Street vendors license only for Omanis
The MOCI announced that owners of street vending businesses will not be allowed to employ expatriates in accordance with rules set by the authorities. The street vendor licences are granted only to Omanis. According to the ministry, licences for street vendors are granted only to the elderly, and expatriates will not be allowed to work in mobile shops — operating vending machines, juice, ice cream, and other activities. This decision has been taken in coordination with the Ministry of Manpower, the Royal Oman Police, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources and municipalities of Muscat, Suhar and Dhofar.
The ministry explained that such opportunities are available to Omanis to earn a living until they have access to other jobs or are able to expand and open their own shops through which the person can obtain foreign labour within the normal business framework and according to the conditions and terms set by the concerned authorities.
It said that there are many successful business models currently in operation at different places. The ministry is also working with various agencies including Rafd Fund to help young Omani youth who wish to start their businesses.
According to the Article 3 which regulates the operations of street vendors, the applicant must be an Omani, while Article 7 states that businesses cannot be handed over or leased out to expatriates. According to the ministry, the number of licenses for street vendors reached 398 at the end of April 2019.
The authorities are also working on making changes to rules and regulations for restaurants and hotel industry to encourage street food culture and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the sector. Mobile cafés activities are also allowed in public locations such as beaches, holiday sites, public venues, parks after obtaining the necessary approvals from the authorities concerned.