Many countries especially those where there is a deficiency of labor, you will see foreign laborers and workers there working for more money than they would’ve earned in their own country, mainly due to currency exchange rates. Saudi Arabia being no exception is especially in need of foreign workers and that’s why they are the home to the largest number of expatriates, through an arrangement which is beneficial for both sides as they send billions of dollars back home to their countries and Saudi airlines also benefit from this agreement. A large number of expatriates, 10 million to be precise, live in Saudi Arabia due to economic reasons in their own country.
Following the Nitaqat Scheme in Saudi Arabia, many Expatriates were exposed for overstaying their work visa and this scheme was a way to make Saudi nationals rather than immigrant’s first choice of employment in private sector. The increase of expatriates going and working in Saudi Arabia shows a change in their previous stance. This change is also due to the fact that there is an unemployment rate of about 7 percent but an underemployment rate of 20 percent which is a lot compared to other countries and about 40 percent of total employed work in the informal sector.
In 2015 Expatriates sent back home 40.8 billion dollars in a remittance which is around 20% of the total budget of Saudi Arabia. That’s second highest in the world after the United States. These are sent through financial institutions, we don’t have any idea about the money sent through illegal ways like Hawala. This figure could be increased by a lot but as their lifestyle suggests Expatriates spend a lot on local markets and spend a significant amount of their salary in local industry and this adds to the attraction of having them in your country.
Additionally, Expatriates are seen as extremely hard working people and they have good business ethics, come off very polite, productive, very disciplined and pay great attention to detail and communicate pretty well in English and they are noticeably presentable at all times. It will not be wrong to say that Expatriates have emerged as an integral part of the local economy of Saudi Arabia by working, spending and enhancing the economy. The way of life of Saudi Arabia would not be the same without the massive presence of Expatriates in different sectors and fields.