Two Gulf Arab nations ban expats from specific areas of work in bid to push national workforces

Gulf governments continue in their push to increase the number of citizens in employment. (Shutterstock)
Updated 30 January 2018
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Two Gulf Arab nations ban expats from specific areas of work in bid to push national workforces

DUBAI: The Saudi Arabian minister of labor has issued a directive identifying 12 types of retail store that only citizens will be allowed to work in as part of the ongoing Saudization project, state news agency SPA reported.
Minister of Labor and Social Development, Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafees issued the directive on Sunday, which will take effect from September 2018, as the government continues in its push to increase the number of citizens in employment.
Ministry spokesman Khalid Aba Al-Khail said the jobs scheduled to be restricted to Saudis included outlets specializing in watch sales, opticians and medical equipment, building materials and home furnishings, car and motorcycle sales and parts, as well as cloth shops.
Al-Khail added that the ministerial decision also reaffirmed the commitment to ensure the employment of women in shops where it was deemed appropriate.
The move comes as Oman made a similar announcement this week temporarily banning the issue of residency visas for expats working in 87 job roles, in 10 different areas of employment, including IT, insurance, accounts and finance, sales and marketing, as well as information and media.
The decision in Oman is part of the country’s ongoing Omanization project aimed at tackling unemployment among its citizens by presenting employment opportunities exclusively for locals.


Lockheed unveils new F-21 fighter jet configured for India

Updated 30 min 13 sec ago
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Lockheed unveils new F-21 fighter jet configured for India

  • The firm said the new plane is tailored to India’s needs
  • A number of airplane manufacturers are competing to win India’s upcoming military purchase

NEW DELHI: Lockheed Martin offered India a new combat jet, F-21, on Wednesday to be made locally, in a bid to win a large military order worth over $15 billion.
The US defense firm had earlier offered its F-16 fighter used by countries around the world for the Indian air force’s ongoing competition for 114 planes to be made in India.
But Lockheed, unveiling the plan at an airshow in the southern city of Bengaluru, said it was offering India a new plane configured for its needs.
“The F-21 is different, inside and out,” Vivek Lall, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said in a statement.
The company will build the plane in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems, the firm said.
Lockheed is competing with Boeing’s F/A-18, Saab’s Gripen, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon and a Russian aircraft for the air force order.