Saudi Arabia’s new expat fees: What will it cost?

Updated 27 December 2016
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Saudi Arabia’s new expat fees: What will it cost?

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia plans to introduce an “expat levy” from 2017, it was confirmed during Thursday’s budget announcement, with charges of up to SR800 per worker to be phased in by 2020.
Companies currently pay a levy of SR200 per month per expat employee, but only for expat employees that exceed the number of Saudi employees. 
But that will be gradually increased from next year, the government’s “Fiscal Balance Program – Balanced Budget 2020” document shows. 
From next year, the levy on expat workers will be gradually revised upwards, providing an additional impetus for employers to hire more Saudis. 
For companies in which expats do not exceed the number of Saudi or GCC employees, the fee will no longer be waived, but will be charged at a discounted rate. 
A fee on dependents of expatriate workers will also be levied. It will commence in July of 2017, in order to minimize impact on families with children enrolled in school. 
Currently, neither Saudi nationals nor foreign laborers pay income taxes, and this policy will remain in place, the government says.

Here is what the new expat levy will cost:

In 2017

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR100, from July onwards

In 2018

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR200, from July onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees is equal to or lower than the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR300 will apply from January onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees exceeds the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR400 will apply from January onwards

In 2019

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR300, from July onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees is equal to or lower than the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR500 will apply from January onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees exceeds the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR600 will apply from January onwards

In 2020

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR400, from July onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees is equal to or lower than the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR700 will apply from January onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees exceeds the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR800 will apply from January onwards

No income tax

• Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan told reporters in Riyadh on Thursday that these fees do not apply to domestic helpers, such as drivers and cleaners, but only to expats working in commercial entities.

• “There are two kinds of fees, the first is according to the number of family members an expat has in return for utilities used… this minimal amount will increase gradually every year,” the minister said in response to a question from Arab News.

• “The second is already imposed on companies which employ expat workers; this will increase gradually as well until 2020.”

• The finance minister ruled out income taxes on Saudi nationals, foreigners or company revenues.


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 37 min 8 sec ago
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.