JEDDAH: Expats who violate the Saudi residence law are competing against businessmen and agents of brand goods in the Saudi market by providing outlets with various cheap products.
These products are made in old districts in houses well-equipped to produce goods in high demand in the local market such as women's garments, accessories, artificial gold jewellery, furniture, food and pastry and other products.
To promote their goods, they depend on two main factors: higher demand of these products in light of global market fluctuations and the high cost of production in the country of origin. They counterfeit brands and sell them at low price, according to Jeddah police.
Between 200 and 500 expatriates are caught weekly in raids in the Kingdom's main cities. About 30 percent of these raids reveal highly equipped factories in houses in old districts.
Lt. Nawaf Alboug, a spokesman for the Jeddah police, said three raids are carried out each week. Many expats who violate the Saudi residency laws as well as wanted people are caught in these raids.
Alboug said there is coordination between government agencies that accompany the police force in planned raids. These agencies identify the type of contravention. He citizens and residents generally alert the security agencies by notifying any violation or suspicious activities. He also said that building owners should observe activities on their properties which should be rented to legal residents only.
Expat remittances from Saudi Arabia was about $194 billion between 2000 and 2010, an increased by of 182 percent. Money transfers from the Kingdom was 45.9 percent of the total remittances from the Gulf.
Shop owner Khalid Saloum said that demand on expat products greatly affects retailers who deal with patent trademarks. High remittances from expats combined with the European economic slowdown, GCC and Arab countries are vulnerable to recession.
Saloum added: “Because of lack of effective control, especially in big shopping centers, prices of the same products differ from one outlet to the other.”
He called for reducing foreign labor recruitment and deporting illegal ones.