While foreign workers are common and well-treated in Oman, their status is tightly regulated by the government. For many years, Oman´s poor infrastructure and weak education system translated to a shortage of qualified workers. Since 1970, as the quality of life has improved, the Omani government has made a distinct effort to regulate the influx of foreign employees, in hopes that it can work toward relative economic self-sufficiency.
A majority of outside observers, however, believe that expatriates will play a major role in Oman´s development for many years to come - two or three decades at least, though there will probably be changes in the numbers of expats employed and the type of skills required. For example, the vast construction projects currently found throughout the region (e.g. road systems, airports, ports and trading zones) will become less common, but the amount of commerical development will grow.
Thus, both foreign laborers and executives are likely to remain in demand for some time.
Nonetheless, foreigners will find less potential for advancement and integration in Oman than they might in other countries. They cannot become citizens and they are not allowed to own property. Similarly, the government has become increasingly reluctant to grant work visas and permits to foreigners who are working jobs Omani nationals could do just as well.
Oman is likely to maintain its grudging relationship with expat workers for the foreseeable future.
Though you are technically allowed to search for jobs in Oman while on a tourist visa, you are better off arriving with employment secured. The further in advance you prepare your permit applications (and the more influence your employer wields with the government), the better chance you have of securing a work visa and permit.