Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Salaries in Saudi Arabia and Color of Passport

Many of you may have seen people of different countries, doing the same job, receiving different salaries. This is an ugly truth that we all have to bear. The system of wages in Saudi Arabia is largely based on the color of the passport. This is applicable to all companies to hire foreign workers. However despite their high salaries, most westerners run away from their Saudi employers. Let’s take the nursing salaries for example, most countries offer very minimal salaries to nurses if compared to the amount of responsibilities that a nurse has and how much education has to be achieved to become a nurse. However, the salaries do increase with experience over the years. In the Kingdom, a nurse with 2 years of experience and one with 30 years of experience earn the same salary if the former has western passport. No experience or age benefits are given, and specialization usually increases the salary very slightly.

The only thing which matters however is the color of your passport. For instance an Indian with a British passport will earn a fatter paycheck, than other Indians in Saudi Arabia. Some Asians take advantage of the situation and travel to Canada to obtain their passport. Then they apply to the Middle East where they receive a higher paycheck.To show the disparity in salaries, I have presented a fictional table of nurses working in Saudi Arabia. This table is not based on accurate records and has been compiled from the hearsay of people discussing their salaries. Some information is available for this online. Salaries do vary between hospitals and whether the hospital is privately run or is run by the government. Government hospitals surprisingly pay higher salaries.

Basic monthly salary (SAUDI RIYAL)
Indian& Pakistanis
South African
Arabs (Jordan, Lebanon etc.)
European (German, British etc.)
Canada, America and Australia

So, we can conclude that Asian passport holders are the lowest earning and Canadian and American passport holders earn the most. Supposedly this system is based on standard of living in the respective countries and their economy. It is also reportedly based on the quality of education received by western nurses in comparison to the Asian nurses.Although I somewhat understand why there is such a system implemented in the first place, but it still causes a lot of stress and tension at work. It is also extremely unfair to pay one employee tenfold of what you are paying another employee just based on their nationalities.

The difference in pay has reportedly caused a lot of conflicts and problems in the workplace and the working environment. It also causes one nationality to despise and hold grudges against other nationalities.Salary should be only based on performance and experience. Additional training and specialization should also allow for a higher pay raise for all medical staff. Why is it that those who have our lives in their hands, are paid so poorly in the first place?

The above content was initially published on Blue Abaya

Miscellaneous Information about KSA
  1. Expatriates with gross monthly Salary of SR 142
  2. Average Salary by Profession in Saudi Arabia
  3. Rule for Salary Increment in Saudi Arabia
  4. Average Salary by Profession in Saudi Arabia


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