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Bad News for Indian Expats in Saudi


In a major setback for Indians, Saudi Arabia has started restricting activities and occupations for the foreign workers. This effectively means expatriates, including Indians, won’t get employment in these areas.

The minister of labor and social development, Dr Ali Al-Ghafees issued a GO which restricted employing foreign workers in 12 activities and occupations. The order will come into effect from next Hijri year, reported Saudi Gazette. The decision was taken to ensure more employment opportunities for the Saudi citizens.

This decision is expected to affect around 12 million foreigners working in Saudi Arabia, which includes about 30 lakh Indians living and working in the country. The implementation of this step will be carried out in a phased manner.

The 12 work areas banned from next Hijri for expats are: watch shops, optical stores, medical equipment stores, electrical and electronics shops, outlets selling car spare part, building material shops, outlets selling all types of carpets, automobile and mobile shops, shops selling home furniture and ready-made office material, sale outlets of ready-made garments, children clothes and men’s supplies, household utensils shops and pastry shops.

The sectors which are banned for the first phase from hiring of expatriates from September 11, 2018 are-

– Car and motorbike showrooms

– Readymade clothes stores

– Home and office furniture stores

– Home appliances and kitchen utensils stores.

The second phase sectors namely Electronics stores, watches and clocks stores optics stores stop  hiring expatriates from November 9, 2018

The sectors which ban employing foreign workers in the third phase from January 7, 2019 are –

– Medical equipment and supplies stores

– Building material stores

– Auto spare parts stores

– Carpet selling stores

– Sweet shops

According to Saudi Gazette, the  restriction is part of the ongoing economic reform launched by Saudi Arabia last year to address the unemployment among the Saudis by 2020.



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