Unemployment is a problem in every country and Arab countries are no exception, according to a recent report by the Arab Monetary Fund the percentage of youth unemployed in Arab countries is 43.4 percent which is significantly higher than the global 12.7 percent. The report further tells us that out of the total unemployed percentage only 40 percent are educated. The figures for individual countries weren’t given but obviously Saudi Arabia is no exception. Educated youth being unemployed is going to be a major problem following the recent problems with IS and other militant groups. Saudi Arabia faces a Saudization problem with citizens wanting to join the public and private sector facing barriers by the expatriates, who also deserve them due to their role in the development of the Kingdom.
Obviously this claim is not justified as the citizens of the country have the first right to the countries resources and economic advantages and expats should be happy to be getting this chance to earn so much more money in another country than they would’ve made in their own. Youth obviously has a great scope in the Saudi economy especially in Tourism, which is considered a very important economic sector in terms of providing jobs. There have been many plans and news about the Saudi government thinking of developing the tourism industry to provide jobs to youth. A prediction of 1.7 million jobs by 2010 was made by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. However they need to do a lot before welcoming international tourists, which refers to the highly conservative society Saudi Arabia, is and the Europeans or American tourists won’t appreciate restrictions on them.
My recent visit to Pakistan has showed me just how tourism can be developed by the Youth. You can see newly graduates launching their own tourism agencies and taking small groups to northern areas and Kashmir which solely survive on tourism. However international tourism has suffered due to security concerns. Many young people have taken the industry in their hands and this has made domestic tourism rise again.
How Can the Youth help Saudi Government? In a recent survey of jobs in tourism sector travel agencies are at the bottom with only 2 percent, this makes going to places inside Saudi very difficult for tourists and also expats as many don’t know the language or the roads and there’s basic lack of information. Young people could create small scale tourism agencies from absolutely anywhere to fill this space. Saudi education system provides many holidays and these agencies can take student groups for tours and going abroad for vacations will decline.
These young people know their country better than anyone and can offer the best help. They could also provide tours to neighboring countries and bilingual students could be hired to break the language barrier. Knowing this I can predict that tourism industry will prosper and create job opportunities for the youth of Saudi Arabia.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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