Word on the street: Economic slowdown

Public opinion on the streets of Muscat

International Monetary Fund says Oman’s economic situation will improve in 2018. Do you think better days are still far ahead?

Dr Govindarajan Lakshmanarao. Assistant professor

The situation will definitely improve in 2018 as the economic fundamentals of Oman are strong. In addition, the recent austerity measures undertaken along with steps to correct the fiscal deficit will help to a greater extent. The current trend of surge in oil prices will also benefit.

Syed Ali Abbas, Marketing manager

I don’t think the situation will improve because many expatriates are losing their jobs and going back home. The country needs people to move the economy ahead, but if people continue to leave like this, problems may increase.

Khalid al Sulaimi, Businessman

The year 2018 will see improvement because the government is working hard to get things on track. The current upsurge in oil prices will benefit all. I am sure if the government goes ahead with all its projects, the economy will improve further.

Dr Abdul Momin. Private sector employee

 I am positive that the economic situation will improve by early 2018. As predicted by the experts, good times are on the way.

Faisal Ahmed Salim al Shibli, Musician

The current economic crisis has been harder than the one in 2008. I don’t believe in these predictions because they have been going on for months now and still things have been the same.

Soumen Patra, Private sector employee

Things will improve and all we have to do is to be patient. The IMF predictions hopefully, will come true and conditions will improve. However, the government should come up with some concrete measures to push the economy forward.

Q2. How has the economic slowdown affected you? 

Abdul Hafeez al Omari, Job seeker

I am sure every citizen in Oman has been affected by the economic slowdown. I have come across many nationals who are finding it difficult to fulfil their aspirations. I may have to wait for the oil prices to rise for life to get on track.

Mousa al Maamari,Media administrative

The oil price crisis has directly and indirectly affected every household. Another factor that has made a hole in people’s wallets is constant hike in fuel prices. This is forcing people to replace bigger vehicles with smaller ones to reduce fuel consumption. Many have also switched to public transport.

Yaqdhan al Shukaili, Media specialist

The economic slowdown has affected job seekers as government and private companies are adopting austerity measures and have put a freeze on recruitment. The situation may be such till the economic condition is stable.

Pooja Bangera, Marketing executive

The current economic situation has affected everyone in some way or the other if not directly. And, it has taught people to become prudent. There have been more shopping sales this year than before, but very few people are buying stuff.

Deepthi J, Designer

 I know friends who haven’t been paid for months in a row. We have to mind our expenses now. Weekend plans have taken a backseat too as now we have to save.

Zenobia Elavia, Airline representative

The increase in fuel prices has affected my monthly budget especially the travel expenses. I stay in Al Khuwayr and have to commute to Ruwi daily. School fee too is increasing every year and the prices of commodities have also shot up.

Q3. Do you think Oman’s economy is too dependent on oil? What sectors can help the economy diversify in the short term?

Twinkle Nanda, Dramatics teacher

Yes, it is too dependent on oil, but now Oman is utilising its other resources like diversifying into the tourism sector. Oman can also host a lot of sports activities thanks to its beautiful mountains, roads and seas. A news item recently stated that organisers of Mars One Mission project too have found some excellent potential in the country to carry out their work here.

Yasir ba Bikir, Senior lawyer

 Yes, it was dependent on oil till sometime back but now it is venturing into other areas like tourism. Gulf countries have their own advantages and disadvantages. Since this country is open to change it will grow if it diversifies and realises its potential.

Saeed al Hashmi, Lawyer

Oman has vast natural resources that can boost its tourism. The Mars One Mission project will also be carried out here. Oman has also relaxed visas for tourists from many countries. Such moves will help the country boost its economy.

Mohammed Khalfan al Haddabi, Operations head

Yes, Oman’s economy is quite dependent on oil sector but it is changing. The government is investing in tourism and fisheries too and inviting private investments into these sectors.

Shaikh Sheryar, Sales executive

Yes, Oman’s economy is hugely reliant on oil and this is what caused the slowdown. I think the country needs to look at other sectors like tourism, logistics and aquaculture to boost its revenues.

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