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Expat Exodus…I don’t think so…

Expat Exodus…I don’t think so…

The latest deadline on the Saudi expat issue has Kipp rather cynical...

June 1, 2011 3:44 by



September 7 is the big day. Private companies in Saudi Arabia must make the deadline of hiring the right percentage of Saudi staff…or else. *cue ominous sound effect *

If Kipp is not mistaken, one of two things will happen here; either they make up positions for Saudi nationals to fill or they lay off expatriates and replace them with a Saudi national with the similar qualifications and experience. Which do you think is more likely?

Of course, there’s also the six-year work visa limit in Saudi that, according to Emirates 24/7, has put expatriates across the GCC in a tailspin.

Kipp cannot discount a similar regulation may be tested in the Emirates or any other GCC member-state, after all remember years ago there were talks that Bahrain would pass a regulation limiting the number of years expats can stay in the country?

Veterans in the UAE will also remember that 1996, the country expelled 300,000 expatriates. This, however, resulted in “labor shortages, high inflation, and reduced economic growth.” By 1997, most of the jobs were filled in by either the same expats that were expelled or by new foreigners.

So we do think it would be highly unlikely that it would be sweeping, considering all the empty villas and flats that need to be filled…among other factors of course. And then there’s this article in EB24/7 saying that expatriates in hydrocarbon production should feel doubly reassured that they’d keep their jobs as this sector ] will “remain heavily reliant on expatriate labour… [due to the shortage of skilled manpower in their native population”

Really? Hydrocarbon production?  That’s great news. Kipp supposes this means one of these months when we hail a cab, order my lunch or walk into a shop, we’ll be seeing welcoming Emirati faces ready to serve the public.

Of course Kipp has seen a few admirable Emiratis braving the service sector in non-governmental companies, working as cashiers and salespeople, but too few and far between. Kipp does relish that trip to Bahrain when the cab driver turned out to be a true blue Bahraini, so it would be good to see the same in our home base, Dubai.

The same article continued to say that most of the people they polled thought “Indians and Filipinos could be the main victim.”

Is Kipp losing the plot here? What does the difference in nationality have anything to do with a ‘six-year limit’? Does time run more slowly for other nationalities than it does with Indians and Filipinos? Kipp will leave you to insert your own politically incorrect and borderline snide comment here…we must admit ours can’t exactly be published in these borders.

Kipp, and indeed a lot of us who’ve been in the region for more than two seconds, would have a lot of ideas on how to improve integration of nationals into the private work force…we suppose though that if you’re a hydrocarbon production employee who’s neither Indian nor Filipino, then you’ve got it made.



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