Saudi Arabia: Is it Still a Safe Haven for Expats?
Mohamad Al Darwish, Legal Affairs Director - Middle East, United Technologies Corporation (Carrier), UAE
Saudi Arabia’s discovery of oil in the 1930’s initiated its need for foreign workers to help exploit its oil reserves, which reached its peak with the oil-price boom after the 1973 oil crisis, in addition to the various infrastructure and development projects that the Kingdom desperately needed.
As a result, and despite its conservative society and traditions and the harsh weather, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became the ultimate destination for job seekers from all over the world.
“According to official figures in 2012, foreign workers filled 66 per cent of jobs in Saudi Arabia, despite an official unemployment rate of 12 per cent amongst Saudis; and expatriates sent, on average, US$18 billion each year, in remittances to their home countries. ”
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