Whenever we talk about Saudization or whenever everyone suddenly remembers that there are over 500,000 unemployed Saudis, various techniques to PUNISH expatriates are proposed. They are blamed, looked down on and threatened. Every effort is made to make the 9 million some expatriates feel uncomfortable. As if they are not already.
The latest is the evaluation of companies based on number of Saudis they higher. The implementation of this maybe close to impossible, but the thought is nice. For once, the employer will be scrutinized. But, every employer? Not likely. And, not possible. At least 10 Saudis have told me this so far. And I totally agree. Why every employer cannot be scrutinized is something you can guess. Depends on WHO and WHERE entirely. The Giants will never be scrutinized. That leaves little setups and FOREIGN setups. OOOOOPS!.. there goes foreign investment. Run to Dubai, many will say.
Then this report the other day: Any expatriate that HARASSES a SAUDI at the workplace, will be deported ( Have you ever seen anyone Harass a Saudi? ). Fine. Deport them. Deport them all. Deport the illegals. Deport the criminals. Deport thousands. Fine. Put any charge, and deport. But, will a Saudi do ANY JOB?Does culture permit it? No. A Saudi will not do EVERY or ANY job. It is against culture and tribal values. Until very recently, a man that did not work for the government and worked for the private sector had little respect in his home. That is how it works here. Either you own a huge business, work for the government OR a HUGE setup in a NICE job, OR you are still a loser. That is a Saudis life. There are family pressures, tribal pressures, social pressures and pressures of marriage. Lots of pressures. And everyone is not a saint. Some people do the wrong thing instead of the right thing to get something. This happens.
So, if foreign companies find difficulty and if investors are restricted with too many conditions, then are there enough local projects to cater to the unemployed? Surely, all Saudis cannot join the government. Why does an expatriate working in a company have to go on exit ONLY if they want to suddenly INVEST and launch their own company here? This stops many people from even thinking of investing here.
I wish someone would look at my solution to unemployment here. I truly wish someone would just think about it for a MINUTE. The solution is TOOO simple. Here it is:
Allow ANY expatriate to invest and register their company here, be free to come and go on ONE GIANT CONDITION. The condition would be, hire at least this many Saudis depending on the size of your project. And, put no limitations on the size of the company. Even if it is a setup that has TWO people, let ONE be a Saudi. This being the criteria, allow investors to come in. Along with this, you can give them a set of rules so that “culture” is not tampered with. And of course, rules to protect them too ( But KSA is good at protecting the rights of business owners for sure) .It is really that easy.
And , if you want to make it PERFECT, abolish the sponsorship system and remove the exit – reentry pain. Instead, simply put a yearly fee against visa and USE this money to TRAIN Saudi youth properly.
These TWO simple and logical actions will fix it all. Mark my words.
So, why doesn’t anyone think of this? Why is this not doable? What problems do you see with this? I would love to get some real feedback on this.
You see, to blame the expatriate is to say : I do not have a solution so I will just curse the hell out of this person I invited, gave a visa to, take money from and I will do this continuously until this problem is resolved. <—- WHat to do you call this? I call it .. mmm.. no, you tell me.. what do you call this?
Of course we want saudization.. but LOGICALLY!