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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

10 Nationalities Monopolize Labor Market in Saudi Arabia

It is common knowledge that the expatriate workforce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia makes up around 1/3 of the total population living in the Kingdom. These expatriates are working in a foreign country away from their homeland in order to attain better employment opportunity. These expatriates work in every private sector business in the Kingdom. Today we will share with you which profession is dominated by which nationality. It has been reported that around 26 nationalities of expatriates in the Kingdom are in control or majority in around 90 professions from various fields. These figures were reported by the Makkah Arabic Daily in one of their reports in which they quoted another study of a survey. The study which was conducted by the SMC or Saudi Medical Center for Consultations and Studies stated that the Saudis or locals of the Kingdom came in at the very bottom while employed in a total of 9 professions only.


  1. Saudis: In accordance to the survey, the Saudis are in majority in the professions of teaching and the circles of memorization of the Holy Qur’an. Saudis are also employed as Muezzins, Imams of Mosques, drivers of public buses, heavy trucks and school buses, car auction dealers, security guards and officials at the commercial banks. If you talk about office jobs, you will find most of the Saudis working in HR and Admin departments of companies. Jamal Bannoun who is the director of the center stated that this survey did not include several other office jobs which have no direct daily contacts with the Saudi people.
  2. Pakistanis: Most of the Pakistanis are involved in Construction related Labor Profession, Domestic Driving and Taxi Driving. If you talk about office jobs, they dominate Accounting, Finance and Auditing Department. Many doctors working in Saudi Arabia are also from Pakistan
  3. Indians: The Indian expats make up the majority of the pharmacists operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. You will find nurses, hospital staff from India as well. If you talk about office jobs, they dominate IT sector. You will find many Indian IT consultants in Saudi Arabia. Most of the people working on Petrol Pumps and small Grocery Stores are also from India.
  4. Yemenis: The survey stated that the Yemeni expats are in total control of the shisha and tobacco market and also restaurants which sell rice cooked with chicken or meat. Yemenis are also in majority working as the cooks in the popular restaurants which specialize in fried and frilled liver which is a Saudi preference to take for breakfast to their homes.
  5. Philippines: I don’t think you can find any hospital without Filipino nurses. Filipino nurses dominate this particular profession. Moreover, most of the domestic workers or more specifically housemaids are from Philippines.
  6. Egyptians: Egyptians don’t dominate few professions but they have their representation in almost every profession in Saudi Arabia. They are good, hardworking and the biggest advantage for them is their language.
  7. Ethiopia and Indonesia: Expatriates from around 10 nationalities which include Ethiopia and Indonesia make up the majority of workers in beauty salons in the Kingdom.
  8. Turkmenistan: It has also been stated that the Bukhari rice restaurants which are highly preferred by the Saudi population are run mainly by the Turkmenistan expats.
The survey has also stated that there is intense competition between Yemeni, Pakistani, Egyptian and Indian expats in having the biggest part of the labor market.  The survey stated that the expatriates from around 9 different nationalities control around 70 percent of the employment in the private sector jobs. These countries in accordance to the survey are as follows; Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan and Syria. The survey also stated that a total of 19 nationalities which includes the local Saudis, make up the majority of workers in mobile shops, barber shops, car workshops, bakeries, exchange offices and shipping offices. These nations include Bukhara, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey.
Source: Saudi Gazette

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