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All aboard the gravy train


March 25, 2008 1:24 by

UAE, Qatar, metro, SercoQatar has given private and public sector firms a year to comply with a government order to nationalise 20 percent of their workforce. The Qatar government doesn’t mind if the 20 per cent aren’t working, cares not one bit if they’re unproductive, just so long as they’re on the pay roll.

The news comes as Saudi tourism chiefs ask for a slackening of the 32 per cent quota demanded of their sector. Just 15 per cent of the 430,000 employees working in Saudi tourism are locals and, with the total expected to rise to 1.5 million by 2020, mostly in blue collar positions - wait staff and cleaners - there is fat chance of finding half a million Saudis to do the work.

In the UAE, Dubai’s new metro operator, Serco, is promising 80 per cent of workers will be nationals by 2018. Good luck to them. I don’t see a queue of locals beating down the door demanding to be ticket collectors and station cleaners. From Serco’s point of view, I suppose you’d promise the Earth if you were up for a $795m contract.


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