Saudi first: Kingdom bans expatriates from 12 job types

by WorldTribune Staff, January 31, 2018

Saudi Arabia is reserving 12 job types for Saudi nationals only.

Saudization: The Vision 2030 plan nationalizes jobs in shopping malls.

A decree issued by Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali Al-Ghafees said that 12 retail jobs in the kingdom will be off-limits for non-Saudis as of September 2018, Arab News reported on Jan. 30.

“While the ministry has not yet set specific penalties for those who violate Saudization in the new sectors, I expect these to include hefty financial fines, as well as deportation in some cases,” said Murtadha Al-Yousef, the founder and general manager of Saudi recruitment firm Saudi Employment.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made nationalizing the kingdom’s workforce part of his Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the Saudi economy and reduce its dependence on exporting oil.

According Labor Ministry spokesman Khaled Abalkhail, the following retail job categories will be designated as Saudi-only:

  • Watches
  • Eye wear
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • Electrical and electronic appliances
  • Auto parts
  • Building materials
  • Carpets
  • Cars and motorcycles
  • Home and office furniture
  • Children’s clothing and men’s accessories
  • Home kitchenware
  • Confectioneries

Under the Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia has terminated all contracts pertaining to expatriate workers in governments and ministries within three years. Another order under the plan nationalizes jobs in shopping malls.

In November 2017, the Labor Ministry announced it had been arresting expats caught working in nationalized sectors and warned violators of deportation.

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