In this article Tariq Al Maeena addresses a real concern shared by expats in KSA -and to an extent other GCC countries. This is quite a dilemma and an unenviable position the Ministry of Labour and Social Development in Saudi Arabia finds itself in. Following are my thoughts on this:
-The decision to nationalize occupations especially in ‘Sales’ seem to target the SME sector mainly. The Ministry is already under fire by Saudi SME owners who took to social media to complain that the ministry’s decisions in the past year harm SMEs.
-The Saudi govt’s recent push to enable women in various walks of life means that many of these occupations will be accessible to Saudi women who have the hunger and eagerness to get in to the workforce (I’ll share a story soon that demonstrates that. Watch this space).
-An argument could be made that the Saudi govt. (as well as the UAE govt’s) labor decisions and restrictions might be aimed at enhancing the quality of expatriate workforce these countries attract by allowing more qualified and skilled expats for occupations that require specialized skills and experience, thus moving to the planned direction of transitioning to a ‘Knowledge Economy’.