Kuwait top job destination for Gulf nationals

Updated 23 December 2012
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Kuwait top job destination for Gulf nationals

Almost 20 years ago, the GCC approved a resolution that basically gave the citizens of one GCC country working in another the same employment-related rights as the citizens of that country. It was the beginning of a campaign to facilitate the movement of labor at all levels across GCC member borders.
Statistics released Thursday by the Secretariat of the GCC show that the agreements have led to an increase in employment opportunities across national borders.
The number of GCC citizens working outside their own country doubled from about 12,000 in 2002 to some 24,000 in 2011. Kuwait ranked first in attracting citizens of other Gulf countries to work in its government and private sectors. In 2011, Kuwait hosted 19,536 workers from other GCC countries, an increase of 77 percent over 2002.
Assistant Secretary of Human and Environmental Affairs, Abdullah Al-Hashemi, told Al-Hayat newspaper that the number will double again once Gulf citizens begin to undertake technical work.
Saudi Arabia ranked second in attracting other GCC nationals in 2011. The number of GCC workers in the Kingdom reached 1,438, an increase of 102 percent over 2002. Qatar and Oman ranked fifth and sixth respectively as the number of workers reached 596 and 32, respectively.
According to Al-Hashemi, working environments in the Gulf states are similar as are the demands of the industries of each country. Efforts are being made to formulate common employment standards for employing those of specific educational backgrounds.
Statistics also show an increase in the number of GCC nationals working in the public sector of other member states. The number grew from 10,000 in 2000 to 17,000 in 2011, an increase of 70 percent.
Kuwait, again, ranked first in attracting citizens of other member states to work in its government. The UAE ranked second while Qatar ranked third. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman followed.
The number of GCC nationals covered by retirement plans of other countries in 2011 reached 9,140 people. The UAE led the way with 4,012 citizens of GCC countries receiving retirement benefits while Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain Oman and Saudi Arabia followed, in that order.
According to the report, the total number of GCC nationals covered by the social security systems in other member states in 2011 was 6,069 compared to 1,430 in 2004, an increase of about 324 percent.

 


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.