Friday, November 14, 2008

Omani pay in the private sector dominated by very low paying jobs - Muscati post

As the global economy keeps stutering, Muscati has posted (finally!! ;-) ) and lists some data on the base salary excluding allowances of Omani in the Oman economy.

To conclude: out of 131,000 Omanis in the private sector, 110,000 of them are on pay of RO. 200 [~$500] a month or less. That's about 84%. ...
Salary over RO. 2000 [~US$5000] a month: only 470 employees.

The most shocking are the really low McJob nature shown by the stats.

A more sensible set of data to put the previous post on the press 'analysis' (and I agree way too optimistic).

Thanks Muscati - glad you're back. I trust you are one of the 470...


  1. I wanted to comment on Muscati's post, but he has disabled Name/URL posting.

    It seems that those figures cover only those Omanis that have paying jobs.

    They don't appear to cover entrepreneurs and sponsors, of whom I imagine there is a very significant number, greater than 470.

    Nevertheless, this distribution is a great contrast to the natives of the neighboring AE, who don't seem to have a propensity for productive activity whatsoever :)

    For this I have great respect for the people of Oman. Their willingness to take up jobs, together with their general humility and good nature; is a significant reason why I chose to make this land my home for the near future.

  2. Muscati must be on the top of 470.

    Keep in Mind PDO, Oman Air, hospitals, ORC and Sohar companies are not included

  3. Cheers to Muscati for setting things straight.

    On another note, it always depresses me how many people living in Muscat are unaware of the realities outside of their comfortable bubble.

    -Omani in US

  4. i remember reading in one of your posts a time back about omani's, and how useless they are, and not worth the effort to hire..well i wonder why. its so easy for every one (esp you expats) to go about saying 'oh look at these omanis, useless, no goals, no nothing - yeah, well it would definetly help if these kids were motivated, treated fairly - or at least with decency and justice. Our supermarket bill for a months worth of shopping is like 120 rials for a family of 4, now imagine having to pay bills or helping out your brothers and sisters (who are proboably a plenty) rents or sales are crazy..can you imagine how utterly helpless these kids feel in todays world? the other day i was talking to our tea lady (who is too smart to be a tea lady) and shes been working here for the past 12 years. Same job. Day after day. She is quite authoritive and i can easily see her bossing all the others around and getting them running off to their business easily, but no - the left her to serve tea for 12 years. or do you want them running around like those unfortunate Qalhat boys..they get paid 30 rials a month to work 12 hours, only to get taken elsewhere to work overtime (2 hrs for 0.5 rials!!) that what you want the omanins to do to qualify for your 'hard-working' rating? i totally agree with Muscati - this whole omanisation is so unfair, a silly statistic game in which all these poor kids have been drawn into because of their needy status..taken advantage of, treated unfairly, no motivation, no training, no incentive - nothing. How else do you expect them to put a little effort in their work? whats that saying..? the one that goes 'how youre king in your own country'..yeah..not unless youre in oman - youre expected to work like a Qalhat employee and be REALLY happy about it. All you 'angry' expats living in oman - why dont you save your silly arrogant looks and remarks to your silly selves.

  5. Hey anonymous - where can I get a tea lady that can play chess with me too?

    You spend 120 riyals for a family of 4 for a month? Guess what - in the States I used to spend that much for a family of two and a half, in two weeks!

    Omanisation gives the people here a guaranteed opportunity to work. What they do with that opportunity is their business. In the States the employees of GM and Ford factories who invested their whole livelihoods into those firms got screwed when the bosses decided it was cheaper to produce the cars in Mexico and elsewhere, thus shutting down factories and leaving those people jobless. How is that for fair?

    What I am saying is that no matter how flawed your system of social support is - at least you guys have one. I am sure any working-class Palestinian or Egyptian or Indian or Chilean or Russian or American would LOVE to have a guaranteed opportunity to work.


  6. boxster,

    Sorry, I have to disagree with you there. This is only my view, but having a job is not an automatic right. One should earn it. Having it be a 'right' only encourages laziness and apathy.

    America is ruthless in this respect (except for protectionist cases like Ford and GM, who I have no sympathy for, and can elaborate if you want me too), but by and large the fact that it doesn't guarantee work is why it has leapfrogged every other country. Mediocrity is not enforced, and so there are fewer barriers standing in the way of individuals who really do want to rise to the top.

    I still don't know how best to adapt this to Oman. We definitely have some cultural issues, but one positive thing that can be done is a little bit of what Anonymous was suggesting (if I understood correctly): give employees incentives to work hard. Praises, bonuses for good work, flexible work hours, etc. Most importantly, let companies hire whoever they want, and allow them to fire whoever they want too.

    In general, there is too much value (misplaced) on 'presenteeism' (and omanisation falls under this too) over actual productivity.

    -Omani in US

  7. Also, I have said this before, but at the end of the day, if you treat people like children, they will behave as such.

    -Omani in US

  8. I do not totally agree with gulf news but I just wanted to share this link.

  9. I tried to post direct to Muscati but could not get my questions through -- can you consider and forward???

    since I read yr and Muscati's post, I have been consumed thinking about this. And I wonder several things:
    1) How much do you n Muscati guestimate the following people make in a month including allowances: a. Omani teller at Oman bank; b. Omani cashier at Al Fair or Lulu; c. Omani auto mechanic at Saud Bahwan Toyota; d. Omani engineer at oil co with 2 yrs experience; e. worker at Starbucks or second Cup Omani or other??
    2. Do many companies in Oman give a bonus / distribution to all employees based on performance of the company each year? If so, do the people at the lowest end of the pay scale get a greater percentage than those at the highest pay levels -- i.e. CEO?
    3. How much to you guesstimate the lower end workers (e.g. teller at the bank) get in pay as compared to the highest level bosses (i.e. CEO): e.g. if teller makes 'x' each year, would the CEO receive (including bonus, etc) 10 times 'x' or 100 times 'x' or 1000 times 'x' or 20,000 times 'x'???

    I would really like to see you and Muscati assemble sort of a specific salary survey -- people could add detail???

    I could begin: I am housewife. I don't get any salary, but have a more or less unlimited expense account, very flexible hours, and lots of fringe benefits.

    Thank you.

  10. when I was young and thought the world is a playground while living in America, I used to think that being in the States or first world countries are best social system and gave people the best chance to succeseed, oh looking at my friends busing their back and workin like dogs only to come back and work at home and doing your taxes.............

    This is heaven, we are pampered and they tea girl could and would get a better job if she was or is that good, unless she wants to make more money doing the same job............

    I got a bunch of people at work with me who started at the tea boy level and make now 5 times their salary in less than 7 years

  11. OiUS

    Mind that I was talking about a guaranteed OPPORTUNITY to work, not a guaranteed job.

    By that I meant that all else being equal (primarily skill and education), an Omani should get the job over anyone else.

    I am no proponent of social freebies and BY GOD Ford and GM should be allowed to collapse; but I believe that in times of need, it is the duty of the tax-collecting government to ensure the survival of its people.

    I think Omanization, as flawed as it could be, is an attempt in this direction.

  12. Where I work, you have to have a high school degree with a minimum average of 70% just to apply for the lowest paying job, that of a driver or a murasil (office boy). To get a clerical job you have to have at least a two year diploma in addition to high school. However, once you join, even if it's as a driver, you are given an opportunity to take evening classes at the company's expense. Usually we begin by encouraging them to take English classes at the British Council. Then we encourage them to join the College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS) and study for a banking diploma. We've had many instances of people starting as murasil and within 3 or 4 years going to becoming tellers, office assistants and even more. We've had a guy go from completing CBFS and then taking evening classes in another college working towards a a bachelor's degree. He was headhunted by two other banks. From starting with an extremely low salary of around 200 rials, he's now an officer in another bank making at least 600 rials and the guy's so smart and hard working that I'm sure he'll one day be a manager and get paid well over a thousand.

    Education is the key. Education and opportunity. The problem with the current system is that it allows for employers to take advantage of these lowly paid workers. If this guy was in another bank or another organization, he might be a victim of an HR department that believes that a murasil is a murasil. Fate got you here, it's not our responsibility to get you any higher.

  13. I found this topic interesting though it is late. Corporate while in many countries works differently in the third world countries. The government has a commitment to training and development of its citizens while multinational companies and select local businesses do not invest a beza for enhancing their workforces. This statement is true for the most part. While, there are comments about Omani ethics, you have to consider the level of education when considering that. Most of the expats that live in Oman have had opportunties that would be above standard whether they have started from below high school level or college level. Please consider that there are numerous opportunties that exist for anyone who wishes to pursue some enhancement to his skill. I have seen a 1.9 GPA high school graduate move up through hard work and determination and opportunity to be in a prestigious school graduating this may with an engineering degree. I know of the opportunities that he had presented to him and he took advantage. These same opportunties do not exist for anyone in a third world country. There are no benefits and most institutions charge 300 dollars per class. or 100 OMR. that is based on estimate of 1997. I am sure the costs have gone higher. How can a high school graduate who works full time afford to do that?

  14. Interesting stats.This is contrast with today's report in the tribune "US magazine ranks Oman 60th among 100 'best' countries.Sighting an average income of US 17,900.00 and best education. I disagree with this article it might bear 20% substance.clcik the link below.



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