Expats living in Saudi Arabia are banned from Street Trading

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to one of the largest expatriate workforces from all around the world. People of all income groups travel to the Kingdom in search of a better future, better employment and better standards of living. Some of these expatriates are engineers or executives who earn a good income and are also provided housing and transportation which makes their lives and their budgets a whole lot easier. However, there are also those who travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to work menial jobs such as construction workers and domestic help.[irp]

The second type of people goes to Saudi Arabia to earn, transfer a major chunk of their earning back home to their families and live within a very small budget which is leftover. Some of these people are always on the lookout to earn an extra buck, and hence the tradition of street markets was born. Although most street markets in some countries are unsupervised, some countries place strict rules to operate in these street markets. One such strict rule has come up in Saudi Arabia. The Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry in Saudi Arabia has banned all non-Saudi expats from working or operating in these street markets. This is very bad news for the expatriates.

One source which was from the Ministry told the media that it is the right of all Saudis to get priority in getting a chance to make an earning and living within their own country. The source also added that these street markets have come into the attention of lots of local and expats who visit these street markets. The source added that most of the expatriates who work or operate in these street markets often do not have any license or permit allowing them to work in these markets.

Not only has this rule been implemented on expatriates but even Saudi sellers in street markets are allowed only to operate within the street markets of their respective municipalities only with a proper license or permit. This means that all those Saudi vendors working without a permit will also be banned from working. This is a good step and all municipalities should regulate this as unlicensed vendors can sell you harmful or goods of substandard quality, which is not allowed in any marketplace around the world. Our source at the ministry finally said that any street vendor whether local or expat, working in these street markets or operating in them without a license will face extreme prosecution from the state.[irp]

The source added that these licenses or permits which allow you to sell in these street markets are often only given to Saudi locals who are over the age of 15, those who have their national identity cards and those who have a proper authenticated medical report from a certified doctor, proving that they are free of any diseases which may be even slightly contagious. Licensed vendors will result in a better quality of products in the street markets.

Source: Al Arabiya

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