Sunday, February 15, 2009

UAE experiments with unintended consequences: illegal to fire Emiratis

Yes, those wacky Emiratis! Two interesting news articles in today's Gulf News.

First, UAE Labour Law
The Emirates seem determined to make locals as unattractive to have as employees as possible. A proposal to ban companies in the private sector from sacking Emiratis other than for labour law violations has been proposed.

The proposal to make new graduates in the UAE, like these fresh faced young ladies, as attractive to employ as a ball and chain.

After a UAE real estate development company decided to axe a few locals, what with the collapse of the real estate market, lack of credit and buyers, and a huge potential overhang of new apartments already nearing completion meaning work was rather thin on the ground, the disgruntled employees took their case to the Ministry of Manpower claiming arbitrary dismissal.

Fair enough, this sort of legal challenge to redundancy happens everywhere. But the response of the Labour Ministry is typical of the regional response to such issues: if there's a problem, simply declare the symptom of that problem illegal, rather than perhaps looking at what the root causes are, and addressing those.

So, the razor-sharp minds in the UAE Ministry are proposing to simply make it almost impossible for private firms to fire an Emirati. Brilliant.

The likely result of such a law will, I trust, be obvious to most readers. No-one who owns a private firm will want to hire an Emirati. Those that do, will - if they are clever - devise means around the problem, such as having a holding company with all the cash, and subsidiary companies that can hold the employees. When necessary, such a subsidiary might go bankrupt...

This is a stupid law. It might arguably "preserve the jobs of Emiratis" who already have one, but it will be highly damaging to employment prospects of future Emiratis.

Unfortunately, Oman has similar laws. In fact, the Government have basically told all companies in Oman over the past couple of months that they had better not be laying off any Omani staff in response to under the pretext of the global recession, as - of course - Oman is protected from these overseas problems. (Getting rid of Expats is fine, naturally, and with little in the way of legal protection).

The answer should be to make it more attractive to hire locals, perhaps by progressively taxing foreign labour, making it as easy to hire and fire locals as Expats, and having educational programs that turn locals into useful potential employees rather than work-shy holders of some useless qualification certificate. Unemployment insurance or social welfare needs to be put in place. Rules on minimum redundancy payments too. And pensions made transferable between companies.

Oh wait, that all seems like a lot of work. Much easier to just make the problem illegal and then state that Government has solves the problem!

Proposal moots job security for Emiratis
By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
Published: February 14, 2009, 23:12

Dubai: A proposal to ban companies in the private sector from sacking Emiratis other than for labour law violations is under consideration.

The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) has submitted a draft proposal to the Ministry of Labour under which cases pertaining to the termination of Emiratis working in the private sector are to be evaluated.

Feddah Lootah, the acting director-general at Tanmia, said the proposal aims to safeguard jobs of Emiratis in the private sector. "The main task of the authority is to preserve the jobs of Emiratis," he said.

The ministry is looking into the proposal but no time-frame has been given as to when a decision could be made.
The proposal suggests that the termination of Emiratis in private sector companies is to be considered arbitrary unless the employee has violated the labour law.

The violations which could lead to a worker's peremptory dismissal are outlined in Article 120 in the Labour Law.

Article 120 clearly mentions ten cases in which the employer is entitled to terminate a worker's contract. Non-performance of basic duties as set out under the contract and repeated violations despite warnings, professional mistakes which result in a substantial material loss to the employer, and clear disregard for safety instructions at the workplace are some of the clauses that can be brought against erring employees.

Last week, Gulf News reported that a group of Emiratis had filed a complaint against Al Futtaim Group for what they said was arbitrary termination. The case is still under review at the ministry after the sacked employees had sought immediate reinstatement.

The Tanmia proposal also stipulates that any company in the private sector forced to terminate Emiratis as part of restructuring policies aimed at increasing competitiveness, review of production costs in tough times, or in cases involving mergers between companies should duly inform the ministry of labour about such a move before any decision.

Also, as per the proposal, no company will be allowed to sack an Emirati before it has exhausted all avenues to find a suitable solution.

The proposal outlines a number of steps that a company should mandatorily satisfy before terminating Emiratis such as implementing a part-time system, repackaging salaries on the condition that they don't go below the minimum wage for Emiratis (which is between Dh3,000-Dh5,000 - depending on the qualifications), relocating them within the company or training them to handle other positions in the company.

Additionally, an employer in the private sector will also not be allowed to terminate an Emirati on the pretext that he/she does not have the required qualifications and skills, if the employee has completed her/his probation period.

Secondly, a disturbing Valentine's Day tale of a man who confessed and was convicted of forceably raping his defacto-wife's 4 female children over many years... The police got involved when one of the girls finally got the strength to go to the Police.

The result for the girls? All were sentenced to 80 lashes for "allowing" the man to have sex with them. And he was deported after a brief spell in jail, instead of being stoned to death.

Gee, I wonder why so few rapes are reported happen in the Arab world, compared to the morally corrupt West?

Death-row rapist deported after admitting to charges
By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
Published: February 14, 2009, 23:12

Ajman: A man who was to be stoned to death for raping his mistress's young daughters has been deported, Gulf News has learnt.

Abdul Aziz, a Pakistani, was sentenced for repeatedly raping the four Emirati girls, who were then aged between 12-14. Their father, an Emirati, was married to an Indian woman. When he died his widow then got into a relationship with Abdul Aziz. Gulf News earlier reported Abdul Aziz had married the Indian woman, but police investigations revealed they were not married.

"The woman who used to live in Al Ain, told police after her arrest in Ajman that she married Abdul Aziz soon after the death of her Emirati husband and the father of her daughters, but the truth is that there was no official and approved marriage contract between the woman and the man," a police official said. Abdul Aziz lived with the woman and her daughters for more than 12 years, claiming that he is their step father.

The girls and their mother gave birth to more than 12 children from him. One of the girls was eight months pregnant when they were arrested in 2005, according to police. DNA tests by Dubai Police proved that Abdul Aziz was the father.

The woman's youngest daughter reported the matter to police when Abdul Aziz tried to attack her. He was arrested and subsequently sentenced to death by stoning. Gulf News learnt that Abdul Aziz was later deported.

The accused admitted his guilt at all stages of the court proceedings. He told the court he was the father of some of the children, but some others "were not his."

The mother was accused of aiding and abetting him and forging the birth certificates of her daughters' children. She has also been deported, Gulf News has learnt. The four girls were sentenced to 80 lashes each. The girls were charged with "allowing" the man to have sex with them.

The victims, who are now aged between 23 and 28, told the judge, Abdul Aziz used to threaten them with a knife, forcing them to surrender to him.

Police said Abdul Aziz and the woman lived together for several years. Police said that when neighbours and relatives in Al Ain noticed something was wrong, the couple moved to Ajman.

The girls told police that some of their children were born in India and some in the UAE. Their mother used to tell people in the UAE that her daughters were married in India and she used to tell relatives in India that her daughters were married in the UAE.

Police said the girls and their children who are now being taking care of by their relatives in Al Ain are suffering psychologically. "They are naive and illiterate, They never went to school," a police official said.


  1. First lets talk about the UAE situation:

    1. Nationals made up 8.3% of the total labor force as of 2003 (public & private). Now I believe it's fair enough for a country to ask companies, who are working tax free, not to fire the locals who hardly make up a slim percentage.

    2. If you progressively tax firms they would just pay the tax and not employ the locals. I don't recall ever reading or seeing a country with so much concentration of expats. as is the case in the UAE. That needs to be corrected.

    3. I agree with you to make it easy for firms to fire locals, but only locals should take up their place to maintain the percentage of locals in private companies.

    4."Unemployment insurance or social welfare needs to be put in place. Rules on minimum redundancy payments too. And pensions made transferable between companies" nothing to add here very good points that the governments need to look at seriously.

    Locals have to be involved in the private sector, no country can allow the whole private sector be run by expatriates only. I believe it's fair enough to ask local and foreign companies to have some percentage of the locals. The US had affirmative action law in place and that's just to employ American minorities in the labor force, and whites criticized it like hell.

    Oman knows quite well that so many companies are just waiting to take advantage of the current situation to fire Omanies, I hope that's why the government warned local companies. If you need to fire people fire them, but don't just fire Omanies the expatriates have to go first.

    I know this is a sensitive issue to all the expatriates and they feel injustice is practiced here, but remember that Oman has to take care of Omanies first. I mean if Mexicans made up 70% of the work force in the US, and the US government warned the private sector not to fire any of the 30% Americans, the Mexicans will feel sad, betrayed and that this is a double standard, but end of the day they will have to understand that the US has to protect its own people interest.

    Regarding the second issue of the man and the 4 women, well bad people come in all shapes n' colors. Whatever happened to that Austrian guy who kept his own daughter in the basement for what 20 years and had 4 kids with her (against her will), I kinda lost track of whatever happened to him???

    Let the bashing from the expats start ;)

  2. Mr T - I think you're missing the point.

    The UAE and Oman Governments are doing their people a disservice, not "protecting them".

    As the original poster has correctly identified, this law simply encourages private companies to avoid hiring Emiratis, because they can't respond effectively to market situations (top of every company's list at the moment I should think!) by downsizing / redistributing their workforce as necessary.

    The original poster has suggested that the Government put in place other commercial measures to make Emiratis more attractive to companies. The interesting thing is that this isn't actually necessary: they already are.

    Hiring Emiratis means you get employees with excellent local knowledge, good Arabic and English, a good education, and far fewer associated costs (housing, transport) than expatriate workers.

    The real trick is for the Government to market the workforce effectively, and set up fora whereby companies can easily find skilled Emiratis.

    Many people I know who are looking for Emirati employees simply can't find them in the first place and have no choice but to hire expatriates. This should surely be the Ministry of Labour's first priority.

  3. Luke Alexander: I think you're missing the whole point.

    1. It's easy to "encourage" firms to hire locals by assigning a % of the work force to be local. That way private companies have to employ a "small" percentage of locals. It's not a choice anymore.

    2. Most companies In Oman & UAE are run & managed by expats. They usually have no interest in employing locals as it's easier to source expats from their own country.

    3. I said very clearly that the law should allow companies to respond to market conditions by firing locals, but they should not be replaced by expats (as that would not be downsizing)

    4. It's not true that locals are less expensive (cheaper) than expats if employed. Their salaries are always higher, and you can get a Syrian or a Jordanian who also speaks Arabic with a degree at a far much lower salary package.

    5. If so many companies can't find any Emirati employees to employ in the first place, is a contradiction to your first point that companies would not employ locals because of the law. They are not available in the first place???

    This has to be looked at as more than just a business case. Unemployed locals are a burden socially and financially on the society and ensuring constant employment for locals.

    take what happened at Lindsey refinery in the UK as an example of what kind of an unrest this kind of employment does to a nation (all the fuss over 100 foreign employees). The UK has a total of 690,000 foreign workers out of a population of 60 million and this kind of reaction took place. Imagine if they had a number closer to 400,000,000 (400 million) foreign workers just to get a feel of what is happening in the UAE. What would the british government do in this case to ensure the population of 60 gets a job competing against the 400????

    We can't just sit here and say this will not work for so and so company, this is an economy which is part of a country that has goals , interests, agenda and priorities for its own people.

    These are the laws the country wants to move forward with, if it doesn't work for some companies they can simply quit. You have to look at this as more of a national interest rather then just a business case. Thanks.

  4. Mr T,

    I believe that in UAE, a corporate tax is levied, I know for sure that one is levied here in Oman, so these companies are not working tax free anymore...

    And as a final point.

    If an employee is shite, then they should be the first to go, regardless of what nationality they are. It just happens that a significant majority of local workers (and there is ALWAYS exceptions to the rule) are not pulling their weight. In my firm we hire 7 Omanis - 3 women and 4 men. The 3 women are in the office all day, 8am-6pm, the men, I'm lucky to see them for 3 hours a day, yet draw pay for a full time employee. You tell me why they should not be fired?

  5. Anonymous Lurker:
    Actually you should be the one fired, yes you. How can you employ people and pay them full for not attending work!!!!!! which labor law are you following????

    In the company I work for the Omanies that do not attend their full 8 hours are not paid full. That's how you should manage a company, we were taken to labor court and we won fair n' square, we followed the law our employees didn't.

    For you to sit and cry like a baby that they are not attending or performing, but you are paying them is your fault (just shows the brain behind the company).

    If the company has the proper documentation and paperwork it should be strict with its work force no matter where they are from.

    I never said employ lazy nationals (or expats), if people are working they get paid. By the way your employees who are not attending work are breaking the Omani labor law which states that
    1. If an employee skips work for 14 days with no excuse, the employer has the right to fire him.
    2. If an employee receives 3 warnings, the employer has the right to terminate him/her.

    The labor law is available in English (please do read it).

    In Oman I will have to correct you that sole proprietorships are not taxed (they are the biggest employers), and the rest (LLC, SAOG, SAOC etc) are taxed 12% flat after the first 30,000 profit. Thats really very low compared to most of the countries world wide.

    As for Dubai (correct me if I'm wrong) I think there is no corporate income tax on companies (the exception being banks 20% & oil companies 55%), but there are very high fees (registration, immigration, municipal etc) which some people consider as disguised taxes.


  6. In many western countries, making statements such as "..Oman has to take care of Omanies first.." would be considered to be discrimination and linked to the extreme right wing of the political spectrum. Like the "Eigenes Volk Erst" in Germany", a popular slogan often used by the extreme right / fascist movements. That should make Mr.T think.
    An important question to answer would also be: if locals are indeed much cheaper/easier to hire than expats, why would companies still prefer expats? If these locals are 'value-for-money' and able to deliver, surely private companies working in a competitive market would be happy to hire these locals first? Right, Mr.T?

  7. This law is only a formality no? It's already the case that you can't fire Emaratis in the UAE, in the same way that you can't fire Omanis in Oman.

    -Omani in US

  8. Omanization laws make it difficult to fire someone Mr T. Because ok, we could let that employee go, but then we wouldn't get any more labor clearances to bring in more expatriate workers who actually do most of the work that we do. So it's a case of better the devil you know that the devil you dont.

    And besides, I'm not in charge or responsible for hiring and firing.

    But my point still stands, if you're shite, regardless of where you are from, you should be first to go.

  9. Objective:

    Many western countries???? Really???
    Gordon Brown "Creating British jobs for British people"

    George W. Bush "Americans will always come first"

    Obama "American interests will always be the first priority"

    The list goes on and on, that would make all your Western countries extreme right. (Remember bush and his tail invaded Iraq using the excuse that their people safety comes first. Kill the Iraqis and save our own thats not extreme right, thats the foundation of all right"

    Please come out of your double standard bubble and look at things with an unbiased eye.

    Where was it said that locals are cheaper by me??? they are not. Their salaries are higher, maybe not higher than our western friends, but they are much higher than our Asian friends.

    Please enter any website covering the construction industry in the UK and read how the contractors are complaining about British workers laziness compared to the Eastern European employed in the UK. But do you see the British government allowing them to fire all the British nationals and employing foreigners (cheaper and more efficient), of course not. Simple

  10. Anonymous lurker:

    Of course it makes it hard, not impossible. If you let go of that employee and employ an Omani in his place you will get the clearances you need (by the way a simple undertaking by your company that you will employ an Omani in his/her place will be sufficient enough for the ministry. Our company does that sometimes)

    We are not in the business of employing devils and monkeys, I can understand why you are not the HR manager (you don't know the law at all)

    I agree with you shitty employees should be fired, but the % should be maintained. That way better Omanis will replace good Omanis, and good expatriates will replace bad ones.

    I think so many of you are jumping into conclusions regarding Omani employment without understanding the Omani labor law. The rights and duties of all parties are clearly mentioned and defined. Please read it and you will understand that you can always fire a lazy Omani employee.

    Well said Mr. T, well said. Thanks

  11. What's with Anonymous lurker's obsession with sacking shiites first? I think he's just waiting for someone to ask..haha

  12. What's with Anonymous lurker's obsession with sacking shiites first? I think he's just waiting for someone to ask..haha

  13. Yes Mr.T, in many western countries (did you notice that there are a few more than just UK and US?) such forms of nationalism are regarded as discrimination and are indeed considered as 'right wing'. You might also note that in many western countries, including UK and US, a large part of the population is made up of 'foreigners' (or, as you wish: expats) that have received passports in their 'host-country' and are therefore now considered nationals. So for example your "British jobs for British people" includes in fact many jobs for 'foreigners' (Arabs, Africans, Indians, Chinees, etc). Can you tell us approximately what the chance of an expat in Oman or UAE would be to receive a local passport and all the other benefits that come with it, Mr.T?
    Are you also aware of the many regulations and programmes developed in many western countries to promote employment of minorities and 'foreigners'? It's something like Omanisation, but the other way around. You might want to have your unbiased eye have a look at these facts as well.
    Western expats are in general obvioulsy far more expensive than locals. Again, why do companies still prefer expats over locals, Mr.T.?

  14. Objective subjective:

    1. The US, UK and any other country has the right to issue passports and citizenships to whoever they want (it's their choice and i respect that). In the US, if you are born their, then your birth certificate is enough to get a legal status. That's their choice.

    2. yes I'm aware of these regulations and programs (quite good ones), but you are missing the point here. In these countries the foreigners are minorities and thats why these programs are required. In Oman & the UAE it's the other way around and thats why these programs serve the locals (the minorities in this case) fair enough.

    3. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, most of these companies are run by "foreigners" (hate using that word, sounds more like aliens) and they prefer their own people. The case being most of the expats are Indians, they have been unable to create the working environment for the omanies and they are unable to communicate well with them. Omanies are human beings, if you are able to satisfy their needs they will work.

    One more time we are living the era of globalization, if you are unable (as a country) to provide or facilitate the right atmosphere for the business community, they would move on to other markets. Oman and the UAE have put these laws in place to better serve their own people, if the business community feels this not justified they have every right to leave. The US and so many other countries put in place certain tariffs and taxes on countries operating on their soil, if the company can't make a business case out of what is provided they have the choice of moving on to other countries. You just can't satisfy all.

    *I mentioned the US and UK presidents as they are english speaking, so I didn't bother look for other presidents in Europe. Anyways they are considered leaders of the free (corrupt) world. By the way I agree with what they said, no one would vote for them if they have said anything else.

    Thanks. Again thanks Mr. T for simplifying life ;)

  15. Objective:

    Sorry I forgot to mention that your chances to receive a local passport are zero to nothing. Stop trying and start packing ;)

  16. I wasn't aware that the UK had a president.

    Mr. T, you write your comments with an undertone of disdain. Is that intentional or are you just a twat?

  17. TML:
    Oh sorry what a crime, you have a prime minister

    just a twat..... I will never have a a feeling of disdain or disrespect for anyone (I do apologize if any of my replies indicated otherwise)

  18. OK.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Standards seem to be improving!

    First the points I was trying to make are:
    - simple laws have unintended consequences: in the first, a law making it almost impossible to fire a local in the UAE (which will make businesses less likely to employ locas IMHO), and a law where girls and women who are raped get lashed encourages under-reporting.
    - the law on locals typifies a trend I interpret in the local legal sphere of trying to fix complex problems that have deep fundamental root causes with a bandaid law just making the symptom appear to have been addressed by making it illegal (but while doing FA about the root causes). Observant readers may see similarities with the second law too.
    - The UAE has some fucked up attitudes, in these cases on how to improve the long term lot of locals, the second speaks for itself.
    - Oman should learn from the UAE and seek to avoid the problems they have with labour law by doing it properly.

    Pretty basic.

    Mr T
    You make some good points. And some others that are based on extending the post's intent, which was poor posting on my part.

    The law will definitely reduce the value of an Emirati in the workplace, because of the business risks described earlier. Plus, it almost eliminates any competition for jobs between Emirati. Thats bad, and just encourages sloth and an attitude that such privilages are a right.
    Yes, I agree the country is allowed to bias employment to citizens, to ensure a level playing field and to allow for the positive side effects of having happily employed local people.

    But, in the main, I'd think the best goal is for locals to compete against other potential employees on their own merits. Why is it that so many business owners are willing to pay much more for an Expat to do white collar jobs? Please don't tell me its discrimination, unless you mean discrimination against a lack of real skills, work ethic and ability to deliver the job reliably.

    Subsidised jobs for life is a ticket to competitive oblivion.

    So, yes, by all means tax foreign workers, But let people compete for jobs, and allow businesses to hire and fire within reason.

  19. Mr.T says "..these companies are run by "foreigners" (...) and they prefer their own people..".
    Where did you find this important piece of information? Thorough research? Or is it maybe just one of your assumptions, based on your own, clearly 'unbiased' view of the world?
    These companies all have to survive in an international/global 'open' market, in a highly competitive environment. Wouldn't it be possible, just maybe, that these companies prefer hiring people who provide best value for money? And wouldn't it be possible that in practice it is hard, maybe even impossible, for these companies to find sufficient of these 'suitable' local people in the (UAE, Oman, etc.) market?
    Another question: have you been to Europe or the US lately, i.e. in the last 25 years or so? And if so, have you ever seriously attempted to distinguish between their 'own people' and the 'foreigners'? Or, better, have you maybe attempted to estimate their numbers? If you have, you might maybe have come to the conclusion that the ratio locals/foreigners is quite similar to the ratio here in Oman? Or maybe, just maybe, you have found that in several places in the western world the percentage of foreigners is actually higher than in Oman? If so, would that minority-theory of yours still hold?
    Last question, referring to your remark regarding "...the British government allowing them to fire all the British nationals and employing foreigners..". Could you please point us in the direction of the rules that state that British companies are not allowed to make (all) British nationals redundant?
    Please simplify this for us Mr. T.

  20. To be honest I'm still reeling from the shock that I'd be branded as British by our resident twa- I mean expert, Mr T.... what narrow mindedness.

  21. UD:

    I said i agree that laws should allow companies to fire locals if they do not perform, but replace them with locals (that way the locals can compete for these jobs among themselves).

    I will use a simple example: to officially state that a car is made in the US a certain percentage of parts have to be sourced locally (75%), there might be better parts at more competitive rates from other countries, but the US puts these conditions to protect its own auto parts manufacturers (car manufacturers do not make all the parts themselves).

    I have identified the benefits of employing locals from a government point of view:

    1. A stable (socially & financially) society.
    2. Less remittance of funds outside the local economy, since locals will spend all their income locally. Add also the benefit to trade balance as less funds get transfered.
    3. Improving nationals gained skills from working with knowledgeable expats.
    4. Having less locals depending on government as the only source of employment.

    Please look at it from the Omani government national interest not only the local companies convenience.

    So many companies are willing to pay more for an expat simply because they are interested in their bottom lines (greed), and are unwilling to put up with training locals and waiting for them to be productive.


    Sorry but I have to ask
    1. How old are you?
    2. Where did you graduate from?

    just curious, nothing more.

    regarding your points (if you can call them that):
    1. Yes it's an assumption, nothing more.
    2. Yes I have been to Europe and the US in the last 25 years of my total 24 years (beautiful countries), In europe i have been to
    * UK: which according to the daily telegraph website "has just over two million people. This is equivalent to one in 14 of a total working population." as on 2007.
    * Greece: Foreign nationals residing in Greece were estimated at about 1.15 million people at the end of 2004, or 10.3 percent of the population.
    Germany:WIESBADEN – The Central Register on Foreigners showed a total of about 6.75 million persons in Germany at the end of 2006 who only held a foreign citizenship. Compared to 2005, their number decreased by more than 4,800 persons (–0.1%). thats to a population of 80 million.
    *France: According to INSEE, there are 4.2 million immigrants living in France. About 45 percent are North African or African, 40 percent are European, and 12 percent are Asian. Almost 40 percent live in the Paris region. thats to a population of what 60 million??
    The US had 7.9% foreigners as of 1990 and i highly that number went up by more than 1%.
    In Oman the foreigners are 28% of the population, but they represent over 60% of the work force. (leave the UAE statistics aside now, even more damaging)

    3.Could you please point us in the direction of the rules that state that Omani companies are not allowed to make (all) Omani nationals redundant? Never read such a rule, if they are lazy fire all of them, but please ensure that only Omanies are taking their place.

    By the way the British strike ended up with British getting 102 new jobs at the site (make sure your CV reaches them).

    I hope i have answered (and simplified) your queries :) you are welcome.

  22. TML are you back to sniffing glue???

    Bring something useful to discuss or go back to the corner and continue inhaling .

  23. TML again I apologize to all the British nationals for having branded someone like you British, I have the feeling you are Indian (south Indian).

  24. Reviewing Mr.T's comments one has to wonder why he doesn't simply address the 'root causes' of the local employment issues as also highlighted by UD. Why not respond to the main issue? That would really simplify matters.

  25. Again with the insults, now TML is being branded as South Indian, and being accused of being a drug addict on top! What incredible powers does Mr. T have?! It's my observation that Mr. T is incapable of considering other viewpoints, because, of course, Mr. T is The Word (on everything).

    Dragon, thanks for the follow up on your post. I think that by installing laws such as these are short-sighted and ill-conceived. But rest assured that time will prove this right, it usually does.

    For our illustrious Mr. T, you may note, that your favorite examples, USA and UK, have naturalization programs, where in time (3-5 years) you can become a citizen of those countries. So by saying "Creating British jobs for British people" or "Americans will always come first" or "American interests will always be the first priority", they can always point to the fact that pretty much anyone can become a citizen of these countries relatively easily (when comparing to a Gulf state). This just simply is not the case here in the Gulf. So you are comparing apples with oranges, and thus it's not a case that holds any water. Besides, what with the UK being a member of the European Union, anyone from Europe has the right to work anywhere in Europe, so Brown might of said the quoted statement above, but it'd be pretty hard to actually carry it out, unless the Military/Police/Civil servants started signing a lot more new-hires. Which wouldn't really help the UK's current financial situation.

  26. I believe Mr. T has raised good points.
    It seems he has missed an important point that UAE demographic picture is totally different from Oman. UAE has fewer emiratis to run the show and that is why business is dominated by cheaper foreigner viz. Indians, Bengalis etc.
    However in Oman local population is substantial and in most companies they have a much bigger representation as compared to UAE.

    It is not at all correct to say the following (quote). If it would have been true you will not find so many Indians here. On the contrary they have developed an excellent rapport with the local population and it is true that some Omanis themselves prefer an Indian over an Omani. Many Omanis will rather prefer to have an Indian barber or cook or housemaid, whereas he may get a local one for the same cost.

    " most of these companies are run by "foreigners" (hate using that word, sounds more like aliens) and they prefer their own people. The case being most of the expats are Indians, they have been unable to create the working environment for the omanies and they are unable to communicate well with them. Omanies are human beings, if you are able to satisfy their needs they will work".

  27. Justcurios, you say that "..UAE has fewer emiratis to run the show and that is why business is dominated by cheaper foreigner viz. Indians, Bengalis etc...". As if you could actually find any emirati that would be prepared to do the jobs these foreign workers are doing! To a lesser extend, the same is valid in Oman. Plenty of work around, but where are the locals willing to, and capable of, filling these positions??

  28. Can I please volunteer for the job of lashing the 'judges' who sentenced those victims and for lashing all others who consider this to be justice? Please please please...?

  29. Objective:

    It's obvious that I'm the only one that brings any numbers and statistics to this discussion. Whenever i bring these statistics most of you start twisting their points into something unrelated to the issue of localization of jobs. Where are your numbers????

    This is in the best interest of Oman, and I got tired explaining how and why. If you feel any kind of injustice (a taste of your own medicine) please feel free to give your job to the next Omani in line. Farewell you won't be missed.


    I really respect what you wrote and it's very well put together.

    Abdul MT:

    "Plenty of work around, but where are the locals willing to, and capable of, filling these positions??"

    Please be patient, allow them the time to train, gain skills and discipline. Only then would they be able to perform.

    Anonymous lurker:

    Good for you and them, if you have not settled yet in either, better catch up as Oman becomes more strict with localization you will lose your job.

    This is Oman people take it as it is (i will take this opportunity to call it the Omani dream)

    Simply said. By Mr. T

  30. Anonymous:

    No you can't that job is already taken by me :) but the Austrian is still waiting for his verdict that would suite you well.

    come down crashing again.

  31. The Austrian will not get away with simply being deported, that's for sure! And, even more sure, his victims will get all support / help they might need. Don't think lashes would be part of that support though.

  32. Unbiased Mr.T says: "..this is in the best interest of Oman..". Is it really? Isn't this exactly what is being questioned here?
    The best interest of Oman (and any other country) would surely be to have educated, well trained, reliable, efficient, motiviated, hard working and competitive local employees.
    That is, by the way, also exactly what these private companies would like to see in Oman.
    And even you, Mr.T, might in that case get exactly what you want: all those much hated expats will leave the country and you can have it all for your own people! What more can you possibly want?
    Any other frustrations you would like to vent here? Plenty I assume (judging by your postings)...

  33. The conversation as a whole illuminates to me what has always been the great question of Dubai, and to a much lesser extent even of Oman: why would people who have a dream of someday restoring their mono-culture base their development on external populations?

    If Omanization were to truly push expats out of the local market (and I'm not holding my breath), who, pray tell, is supposed to live in The Wave and other (now probably mostly phantom) developments? Whom did Dubai, Inc. think was going to live in all those tens of thousands of flats and villas, once people realize they have nothing more than a fleeting, economically driven stake in the place?

    Either you're part of the global future, or not; having it both ways can only work so long, as the UAE is learning...

  34. Nice to have the adults visit occasionally Muscato.

    Nice point.

  35. Why do Omani/UAE companies have to employ expatriates in the first place? Is there a lack of skills in Oman/UAE? If there is, then the governments should act on it. Build good universities/schools (which I believe they are doing, at least in Qatar)

    Now, if a company is forced to fire an expatriate over a local, it needs to be taken into context.
    If I had an omani manager and an expatriate manager, both doing more or less the same thing, then I would fire the expatriate (would be cheaper), now if the managers were doing 2 different things and the expatriate had niche skills, then I am sorry but I would keep the expatriate.

    Now, if I was forced to keep Omani workers, that would question the sustainability of my business. I would rather shut shop and file for bankruptcy.

  36. Just to add to what I said above, in the long run, Omani's might lose more jobs.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. I love being lectured by expats, after their financial system’s have clearly failed. How to run country is our business, you mess yours, don’t mess up ours

    Mr. T you well said, Lazy Omanis and expats should go, but Omanis MUST be replace as % in the company….. Imagine Obama declaring a bill worth billions to support foreigners and creating jobs for them???????

    Mr. T, however I disagree with you on branding people that is not right even though I don’t agree with their views, each country must protect and create jobs for its own people….

    Now with nationalization, that is a different subject and yes I do know a few nationalized Omanis………..

    I like expats and I am not even full Omani but if you think that creating jobs for expats is the goal of our government, then we have an issue

  39. Mr. T is claiming that he is the only guy coming out with numbers. The fact is there is hardly any published reliable data on unemployment and employment statistics. Unless there is reliable data how can one talk about numbers. What we have is feel good numbers published by TOO.

    It is a fact that that all countries/politicians fight for reserving jobs for their nationals. In fact in India, different states are fighting for reserving jobs for people of that state only and shut out guys from other states.

    We are very fortunate that foreigners are safe in Oman and we should thank all Omanis for that.

    Mr. T has to realise that had these poor Indians/Bengalis /SriLankans not come here and toiled for the pittance they were given, you will rather be travelling on a donkey or camel.

    No local guy even today is ready to work in the construction/infra structure sector. They are giving poor service in those areas reserved for them like delivery of gas and driving school buses. Gas delivery boys drive very rash and behave so rudely that most people are getting gas from illegally supplied Indians. There were instances of misbehavior towards women in the house when they were alone. Due to rash driving schools are forced to keep an Indian in the bus to keep them in control.
    Unless Omanis in higher position themselves trust their people expats will continue to thrive here.

  40. Interesting point, Muscato. Maybe the locals with that dream would be happy to accept a certian number of expats in their country, as long as the locals are fully in charge of both the public and private sector, have the best jobs and best salaries, best social benefits, higher legal status, and as long as the expats simply do all the hard/difficult/dirty work and obviously have no rights whatsoever. Of course without discrimination, disdain or disrespect to anyone...

  41. To clarify:

    The UAE law became official today. It makes it illegal to fire a national if you still employ an expatriate doing the same job. It is not illegal to fire a national if you have a valid reason to fire him/her. But if the only reason is downsizing, then you may not fire the nationals if you are keeping foreigners with the same responsibilities as the nationals who are losing their jobs.

    To all the expats debating the issue here:

    No one in Oman wants the country to become expat free. The country's aim is to increase the percentage of Omanis who are employed. The goal isn't 100% Omanization.

    Look at the banking sector. Omanization has been at 90% for over a decade. When Omanization of banks was first announced in the 80's no one believed it was achievable. But it worked, didn't it? The key is education and training. Banks have Omanis working in all levels of responsibilities. At the bottom layer, Omanization is 100%. I don't think there's a single branch of any bank in Oman that still has expatriates working as tellers, clerks or even branch managers. But banks still hire expatriates. Hundreds of them, but in totality, all of them don't add up to even 10% of the total employees in the banking system.

    The houses in The Wave, Mr. Muscato, are built for the highest paid expats. The vast majority of the expats in Oman working in manual labor or low paying white collar jobs. It's here that the government is pushing its Omanization policy.

  42. One has to ask how diff would the replies been if the law stated that no expat can be fired on the excuse of the financial Meltdown?

  43. Of course I know that the official goal of Omanization is not the exclusion of expats, just as I know that realistic Omanis know that there is a place for foreigners in the society.

    What I was thinking of is the feeling, slight here but growing, that some Omanis do indeed look toward an expat-free future, which is in sharp contrast to the realities of local development, much of which does seem predicated on ever-growing numbers of foreigners, many quite affluent. To attract them - to the Wave, to the massive new Tilal complex, to the development in Qurum Heights, more modestly to Ruwi Old Towne, and to all the other present and future such complexes, at some point thought is going to have go into giving them some kind of stake in the society that's more than a five-year or so window of employment. Manual laborers, domestics, etc., can be thought of as disposable as long as there are developing and undeveloped economies; the haute bourgeois, not so much.

    And that's going to be an interesting sticking point, although one I think Oman will weather better than its neighbors.

  44. Muscati:

    Also look at taxi drivers who are 100% Omani, now imagine if that was not the case and the government decided to Omanize it. You will hear everyone here crying about how they will not be getting any taxis because Omanies wont work on official holidays and that it's impossible to Omanize it.

    Well guess what it's fully Omanized and it is working well :)

  45. Mr. T

    Really, come ON. Taxi's working well here? Where there is no meter in the cab and the driver has the freedom to charge whatever they like? Stop off at a gas station along the way and ask you to pay for his fuel? How is that working?

    A cab in Dubai from Deira to Mall of the Emirates is about 50 Dhs, here, a ride in a taxi from Qurum to MCC will cost you anything from 7 to 10 rials depending on who you are. The truth is, I still don't know a fair rate. Taxi's here should be metered, and not allowed to just stop anywhere they choose to (for example... the highway).

    Taxi's should have meters in them, pure and simple.

  46. Not to beat on such an obvious point, but: working well? Beyond the meter question, which is significant, and the cost, which is more so, try getting a cab late at night. Or in the early morning. Or getting a driver to go somewhere off the beaten track. Most of all, try taking one if you're a single woman. If that's a sector that's working well as a result of Omanization, heaven help us from one that has some problems...

  47. I'm noting two things:

    1. Our resident twa- I mean expert, Mr T, remains silent when questioned on the taxi issue. Perhaps more of his facts are fictitious too?

    2. This blog post has nearly 50 comments :)

  48. Overheard by Noseyguy
    Hello dear do you want to ride 1 km? It’s free if you sit in front and close. Where are you going? I know it is hot and I am smoking – that is why the window is open. Hey I thought you were that UD in drag but you are only a maid. Fare is 15 RO and you have to push Taxi to start and show me where this Bonk Discreet . If not near my home you can get out now! My meter is nearly at 50 while you have been sitting here, 10 RO to get out..

  49. Noseyguy.
    Had to post comment 50 or there would be an unacceptable level of expat posting!

  50. TML:

    Charged you 7-10??? are you sure you were not high from the glue, the meter issue is not the taxi drivers problem, that's an issue that police or municipality has to address (I agree it's stupid not to have a meter).

    Now if we only had European taxi drivers, our fares would have come down drastically and their sex offers will decrease. (yeah right)

    By the way I noticed Omani taxi drivers are very funny and full of life, compare them to the grumpiest taxi drivers in the world, the Europeans.

    Rideless in Ruwi:

    Sounds to me a case of topless in Ruwi, stop boosting yourself by mentioning that taxi drivers are interested in making advances on you. That does not change the fact that you are just .....

    What amazes me is:

    how dissatisfied you people are with the overall issues raised about the local issues in Oman. I can never live in a country where I hate the system, procedures or work ethics. What's keeping you people glued to Oman????

    I have all the respect for all the foreigners in my heart and I highly appreciate the years they have given to help and assist Omanies in building Oman. I don't mind constructive criticism at all, but people here seem to pick on everything that's Omani and just criticize it!!!!

    We have a European manager in our company and I have to say he is an angel (compared to you guys), he complains to me about some of the stupid stuff, but he always offers solutions and ideas on improving the solutions.

    To me most of you sound like very old ladies sitting on their butts doing nothing but complain. Like these people who complain about polluted beaches, but never take the step of starting to clean themselves.


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