Why there are so many expat workers in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is a country of colors and diversity. When you move around the country you will be amazed to know how beautiful colors and diversity it possesses. People from different countries and regions are living in the Kingdom and that too since years.

They have made our culture more beautiful. These expats have been working here with loyalty and serving the country. Having foreigners in a country is nothing unusual. People do migrate to different countries in search of better living, jobs or education.[irp]

People from different nations have been approaching Saudi Arabia for the very purpose. As I said, having expats in a country is not something unusual and strange but what is shocking is the number of expats living in Saudi Arabia.

The number of expats living in Saudi Arabia has greatly arisen. If we only count the expats who are providing their services (i.e. living in Saudi Arabia) they each about 13 million. This is a great figure! This 13 million include dependents of expats or students.

These expats can be seen in different sectors. They are working in Saudi Arabia as engineers, consultants, directors, deputy directors, and laborers. So we have 13 million people imported from different countries to serve us! Now if we get into further details, we will be further amazed.

Most of these expats workers belong to India, Pakistan, Egypt, Yemen and Bangladesh. According to official statistics, workers coming from these countries have reached a significant number of 10.3 million! So out of 13 million expats in Saudi Arabia, 10 million belong to these 5 countries.

This clearly means that the expats from these 5 countries are dominant in job and services sector in Saudi Arabia. The chart below gives details of the number of expat workers hailing from these 5 dominant countries.

CountryNumber of expat workers
India3 million
Pakistan2.5 million
Egypt2.2 million
Yemen1.4 million
Bangladesh1.2 million

Now coming towards the real concern. Aren’t these figures way to amazing? This pops up a question in our minds that don’t we have Saudi workers who can undertake jobs? Are we running out of Saudi workers? having so many expats workers does imply that we are out of Saudi workers.

Well, the statistics depict a different story; a great dilemma! About 907,000 Saudis were jobless. This means that 907,000 Saudis were looking for jobs, were willing to undertake jobs but didn’t find any! Among these unemployed Saudis, 80% were females. So 688,000 females were looking for jobs but remain unemployed!

According to the first quarter report of 2017 published by the General Authority of Statistics, 219,017 Saudi men were looking for a job. Among the Saudi jobless individuals, 79.74% of Saudi job seekers have been unable to undertake a job in Saudi Arabia since 14 years! Since 14 years 398,038 women and 324, 872 men have remained jobless.

These statistics are more than shocking. This makes me wonder that why do we have so many expats workers in Saudi Arabia when Saudis themselves are rendered jobless?

Source: Saudi Gazette