Citizens, expatriates to be allowed free movement across GCC

Updated 07 August 2014

Citizens, expatriates to be allowed free movement across GCC

GCC labor ministers are expected to finalize a draft study by November aimed at easing work and travel of both citizens and residents across member states, local media said.
The move, however, is poised to heighten fears among GCC officials, who say free movement may have an adverse impact on job nationalization in GCC private sector companies, a local daily reported.
These officials have maintained that a decision to allow expats to move around freely between GCC states is risky if not governed by certain regulations, the paper said.
“This move may not be appropriate since priority should be given to GCC citizens in order to ensure the success of nationalization schemes,” said Abdulrahim Naqi, secretary of the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC).
The labor ministers are currently exploring a series of moves to enhance job opportunities among GCC citizens and ease restrictions for expats, Kuwaiti Social Affairs Minster Hind Al-Sabeeh told a local daily.
The Kuwaiti minister, however, declined to divulge further information on the issue.
Fawzi Al-Majdali, Kuwait’s secretary-general of the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP), concurred with Naqi, saying such a move would create fierce competition for jobs, hindering nationalization initiatives.
“Nationalization rates are on the increase thanks to effective schemes,” he said. “Around 4,000 to 5,000 of our citizens have already taken on jobs previously done by expats.”
“Loopholes in private sector companies still exist, an issue which can be resolved through government support and allowances,” he said. “Kuwait offers huge incentive to the nationalization programs even though the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar are more inclined to recruit GCC citizens.”
GCC officials explored a series of measures and plans in June aimed at enhancing job opportunities in the private sector and coming up with initiatives that will increase free movement, the paper said.


First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

Updated 18 August 2019

First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

  • Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries

Saudi Minister of Transport and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Dr. Nabeel Al-Amoudi, oversaw the departure of the first 

group of pilgrims under the Eyab initiative on Saturday together with GACA President Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.

Eyab seeks to improve services provided to pilgrims, with the authority aiming to enrich pilgrims’ experience at the Kingdom’s airports. It is expected to benefit 30,000 pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.

Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries, inspected the services available and received a briefing from the initiative’s officials.

GACA started an experimental implementation of Eyab this year, aimed at pilgrims returning to Indonesia, India and Malaysia through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport.