Jobs Off-Limits to Foreigners as Saudization Takes Effect in September 2018

As Saudization is fully implemented in September 2018, there are jobs that have been declared as off-limits to foreigners and are only allowed for Saudi nationals. Fines are quite hefty and those found violating the law can be immediately deported to their home countries.

In the past years, the policy has slowly been implemented across the country and has greatly affected workers who are forced to go home because their contracts were no longer renewed. According to reports, there are currently nearly 10 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, assigned in various sectors.

Many of these workers are in construction jobs, something that most Saudis shun. Thus, jobs in this sector are still considered something that is solely for foreigners but in its aim to curb unemployment, Saudi Arabia is giving the ‘easier’ jobs to Saudi nationals especially considering that 47% of unemployed Saudis have only been educated up to high school level or even less.

For this reason, the retail industry was picked as the major focus for the Saudization, with jobs no longer available for foreigners in the following sectors that have been declared as Saudi-only:

  • Auto parts
  • Building materials
  • Carpets
  • Cars and motorcycles
  • Children’s clothing and men’s accessories
  • Confectioneries
  • Electrical and electronic appliances
  • Eye-wear
  • Home and office furniture
  • Home kitchenware
  • Medical equipment and devices
  • Watches

In line with this, jobs in shopping malls have been nationalized.

Because retail jobs in many of these sectors are held by women, foreigners at this time; thus, the move is expected to increase the presence of Saudi women in the workforce.

Aside from retail jobs, the following are also designated as Saudi-only:

  • Cashier
  • Chief administrator of human resources at government and private sector companies
  • Director of labor affairs
  • Director of personnel relations
  • Employment clerk
  • Head of personnel department
  • Receptionist (general)
  • Receptionist (hospitals)
  • Receptionist (hotel)
  • Time-keeper
  • Typist

Sources: StepFeed, Albawaba, AME Info