Expats manage most of Saudi women’s businesses



JEDDAH: DIANA AL-JASSEM

Published — Friday 9 August 2013

Last update 12 August 2013 10:47 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The Ministry of Commerce has disclosed that expats have benefited most from partnerships in commercial ventures, particularly those for which licenses were held by Saudi women.
In a recent report, the ministry said 60 percent of such business partnerships with expats in the Kingdom were owned by Saudi women and that these cases surfaced following the announcement of the amnesty. In addition, many of these business ventures were being managed by illegal expats.
Saudi Arabia allows women to acquire commercial licenses and carry out business activity, but some businesswomen opt for expats to manage the show because of the restricted number of fields in which they can operate.
According to the report, some women depend on their husbands or relatives to manage their businesses, but most preferred expats to run the business.
Arab News spoke to a cross-section of Saudi women who owned businesses in Jeddah and Riyadh, and most of them blamed the trading system in the Kingdom for their dependance on expats.
Nuha Al-Shammari, who owns an abaya gallery in Riyadh, said her business was 10-years-old but she had taken over the management of the shop only recently.
“We have seen the limited opportunities available for Saudi businesswomen, which is evident from the fact that fewer number of Saudi women are seeking employment. Recently, we were honored when the king allowed Saudi women to work in retail sector, which is why I replaced the illegal expat workers who were managing my gallery,” she said.
Revealing her plans to expand her business, she said: “The increased opportunities available now for women, coupled with the amnesty period, is encouraging and we are looking to open new galleries in Jeddah and Dammam, which will be managed by Saudi women,” Al-Shammari said.
Another Saudi woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told Arab News that she has a business under her name but that it is managed by her husband.
“My husband works in the government sector and he is not allowed to get into business. Hence, he asked me to open a business and register it under my name. The business, which involves trading in raw material, is mostly managed by my husband. He put in the capital for the business and my role in confined to registering the establishment in my name.”
Manna Khalid, a Saudi owner of a restaurant and café in Jeddah, said she found expats to be the perfect people to manage the business that she owns.
“I started my business 17 years ago, when women were not allowed to work in restaurants. I turned to one of my close relatives to run the show, but he was dishonest and pilfered money. I shut down the business for six months, and reopened it later after I got new visas for workers from the Philippines,” she said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani has launched a series of electronic projects and facilities provided to the private sector companies, the SPA reported on Sunday.The projects and facilities include electronic visa issuance for the distinguis...
RIYADH: A high-powered team of officials from the Ministry of Health visited the hospitals in Jazan in the southern border to ensure services are in place to serve the patients in the region.The group of officials, comprising Dr. Nahar Al-Azmi, Dr. T...
YANBU: Like many Saudi women, Amani dreamt of becoming a mother, but was unable to have children of her own after many years of marriage. Therefore, she decided to spend her time taking care of orphans with special circumstances in Makkah.However, th...
RIYADH: A total of 43 warehouses were shut down in Jeddah for failing to take safety and health measures.Officials of the general department of Civil Defense in Jeddah carried out inspection at 165 industrial complexes in the industrial zone recently...
JEDDAH: A quarrel between two girls at the Al-Zahour Orphanage in Makkah took a violent turn recently, with one of them reportedly using a sharp instrument to attack the other and injuring her.The attacker was sent to a correction center, while the i...
RIYADH: A woman and three men died on Sunday after contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Riyadh, bringing the total number of deaths to 507 since June, 2012.According to the latest report issued by the Ministry of...

Stay Connected

Facebook