Oman and Saudi Arabia discuss investment after job protests

Oman and Saudi Arabia discuss investment opportunities after unemployment protests
1 min read
02 June, 2021
Oman has been hit by protests over high unemployment, with efforts to placate growing anger of the country's economic woes.

Saudi and Omani officials held talks on investment opportunities on Tuesday, after protests broke out across the sultanate over high unemployment.

Saudi Investment Minister Khaled Al-Falih and Omani Commerce and Industry Minister Qais Al-Yousef participated in the virtual meeting on diversification and investment opportunities, Oman state TV reported.

The talks follow protests in the sultanate, mostly by young Omanis, over high unemployment amid an economic slump caused by low oil prices and the coronavirus epidemic.

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It was not clear whether the economic talks were a response to the protests, Reuters reported, but Oman is believed to be looking at possible bail-outs from Gulf states.

Omani police launched tear gas at protesters in the northern city of Sohar after sit-ins late last month.

Oman's ruler Sultan Haithem has enacted austerity measures to cope with the economic crisis but such measures have proved unpopular with the populace.

After the protests, the sultan announced a job creation programme with more than 30,000 full and part-time opportunities created.

Much of Oman's efforts in creating jobs for the growing young population have been through the nationalisation of positions occupied by expatriates.