Indians have made valuable contributions to Omani economy
A total of 47,016 Indian migrants came to Oman from Bihar, with a further 31,802 from Tamil Nadu, 27,522 from Kerala and 20,989 from Rajasthan.
However, Rathish Kalembath, the convenor of the Kerala Wing of the Indian Social Club, said Indians would continue to play a significant role in helping locals in Oman get the best out of their resources.
“Indians have been working alongside the Omani population for many decades now,” he told Times of Oman.
“We have been working across many sectors in the country, whether it is education, finance, medicine, and so many other fields. You see so many Indian doctors and nurses in hospitals today, you see so many teachers in schools and universities, and you see many Indian auditors and accountants in offices, to name just a few of the fields Indians have worked in. There are also many Indians who work in the construction sector and have done a lot towards contributing to Oman; so whichever field you may look at in the country, Indians have contributed.”
“There are a lot of members from the Keralite community that are employed here,” added Kalembath.
“You get many Keralite businessmen who make full use of the opportunities available to them here in Oman to add to the economy, and they have done quite well. I think the best example of cooperation between India and Oman is the significant number of businessmen who are now naturalised Omani citizens, thanks to the assistance they provided Oman in helping the country grow and develop. I would like to thank our Omani hosts for giving us this chance to work and contribute towards the development of our country.”
Expat residents from these states who lived in Oman also shared their thoughts on living in Oman, though some said it might be time for them to go back.
Great place to live
“There is no doubt that Oman is a great place to live,” said Sudarshan Kumar, who worked as an accountant.
“This is like home to us, but we must realise that our time here is limited, just like it would be in any other overseas country. Earlier, I used to have around three or four Indian colleagues with me, and we used to go out for lunch together, hang out together, but now my company is slowly phasing out expat labour and replacing them with Omanis. This is only natural, though, because the government has to look after its own people, and it is what it is.”
Ahmed Bilal, who worked as a telecom engineer in the country, added, “The work is hard, but the people are hardworking as well. To be honest, there is no room for complaining in our company from either the Omanis or the expats, because all of us are here to work. When we work with our Omani colleagues, there is no distinction as to where we are from, maybe with the exception of the clothes we wear. I am currently stationed in Duqm to help with the construction here, and I have learnt so many skills in Oman that will benefit me in my career. You also learn a lot after interacting with the people here.”
The same was reflected in a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs in India, which said, “India and Oman have expanded their bilateral cooperation and exchanges since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955, forging a mutually beneficial strategic partnership. India-Oman bilateral relations are anchored in their shared interests, mutual understanding and respect for each other’s priorities, concerns and sensitivities. Regular high-level visits and exchanges have been a key feature of this relationship. Visits at the highest level have been exchanged frequently between India and Oman.”
“Key bilateral agreements/ MoUs between India and Oman cover cooperation in health, tourism, defence, peaceful uses of outer space, visa exemption for holders of diplomatic/official/ special passports, legal and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, extradition, legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, agriculture, civil aviation, avoidance of double taxation, standards and measures, manpower, maritime issues, joint investment funds and cultural cooperation,” added the ministry. “There is also institution-to-institution-based cooperation between the two countries.”