What is the impact of your nationality on your Salary in Saudi Arabia?

Many of you might have seen people from different countries, doing the same job, receiving different salaries. This is an ugly truth that we all have to bear. The system of wages in Saudi Arabia is largely based on the color of the passport.

This is applicable to all companies to hire foreign workers. However, despite their high salaries, most westerners run away from their Saudi employers.

Let’s take the nursing salaries, for example, most countries offer very minimal salaries to nurses if compared to several responsibilities that a nurse has and how much education has to be achieved to become a nurse.

However, the salaries do increase with experience over the years. In the Kingdom, a nurse with 2 years of experience and one with 30 years of experience earn the same salary if the former has a western passport.

No experience or age benefits are given, and specialization usually increases the salary very slightly. The only thing which matters, however, is the color of your passport.

For instance, an Indian with a British passport will earn a fatter paycheck, than other Indians in Saudi Arabia. Some Asians take advantage of the situation and travel to Canada to obtain their passport.

Then they apply to the Middle East where they receive a higher paycheck. To show the disparity in salaries, I have presented a fictional table of nurses working in Saudi Arabia.

This table is not based on accurate records and has been compiled from the hearsay of people discussing their salaries. Some information is available on this online.

Salaries do vary between hospitals and whether the hospital is privately run or is run by the government. Government hospitals surprisingly pay higher salaries.

PassportBasic monthly salary (SAUDI RIYAL)
Indian & Pakistanis2500
South African7000
Arabs (Jordan, Lebanon etc.)10000
European (German, British etc.)16000
Canada, America and Australia18000

So, we can conclude that Asian passport holders are the lowest earning and Canadian and American passport holders earn the most. Supposedly this system is based on the standard of living in the respective countries and their economy.

It is also reportedly based on the quality of education received by western nurses in comparison to the Asian nurses. Although I somewhat understand why there is such a system implemented in the first place, it still causes a lot of stress and tension at work.

It is also extremely unfair to pay one employee tenfold of what you are paying another employee just based on their nationalities. The difference in pay has reportedly caused a lot of conflicts and problems in the workplace and the working environment. It also causes one nationality to despise and hold grudges against other nationalities.

Salary should be only based on performance and experience. Additional training and specialization should also allow for a higher pay raise for all medical staff. Why is it that those who have our lives in their hands are paid so poorly in the first place?

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