I was sitting with some of my friends, a few days ago. One of my friends was quite upset. We asked the reason and he told sadly that his mad has decided to quit the job and go back to her homeland, Philippines.
We thought that he is upset because of the general problems people face in their daily life when maids leave but on inquiring further he told us that the maid is leaving as she has now built her own house in her native country.
He said that he is not worried because the maid is leaving and the family will have to face certain problems in daily life rather he was upset that the maid working in his home has built her own house but he himself was not able to buy even an undersized portion of land for his family.
A discussion followed by this comment started that the expatriates coming to Saudi Arabia work here for low salaries but how they manage to achieve the goals they set to reach by these salaries. Everyone sitting in that gathering had a story of his own about a few expatriates he knew.
Discussion continued that how these expatriate workers, with their low salaries in Saudi Arabia, manage to educate their children in good standard educational institutes back at home, build own houses for families, bear expenses of the marriages of their children and fulfill other needs of their family. In my opinion, credit goes to the dedication of these workers and the hard work they do here in the Kingdom.
A friend told us that he knows a Pakistani expatriate who worked as a doorman in the Kingdom. He used to earn about 800SR by washing cars (50 to 100 SR each car), he maintained a routine of getting up before Fajr prayer to do car washing and other tasks.
He worked hard and after serving for 7 years, he requested his Kafeel (sponsor) for a visa for the final exit. The sponsor thought that he might be facing some problems or something is surely wrong that is why the worker wants to quit the job and leave the country. So, the sponsor asked him that why he wants that exit visa, is there any problem.
The expatriate worker told his sponsor that he was comfortable during his job in Saudi Arabia, and now he has constructed an apartment and some stores and shops on the ground floor of that building. That is why he wishes to go back to Pakistan to live with his parents.
He will run one of the stores himself and rent of the other stores and apartments will be enough for him to meet him and his family’s expenses. We all wondered that how he managed to construct such building with his low salary, while we are not in a position of owning a home or a single apartment.
One of the people present at the gathering, who gives a salary of 2,500SR per month to his driver, made a call to his driver and asked him if he has built a house of his own. The driver replied that he does not own just a single house in Pakistan (that he built several years ago) rather he is constructing his second house as he has inherited a piece of land.
Almost everyone knows purchasing land in main cities of the Kingdom is next to impossible for young Saudis as the prices are extortionate. Many of the people are not comfortable in buying a house through the bank as they are afraid of heavy interest rates and lack of security about their jobs.
I don’t have expertise at property prices in Pakistan, Philippines, India or any other country but it is a fact that low paid worker in KSA saves enough within few years to build his own house. This also testifies a fact that the cost of land and home is too high in KSA and it must be reevaluated.
Only by the reason of these extortionate prices, more than 70% of Saudi youth is not able to buy a house. A couple who gets married at 25 years of age, may need 25 years or more to own their house if they try to buy the house on installments.
In this terrible situation, Ministry of Housing is the only ray of hope for a considerable majority of Saudis. The ministry shall play a vital role in resolving this problem so that many Saudis like me and my friends can live in their own houses.