The restrictions on the selling of the black cloak are part of a sweeping set of laws installed in order to reduce the reliance on foreign workers, the state news agency ONA reported on Thursday.

"The step comes in implementation of a ministerial decision aimed at creating job opportunities for Omani women," and as part of the country's "Omanisation" campaign to replace foreign labour with nationals, ONA said.

Oman last year launched a five-year plan to offer more jobs to nationals and cut dependence on imported labour, which makes up a quarter of the sultanate's population of 2.3 million.

Expatriates have already been barred from working in certain jobs which are increasingly becoming exclusive to Omanis.

The decision is likely to hit expatriates from the Indian subcontinent who make up the majority of foreign workers in the country and provide a source of cheap labour.