The GCC needs its expat workforce

Labourers in uae

I recently read with interest an article by Saudi socio-political commentator Tariq A. Al Maeena titled ‘Saudi Arabia needs its expat workforce’.  As the title suggests, the truth is clear and simple; not only Saudi Arabia but the GCC as well do need their expat workforce.  The article also responds to another article published in a Saudi daily where the author warned that the army of expat workers

The article also responds to another article published in a Saudi daily where the author warned that the army of expat workers is a “timebomb” citing a recent incident involving disgruntled workers who were unpaid for months.  Truth be told, it is quite ironic that at times there seems to be more concern over the workers who are often the victims of broken promises and unfulfilled rights, rather than focusing on the employers, managers or even the unscrupulous recruitment agents.  These are the real culprits.

Another angle I believe needs to be addressed is the question of how can our governments ensure that the expatriate workforce -especially labor and blue collar – are enabled to live and work sustainably in the GCC countries. Yes, this means looking at everything from employees’ wages and incentives, insurance, addressing the high school fees in some of the GCC countries, rents, etc.

If we really aim to create a happy and competitive economy, we will need to address these and more.

What do you think can be done to make the GCC a sustainable place to work and live for expatriates?

To read the article by Tariq A. Al Maeena, click on the following link: Click here

Author: Talib Hashim

Abdulmuttalib Al Hashimi (Talib) was born in 1977. He grew up in a sleepy town called Rashidiya, a far cry from the lights and bustle of Dubai. Talib began his career taking on a number of odd jobs (Yes, the legend of the one month stint he landed as a Magician/Promoter in the summer of '96 during the Dubai Shopping Festival is true). His first taste of the corporate world came with the large international bank HSBC, where he started in a small role as a 'Recovery and Debt Collector'. Fortunately, he moved up quickly during his tenure in the bank and was eventually recruited to be part of an elite team of Traders in the banks Global Market department. Inspite of the "Wall Street" like glitz and glamour that came with his role; Talib decided to submit his resignation in the summer of 2006 and say 'Adios' to his cubicle, a regular income -a well paying one too-, his SUV and the life of employment. Together with a young Emirati lady, he established Next Level Management Consultancy, a recruitment firm with specialisation in the niche market of 'Emiratisation' (Employing and developing UAE citizens). He is always proud of the fact that he has helped numerous Emiratis find employment. And he would like to think that he contributed -even if a little bit- to helping them lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Talib holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Project Management. He is an expert in Emiratisation and GCC national employment issues and initiatives. He is also a regular speaker on the topics of employment, development of people, Emirati entrepreneurship and also cultural challenges in the workplace. He also gives a series of motivational speeches titled "10 lessons I learned in 2009". Talib is an expert in multi-cultural issues that influence the Arab workplace and helps companies bridge the gap between their expatriate and local staff. He is often accused by some to be an idealist and a dreamer, however, Talib works tirelessly to become an agent of positive change in society (and ofcourse achieve amazing success as an Entrepreneur in the process). Talib believes that all Arab youth deserve the opportunity and the right to pursue their dreams and aspirations regardless of their race, caste, colour, status and family name in society; and hence he is a strong advocate of national and Arab youth empowerment. He has a passion for travelling and backpacking. He enjoys reading books on history, autobiographies and self improvement. He is currently trying to improve his sketching skills.

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