New poll reveals expatatriates blamed for job shortages in Saudi Arabia

09 April 2008
Saudi Arabia’s plan to develop a knowledge-based economy appears vindicated following the results of a survey published by YouGovSiraj, which reveals the majority of Saudis believe the presence of expatriate workers harms their chances of securing employment in the kingdom.

According to the study, 86 per cent believe Saudi youth have difficulty in finding work, while 66 per cent of Saudis strongly believe this difficulty is due to the prevalence of expatriates and foreign workers in the country.

A further 47 per cent believe that the number of graduates outnumbers the number of jobs available. While 23 per cent believe, however, that Saudis exacerbate the situation by being too selective over possible job opportunities.

Knowledge Economic City (KEC), located 5 kilometres east of Medina is an $8bn project that aims to create 20,000 jobs focusing on IT and communications. Other economic cities include the 168 square-kilometre King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which is estimated to create 1 million jobs and Prince Abdulaziz bin Mosaed Economic City in Hail.

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