Thursday, October 06, 2005

Brain Drain

I wrote this almost a year and a half ago on OmanForum. I'm bringing it up again because this yesterday a friend visited me at work to say goodbye because he's moving to Jeddah to work for SAMBA at about three or four times his present salary.
1. brain drain (n.) -
The loss of skilled intellectual and technical labor through the movement of such labor to more favorable geographic, economic, or professional environments. (

2. When the Omani educational system was getting on its feet, many Omanis opted for schools in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East. This exodus deprived the country of valuable brains and riyals. Omani students' tuition fees and other expenses were not being invested in domestic institutions, creating a net outflow of educational money. Students that study abroad often stay abroad too, stripping Oman of some of its brightest citizens.

(From the Oxford Group's Oman Weekly Briefing dated July 4, 2004.)

Every year more people I know move out of Oman and get jobs elsewhere. At the moment two of my cousins work for multinational companies in Dubai. In the last couple years some of my Omani colleagues at work left and went to work for banks in Dubai. 2 of my closest friends have told me in the past few weeks that they have job offers abroad.

Q: Are Oman's best and brightest talents moving abroad?

Do you think that Oman is indeed suffering from a brain drain and if so what effect do you think it will have on us? (link)


Blue Chi said...

I think that it is natural for people to go and decide to work at other countries, we have Americans that work in Oman, we have British people that work in Oman, but when it comes to brain drain, the issue is what when the majority of the "best people" or a substantial part there of decide to work outside the country. I am a student that is studying abroad, and I don't see the students that study abroad often stay abroad. It might happen, but it is not OFTEN. That is my personal perspective from what I see. However, I have to admit that I have thought of searching for a career opportunity in Dubai if I ever get the chance to break away from the contract that I am bound by to work for the Ministry. It does sound very appealing, and I think that it is the pay that makes people consider travelling.

muscati said...

There have always been Omanis who work abroad, not just in Dubai but even in the UK and the USA. But it seems lately that economic stagnation in Oman, which our government refuses to admit, has been leading more Omanis abroad. Expatriate jobs abroad usually pay many multiples more than jobs in Oman do, plus there's the appeal of an urban, modern lifestyle. Why be a hotshot in Oman, even if you get paid 1000 rials a month if you can be a hot shot in Dubai and get paid 3000 rials a month with the potential to leverage the opportunity into an even more lucrative job elsewhere. These Omanis who go to work in Dubai, don't work for local companies. They work for the big names which open doors for them all over the world.

It used to be that Omani go to work abroad and then return to Oman. But it's become more often now to hear people tell you about buying houses and settling there.

Arab Pearl said...

I guess the cause is the lack of challenging opportunities and the ability to grow and excel. In addition, look at the difference in pay and the packages being provided!

At the end of the day, people are striving for a life style that Oman could possibly not provide for them. Besides, their families are out here, they can always come back invest and build for the future, but the greatest assets this company has prefers to utilize their intelligence and hard work where the outcome is worthwhile.