few people anywhere who do anything, especially in the business world, without their own interests at center stage. Yet, there was no pre-existing capacity in the Gulf to do what the Western companies offered and, more critically, Gulf countries and their citizens have not stepped up to fill the ranks of their own business sector. Rather than relying on foreign experts to fill gaps, as is the case throughout the world, foreigners do everything and all too often locals fill "managerial" positions that consist of showing up to work for a few hours to sit around while others do the work for them.

    Poor leadership is an issue in some states, but it has become a pasttime for citizens to point their finger at "poor leaders" and foreign conspiracies to explain why young men have no interest in studying, learning, or really working. In some cases, the leadership is far ahead of the society, trying to develop a willingness to study and work, but many citizens are content to use job-training programs to draw a short term stipend with no intention of ever becoming a craftsman or other skilled worker.

    With regard to education, one statistic that comes to mind is that 70% of Qatar University's students are female because males are all to happy to sit in the coffee shops and suck up the government dole. This problem exists throughout the Gulf to varying degrees. The people and people specifically like you are as much to blame as poor leadership.

    Finally, with regard to Shell (I am not affiliated with this or any other oil company), it is a corporation in business to make money. They are there to find business opportunities and exploit them. If local corporations are not up to the task of extracting resources, they'll be happy to take advantage of your lack of capacity. And why should a company like Shell be "helping out" in Somalia? That makes no sense.

    However, I will remind you that America did try to help out in Somalia years ago, trying to defeat the warlords that were bringing death and famine to the country. However flawed that operation was, the intent was to make the situation better, although it failed. You may try to twist the facts and say that America did it only for its own self-interest, but there was little for America to gain in Somalia for the losses it incurred.

    And with regard to my psyche, I may not be perfectly wired, but I am comfortable in my ability to stand up for myself without rhetorical bluster and resorting to one-sided laws and wasta to defend myself. Perhaps you do not, but your attitude suggests otherwise. This jab comes in response to your "kickass" nickname that I doubt is backed up by anything meaningful.

  17. to quote:
    "Can you justify calling someone "narrow-minded", aren't you just the same then?

    The rest is too superficial. Put in your mind that, not whoever you call 'expat' is an expert, or it'll be alright to work and of-course be highly paid as leo moaned or what's the point. You bring someone from outside expecting to fill-in the gap not the opposite."

    I don't believe I am narrow minded, because I always try to look at issues from as many angles as I can think of, and those that others put forward. Your arguments you put forward do not appear to be very well thought out.

    Quite what your second comment regarding expats being "experts" has to do with my original post, I'm not sure.

    Clearly Leo feels strongly about his stance on this matter as do you. My observation is simple, Oman, like all the other Gulf-states newly rich with oil and gas, has seen rapid growth and development in the last 30 years. Oman has sold it's oil at a fair market price and has received significant infrastructure and economic improvements during the year's it's been selling oil.

    Oil is a commodity, as demand for it increases, the price increases. Oil has recently been rocketing up in price over the last 5 years, but that is because China is waking up, India is waking up, and masses of Africans, Indians (and Pakistani's etc)and Asians are flocking to the G8 countries and increasing the populations and oil demands of these countries. Additionally, other oil-producing countries have reduced their oil output. Demand has increased, OPEC output has not increased to match this demand, and so the price of the commodity has gone up - And Oman has been paid a fair market rate the whole time.

    So Oman isn't selling it's oil too cheaply, it sold it's oil in a worldwide market-place at a price agreed by Oman.

    Shell, for example, have paid a large sum to Oman for the rights to develop some oil fields in Oman. Shell then pays to find the oil, extract the oil, and export the oil, and also pays a large sum to Oman for the pleasure of doing so. Shell also creates jobs for Omani's. Shell have the privilege to do this because there was no Omani company that could do this when they came here. Only ex-pat expertise could be used to get at the resource that has afforded Oman its incredible 30 year development. Once Shell and all the other companies have extracted all of the oil and gas from Oman, they will leave, because it is of no further benefit to them to stay. With the end of Oil & Gas revenues will also mark the end of significant Government infrastructure development, and thus the presence of so many ex-pat workers.

    Your comments generally have the tune of "we dont want you here, so leave". If I left, and everyone like me left, this country would grind to a halt. No oil would flow, no gas would be extracted, the power stations would stop working, the infrastructure development would stop, supporting industry like supermarkets and restaurants would close, the economy of this country would suffer greatly. And because of this fact, this is why I believe you are narrow minded. I believe you have not considered all of the implications of your desires.

  18. Dragon... where are you???
    -I miss ur posting...-

  19. Maybe he's run off with Suburban! She's missing in action, too...

  20. I know, where is the dragon?

  21. sorry guys. I was called away on urgent business overseas - hardly had time to pack a hold all....

    On this topic. Hmmm.

    Kickass - all countries rely on 'expats', The states, Europe, UAE, here. If you want to see a country without expats, that would be... North Korea? The problem in Oman is that many good trades that offer a huge employment opportunity in the west - construction, retail, pharmacy, etc etc, are filled by expats because of their cheapness, the poor standards and conditions, and the general poor work ethic amongst many younger Omani (combined with a relatively low standard education).

    Leo - you're awfully defensive. Relax.

    Lurker, Chiarina, Muscato - I'm back! But posting will be low as the work has me slammed right now. I think Sub' is on holiday tho'...


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...