Saudi Arabia: YOU Asked; American Bedu Answers – Saudiazation

 

 

It is always a pleasure to receive requests by American Bedu readers.  A recent query I received via email was about Saudiazation as compared to other countries within the GCC.  This is a good query and I will answer to the best of my ability.

Much has been said about Saudiazation and the need for it in Saudi Arabia.  The majority of Saudi’s population is its youth and they are the future of the direction of the Kingdom.  However due to Saudi’s long-term reliance on the services and employment of expatriates there are a disproportionate amount of expatriates filling the positions in Saudi Arabia rather than Saudi nationals.  As a result, directives have been issued that companies and organizations now face mandatory requirement in a certain ratio of Saudi hires.  Although this does result in a reduction of positions for many of the expatriates these actions do facilitate much needed opportunities for the new Saudi graduates eager to find meaningful employment.

 

In prior years there was not the same amount of focus or attention placed on jobs for Saudis.  This was in part to many Saudis being independent with family businesses, wealth and property holdings.  Yet inflation and economic changes have also caught up with Saudi Arabia.  The large number of Saudis coupled with rising inflation have resulted in the need and demand for the new rising generation of Saudis to find jobs.  Like many other places the world over, the jobs may take a Saudi away from the patriarchal home and now requiring the Saudi to find independent housing convenient to the new job.

 

Unlike the Emirates where its citizens do receive monetary stipends and many other subsidies to receive housing, this is not the same in Saudi Arabia.  Saudi citizens do not receive subsidies from oil profits.  The profits from the Kingdom’s oil reserves remain in the hands of the ruling family who controls the flow of oil.  Saudis do receive other positive benefits though.  Medical care is available for all citizens as well as educational opportunities.  Although perhaps slow to start, the Saudiazation programs and job training programs are going to ensure that Saudi nationals have skill and opportunities and will be viable contributors to Saudi society.  There are also broad initiatives and programs underway to provide affordable housing to meet the increased housing demands.  Although slow to implement, Saudi Arabia is exploring loan and mortgage opportunities for its citizens to easily acquire homes.

 

Now is a time of forward change for Saudi Arabia.  As the Arab “Fall” approaches I have no doubt that the eyes of the world will be upon Saudi Arabia who has emerged as the true leader of balance and change in the Middle East region.  Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Abdullah, is making changes which satisfy and meet the need of its citizens as well as become the key player which eyes look upon for decisions and actions impacting Middle East policies and changes.

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18 Responses

  1. Your last paragraph has a huge question mark over it in my opinion. It is a view that you have taken over recent months that is hard to accept and or believe.

  2. “Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Abdullah, is making changes which satisfy and meet the need of its citizens as well as become the key player which eyes look upon for decisions and actions impacting Middle East policies and changes.”

    Even King Abdullah would find this less laughable.

  3. I live in Saudi and have for over 9 years. Until there is a major shift in attitude toward working, not a lot is going to change. A change in the educational system is also required. Not everyone is manager material. Someone needs to be mechanics, store clerks, etc. Until thes types of jobs are considered good honest work and not something “beneath” the dignity. Then there is that separation of gender thing. And the women not allowed to drive thing.

    And I grant the USA has it’s own problems with the illegal migrant workers and such, but with the economy the way it is, more people are willing to do what they have to do to put food on the table. Cleaning houses and pumping gas are an honest day’s work.

    Until the Saudis get some measure of that mentality, there will always be a disproportionate number of expats here. My husband being one. He came here 17 yrs ago on a 2 year contract to train Saudis in what he does.

  4. Yes, that last paragraph kinda “stabbed” me, too. I have lived here since January, transplanted from the lovely, but, plastic UAE, where I could drive. The only needs I can see that the King is meeting is keeping the citizens placated, so that they don’t get any ideas from the neighbors. At least, for now.

  5. I think the Saudi women are more open about opportunities perhaps than some of the males. There are Saudi women who would not mind cleaning homes or cooking to bring in additional income.

  6. Pride goeth before the fall. Saudi men are so often ‘too proud’ to ‘lower’ themselves to do a particular job or to ask for a job even. Attitudes need to change. Maybe, and I say this with tongue in cheek, it’s good that women can’t/don’t work because I think that with the male attitude towards work wives would be out there supporting the family AND cooking AND cleaning ……..

  7. “As the Arab “Fall” approaches I have no doubt that the eyes of the world will be upon Saudi Arabia who has emerged as the true leader of balance and change in the Middle East region”.

    It may look like the Arab Spring or Arab Fall, but news stories coming out of arab countries suggest it can also be a radical Islamic winter. Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating aftermaths are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East and serious prospects of an all-out, total war, with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used.

    Al Qaida in a leadership role in Libya? Muslim Brotherhood in control in Egypt? Future looks bleaker and bleaker with radical islamists coming into power in the arab world ….

  8. I like your tongue in cheek comment Wendy!

  9. Thanks! Aaaahhh … the liberated woman. LOL!!!

  10. @Wendy that is already happening. You often read about women who want so badly to work- and their husband/father/owner “allows” them to for money,

  11. I agree the women are more open to different fields of work, including domestic work. The families of the women will not allow it though. My goodness! Whatever would the neighbors think?????

  12. “As the Arab “Fall” approaches I have no doubt that the eyes of the world will be upon Saudi Arabia who has emerged as the true leader of balance and change in the Middle East region.”

    Forgive me, but I just watched an Al Jazeera story on Bahrain yesterday and I saw Saudi troops trucked into that country to stop people from demanding freedom. I can’t get past that when I read things like this about KSA being a “true leader of balance and change in the Middle East region.” My Syrian friends have never given me the impression that they look to KSA for *any* leadership role.

  13. Sandy, I was commenting on what will happen when women are majorly in the workforce. As I said, it was a tongue in cheek comment.

  14. – As the Arab “Fall” approaches I have no doubt that the eyes of the world will be upon Saudi Arabia who has emerged as the true leader of balance and change in the Middle East region. Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Abdullah, is making changes which satisfy and meet the need of its citizens as well as become the key player which eyes look upon for decisions and actions impacting Middle East policies and changes-

    Pardon me, but I can just simply roll my eyeballs on this. I have worked with Saudis and I know how they are. As for Saudization? I would wish them the best of luck but I don’t think it’ll materialize not unless there is a change of attitude with regards to manpower and working. Each and every day being with these guys , I witness how they avoid the dirtiest fundamental job but wants credit for it. They simply lack the sense of responsibility . I don’t mean the others who can actually perform but I am referring to the vast majority.

    Some of the comments imply that Saudi women are willing to perform domestic job, well and good! But let’s look at the greater picture , let’s say imagine a hospital run by purely Saudi Nationals? ….. uummmmm , I don’t think so,.. not sooner I hope. They still need a lot of Kabsa eating to do to be able to achieve Saudization

  15. I do believe that Saudi is rising as a political and economic leader in the Arab world. It is now among the top 20 fastest growing economies and place for opportunity and investment. The effort to implement Saudiazation has been expedited. There will naturally be growing pains but the fact that programs are in place with regulations and emphasis to hire Saudi nationals is good.

    Many may not like or agree with all of King Abdullah’s methods but he has been most successful in keeping the majority satisfy while neighboring countries are still struggling through transitions.

    I am optimistic of the new generation of Saudis who are recognizing the need to have skills and willing to try new opportunities. I think we are going to see a rise in the number of Saudi entrepreneurs.

  16. a few of them are promising amongst youth. I talked with some of them. They have the knowledge, the power and the ability. But most of them are not willing to work hard can’t even pour a cup of tea! They need a Tea-Boy for that.

  17. What sickens me is that most of responses here come from people who have no incling as to what they are saying.You comment on the issue of Saudization as if you are experts.Leave the issue to Saudis.You want to help resolve the problem ,do your part get out of Saudi Arabia.You want to do a good deed go to some of the poorest African counties and help them out.To All expats i say you have over stayed your welcome .Your country needs you , that is if you can find a job there.So who is lazy now and does not want to face reality.You are here because you cannot find a job in your country or you wont accept twages offered in your country.Lets stop the b.s. at least Saudis will not leave their country.

  18. @Salah – ‘Lets stop the b.s. at least Saudis will not leave their country’

    No? Do you say that because you would label those that HAVE left, because there are plenty, as ‘not real Saudis anyway’?

    It’s great that you have so much pride but perhaps you should save a bit of your disdain for your own countrymen that are forced to leave in order to get decent medical care or a decent education. Save your strength to fight to educate your people (ALL of them) so that you are not forced to rely on expats to make your country run.

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