Saudization meets reality

Posted: June 17, 2016 in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi ruling shoura council has embarked on the process known as ‘saudization’ over recent years which has now been brought further into public focus with the much hyped 2030 National Strategic Development and Diversification Plan. Basically this is Saudi Arabia seeking to develop an economy not wholly dependant on oil and foreign workers – which in of itself is a fanciful dream by many

That’s the plan but here’s the reality…


Suppliers of goods and services, in this case mobile phones and accessories, refuse to supply and deal with Saudi Nationals. Some are quoted as saying they fear  limited legal recourse for non/late payment, low productivity and poor attendance/work ethic. Many Saudi’s only wanting to ‘work’ 5-8 hours 5 days a week – whereas ex pats often work 12 hours – 6 days a week to maintain productivity, profits and targets

In response the government are considering punitive measures such as increased rents and taxes for violators

So where does that leave the proposed initiative to replace thousands of foreign workers with young Saudi’s? The target of 50% saudization for the telecommunications sector seems way off – currently it is estimated that around 10% of employees are Saudi


As an employer choosing to employ a Saudi will often face a reduction in meeting targets, work efficiency and productive hours… Basically they can expect to become less profitable. This simple fact – verifiable by speaking to anyone – is the reason saudization will never work and possibly bankrupt the entire economy if ‘forced’ by the ruling elite.

Consider labour intensive sectors of the economy e.g. construction and a saudization goal of 50%. For example a building company may employee 50 builders and labourers and a couple of Saudi managers and architects. To hit the prescribed criteria they would have to either employ 48 more Saudi managers to balance labourers or sack 48 Bangladeshi/Indian or flippino workers. Either way the construction will very quickly go backrupt. The government constantly espouse the willingness of young men in this country to work – in the case of hard physical labour this is utter balderdash. It is obvious to any idiot that exceptions are going to have to be forthcoming to avoid the proverbial wheels falling off this bus!

Watch this space..

  1. Sandy says:

    This world is getting worse. Praying for you daily.

    God Bless you,

    Benny & Sandy

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