Most of the TV talk shows we see today have somehow been focusing lately on the highly increasing control which the expatriate workers are having over the retail sector here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is indeed rare to find any program on national television which does not talk about this issue, whether directly or indirectly. It is quite evident that these expatriate workers in the Kingdom control the grocery stores, shops which sell other miscellaneous goods and also several other stores in the market. Sometimes it is felt that all of the hosts of these television programs which are watched all around the Kingdom, are simply just talking about this issue for the sake of talking about it, and repeating it, over and over again, while in the process fanning the flames of the issue to create a bigger issue or more heat on the issue than there really is.
Up till now, no positive campaigns or steps can be seen, which aim at resolving this issue, even though this issue or problem has become increasingly exasperating as time keeps passing by. This is because most of the retail markets are being controlled by these expatriate workers. What is most shocking about this issue is that a huge portion of the expatriate workers who make up the majority in this sector, are usually undocumented or illegal workers. This inaction has raised several pressing questions: firstly we must ask as to why is it that the Ministry of Interior’s crackdown campaign has not been successful in the eradication of such a practice? Secondly we must also ask who it is that is directly responsible for the creation or sustaining of this problem.
Lastly there are a huge number of illegal workers who had been arrested after a raid on a secret terrorist cell in the Kingdom. This ongoing and established control over this sector by those expatriate workers who are legal and illegal, documented or undocumented are killing off or finishing very viable employment and income opportunities which could be availed by the Saudi men and Saudi women.
The control over this sector has also negatively affected the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Though the control of the legal expatriates might not be as bad as the effects caused by the illegal or undocumented expatriates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is still a pressing issue which needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The authorities in the Kingdom are also invested in a Saudization ideology or program which has aimed to employ more locals and reduce the number of expatriates in the Kingdom. If the expatriates who control this sector are sent back home, we must ask ourselves whether the local Saudi men and women are trained or qualified enough to fill this vacancy. On a final note, any illegal expatriate immediately creates a security risk for the legal expats and locals of the Kingdom.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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