The economists are of the view that most of the expatriates would be leaving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The expat dependent fee, of course, is the greatest reason behind it. The expatriates who have been living with us for decades with their families cannot withstand the increasing annual burden of the dependent fee and thereby are forced to leave the Kingdom.[irp]
The expat dependent fee is for sure a huge burden on pockets of the foreigners. They cannot afford to pay the fees and the only two solutions left with them are to send back their families or to leave the Kingdom with their families. The economists are of the view that we are heading towards a nation where few expatriates would be found among us.
We might be able to lose about 2 million foreigners by the end of April of 2018. However, we would be losing another 2.5 million expatriates by the end of 2018. These expatriates would majorly comprise of those who have a single-family worker. It would indeed become difficult for them to meet the both ends with a dependent fee on each dependent.
But why are we worried? We ourselves want expatriates to leave. We imposed a fee on them. We are moving towards Saudization where we prefer Saudis over non-Saudis. Also, other fees will be imposed on the foreigners. It is expected that by the end of July 2019, we will be having with us only those expatriates who are hired at a good pay and those whose family do not exceed than 4 members.
Fewer people would mean less consumption and less demand. The migration (the reverse migration) effect would be serious for our economy. Most companies, most of nutrition and catering, will observe an economic fall. With low sales, profit would go down and most companies would not be able to withstand the losses and eventually close down.
After the end of first half of 2018, our real estate might go through an economic crisis. As expatriates would be leaving, there would be a surplus of houses and buildings. The rents would fall by 50%. Transport companies, airlines and relocation companies would go through the same economic downturn.
And if you still believe that your (Saudi National's) life won’t be affected by expatriates leaving the country, here is what is expected to happen. You shall be taking your child out from a private school and get them admitted into a public school. If you live in a house or a villa, you might be moving to an apartment. You will be moving towards a cheaper place with fewer facilities.
Soon the economic crisis would lead towards the electronic sector which comprises of smart-phones, tablets, computers, luxury items, modern day to day service, maintenance, and gadgets. The companies will close down and our economy will suffer due to the closure of hundreds of companies one after the other.
By 2019, foreigners will not be able to enjoy subsidized utilities like Saudi nationals. They would be bearing high electricity, water, and gasoline bills. The foreigners would be finding escapes and would eventually leave closing down their restaurants and shops privately owned by them. Closures of such shops would further depress the economy.
So this is where we are heading? Is this the solution to our current problems? Do we want to live in isolation and lose the beautiful colors of diversity? Do we want to go through an economic depression? Of course not! Thinking about a solution? [irp]
Well, we need some concrete economic policies. For those expatriates we do not want to lose, we shall make an effort to make them stay with us. Like we can provide them with nationality or other privileges like subsidies. Let’s do what suits Saudi Arabia the most!
Source: Saudi Gazette