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    Thousands of jobs for Omanis in Duqm

    Thousands of Omanis have been hired in Duqm’s special economic zone to date, as the government aims to staff Oman’s industrial hub for a bright future.

    Projects in the special economic zone in Duqm have provided over 3,200 jobs for Omanis so far. The numbers are expected to increase even further over the next year as projects begin operations, which will create even more job opportunities.

    Thousands of jobs for Omanis in Duqm
    The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm has confirmed to Times of Oman that “3200 Omanis have been employed in Duqm’s projects by the end of October 2018.”

    These projects include Duqm Port, as well as Little India, a project which includes a beachside resort in Duqm which is set to be partly operational by 2020.

    Pradeep Nair, Managing Director of Little India, told Times of Oman, “Most of the work being done in our projects is via contractors here, meaning local Omani companies and SMEs.”

    Yahya Al Jabri, the Chairman of the Special Economic Zone in Duqm Authority, recently told Muscat Municipality’s official publication: “The existing projects in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm are including national workers, as the projects and companies there have provided more than 3,200 employment opportunities for Omanis by the end of last October. We expect these numbers to increase in coming years as some projects, which are currently still being executed, start operating.”

    According to Al Jabri, an example of how Omanis have found work is a training programme in China that trained 39 Omani students in China, in cooperation with Wan Fang. The programme went on for two years until the Omanis gained a professional certificate.

    “These Omanis will go on to work in projects in the Chinese Industrial city,” he added, “and the second edition of this programme is currently taking place.”

    The zone does not only work to provide employment for Omanis but also to increase the number of Omanis trained for specific jobs.

    “Furthermore, the authority’s plans with the companies to habilitate and train your Omanis will help raise the number of jobs that Omanis can fill,” Al Jabri added.

    Furthermore, according to Al Jabri, the companies in Duqm held a work fair at the start of 2019, which contributed to the creation of 270 job opportunities, including 140 direct jobs and 130 training opportunities which are directly linked to future employment.

    A large amount of land in Duqm has been granted to investors, which means that the number of employed Omanis will increase as the projects move from execution to operations stages.

    According to a statement by SEZAD: “The total area of land that has been granted to investors since January 1, 2019, until the beginning of May is about 1.2 million square metres.” That includes recent contracts with Dhofar Fisheries and Food Industries Company SAOG for the purpose of establishing a factory for fish packaging and canning and fish oil production, according to SEZAD.

    “Even with these giant projects, the authority has made sure to always provide an opportunity to SMEs, which has led to an exponential increase in the number of SMEs working in Duqm.”

    Officials are delighted that’s SEZAD has come a long way. It started with only two registered SMEs in 2015, which grew to 551 SMEs towards the end of last year.

    “As part of SEZAD’s strategic focus on enhancing in-country value (ICV) and aligning government mandate to allocate 10 per cent of the value of works assigned by contractors to SMEs, SEZAD has also now put new measures in place to ensure that all its registered SMEs have access to tenders and subcontracting work undertaken by SEZAD as well as other public and private sector players within the Special Economic Zone,” the authority reported.

    Some OMR53.9mn of work in Duqm was assigned to SMEs between 2015 and 2018, which is going to rise to even greater heights as new tendering procedures come into play in 2019. HM orders tax breaks for tourism.

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