Expat population ‘could threaten’ GCC security

Expat population ‘could threaten’ GCC security
Updated 07 October 2012

Expat population ‘could threaten’ GCC security

Expat population ‘could threaten’ GCC security

JEDDAH: More than 12.5 million workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are foreigners, accounting for 31 percent of the 40 million GCC population, the latest official study said.
Three million foreigners are domestic workers in the six GCC member states.
The expatriate labor is not distributed in uniformly in these countries.
While 30 percent of the Saudi Arabian population is expatriate, in Bahrain it is 26 percent. Expatriates account for 80 percent of the population in the United Arab Emirates, while they constitute 27 percent in Qatar, 63 percent in Kuwait and 62 percent in Oman.
However, some other studies claim that the actual number of expatriate workers in the GCC is about 15 million, Al-Hayat daily reported yesterday.
The expatriate work force in the Gulf can be divided into Arabs and Asians. They flock from their poor native countries to the wealthy Gulf in search of employment and better living conditions. The large-scale recruitment of expatriate work force was justified by the need for executing huge development projects in the fast-growing GCC countries. Another factor was the willingness of expatriate workers to undertake hazardous jobs with lower wages that Gulf citizens refuse to do.
They started coming to the Gulf countries mostly in the 1970s, when oil companies largely depended on workers from the subcontinent. The trading, transport, fishing and security sectors also depended heavily on the expatriates. As the economies in the Gulf countries continued their growth in later decades, multinational companies that undertook extensive development of the infrastructural sector recruited labor from the cheapest sources in Asian countries.
It is also worrying that the level of Arab expatriates has been falling compared to Asians in the GCC. According to a report of the Arab Labor Organization, the number of Arab expatriate workers in the GCC plummeted from 72 percent in 1975 to 23 percent in 2008.
For instance, the report found that Egyptians and other Arab workers accounted for only 11 percent, while Indian workers dominated the work force by 52 percent followed by 10 percent Pakistanis. There are also three percent consultants and experts from Western countries.
One of the problems created by the huge presence of expatriates is the threat they pose to a country’s security. The sheer number will also take its toll on the planned utilities in these countries.
Abdullah Al-Gheilani, an Omani expert on demography, said the imbalance in the population was a security issue rather than an economic one. “The recruitment of expatriate labor and experts for developmental works is not the problem, but the real problem is to depend on the foreign work force for decades. Gulf countries excepting Saudi Arabia and Oman are unable to manage even their internal (security) matters by their national work force,” Al-Gheilani said.
He also warned against the erosion of social values and increase in crime rates because of the imbalanced presence of foreigners in a society.
The expert observed that the expatriates in GCC countries refused to integrate with the local culture, unlike the migrant communities in the United States had been doing.
He called on the Gulf countries to grapple with the unhealthy demographic situation seriously and jointly.
One of the solutions recommended by Al-Gheilani to solve the issue is to enable Arab expatriates to integrate into the GCC society, “because Arabs are less dangerous for the GCC society than any other nationality of expatriate workers.”


Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020

Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020
Updated 56 min 7 sec ago

Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020

Early losses see 3 Algerian wrestlers depart Tokyo 2020
  • Abdelhak Kherbache, Fateh Benferdjallah failed to progress from round of 16 in freestyle categories

RIYADH: Three Algerian athletes ended their participation in the Tokyo 2020 wrestling men’s competition after suffering round of 16 and repechage losses at Makuhari Messe Hall on Wednesday.

The first of the medal hopefuls to depart the Olympics was 26-year-old Abdelhak Kherbache, who lost 11-0 to Georgi Vangelov of Bulgaria in the 57-kilogram freestyle category.

Shortly afterwards, Fateh Benferdjallah followed his compatriot after losing to Swiss wrestler Stefan Reichmuth in the 86-kg freestyle. The 20-year-old Algerian put on a brave performance but was ultimately defeated 6-2.

Finally, Sid Azara scored a solitary point in a 5-1 loss to Serbian wrestler Zurabi Datunashvili in their men’s Greco-Roman 87-kg repechage contest having lost his quarterfinal to Zhan Beleniuk of Ukraine the previous day.


Dubai airport expects passenger surge as UAE eases travel curbs

Dubai airport expects passenger surge as UAE eases travel curbs
Updated 58 min 15 sec ago

Dubai airport expects passenger surge as UAE eases travel curbs

Dubai airport expects passenger surge as UAE eases travel curbs
  • UAE said it would scrap on Aug. 5 a transit flight ban

DUBAI: Dubai’s state airport operator expects a “surge” in passenger traffic over the coming weeks and months, its chief executive said on Wednesday, after the United Arab Emirates announced an easing of travel restrictions from African and Asian countries.
The Gulf state, a major international travel hub, on Tuesday said it would scrap on Aug. 5 a transit flight ban which Emirates airline later said applied to passengers traveling from 12 countries, including major market India.
The UAE will also lift this week an entry ban on those who had visited India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria or Uganda over the past 14 days for those with valid residencies and who are certified by Emirati authorities as fully vaccinated.
Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths said Dubai International was “ready to accommodate the anticipated surge in the coming weeks and months” once restrictions ease.
The Indian subcontinent is traditionally the largest source market for Dubai International, which is one of the world’s busiest airports and the hub for state airline Emirates.
Griffiths said the easing of entry restrictions on inbound travelers from South Asia as well as Nigeria and Uganda would allow for thousands of UAE residents to return.
“It’s a great development from both a social and economic standpoint,” he said.
Those traveling to the UAE or transiting through its airports need to meet various conditions including presenting a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coronavirus test prior to departure.
Dubai International Airport is targeting 8 percent growth in passenger traffic this year to 28 million. It handled 86.4 million in 2019, the year before the pandemic struck.


Germany detains man for grenade attack on civilians in Syria

Germany detains man for grenade attack on civilians in Syria
Updated 04 August 2021

Germany detains man for grenade attack on civilians in Syria

Germany detains man for grenade attack on civilians in Syria
  • At least seven people were killed in the attack and three were injured

BERLIN: German police have detained a Syrian man accused of war crimes for firing a rocket-propelled grenade into a group of civilians in Damascus in 2014, officials said Wednesday.

The suspect, identified only as Mouafak Al D. in line with German privacy laws, was detained in Berlin on Wednesday.

German federal prosecutors said he is suspected of firing an RPG at a group of people lining up for food aid in the Yarmouk district of Damascus, home to a large population of Palestinian refugees.

At least seven people were killed in the attack and three were injured, including a 6-year-old child.

The suspect is alleged to have been a member of the Free Palestine Movement, and previously of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Palestine General Command. Between July 2013 and April 2015 the groups exerted control of the Yarmouk refugee camp on behalf of the Syrian government.

Prosecutors said that in addition to war crimes, the suspect faces being charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of serious bodily harm.

A federal judge is expected to determine Wednesday whether the man shall remain under arrest for the duration of the pre-trial investigation.


Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali

Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali
Updated 53 min 31 sec ago

Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali

Tokyo 2020 gold result of new Moroccan generation’s long-term planning: Soufiane El-Bakkali
  • 25-year-old overcame formidable challenges of Ethiopian, Kenyan runners to win 3,000m steeplechase

TOKYO: Moroccan gold medalist Soufiane El-Bakkali has revealed how his 3,000-meter steeplechase triumph at Tokyo 2020 was the result of years of intensive training with the Moroccan national team.

The 25-year-old runner, who just missed out on a medal at Rio 2016 after finishing fourth in the event, stormed to victory in Tokyo with a time of 8:08:90, ahead of Lamecha Grima of Ethiopia in second and Benjamin Kigen in third.

“It’s an historic achievement for me,” El-Bakkali told Arab News Japan outside Tokyo’s Olympic Village on Tuesday.

“The Tokyo Olympics is like no other tournament, especially that it was delayed for a year. Thankfully I came with a plan and was able to reach a high standard which allowed me to win the gold medal.”

El-Bakkali belongs to a school of young Moroccan athletes nurtured by the track and field Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation, and he paid tribute to its programs and the conditions that have helped him to become a champion.

He said: “Spending three years on the national team helped me so much. In Morocco, we have all the facilities available, and the climate is favorable and unique in the cities Rabat and Fez that wanted to put the country on the map of top runners in the world. It focused on the new generation of 21 to 25-year-olds.”

El-Bakkali pointed out that his victory was the culmination of many years of preparation and training, and from competing with the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who had dominated the races for years. Tokyo proved the perfect moment for him to take the lead.

“In the previous races, I managed to save my energy for the final, where I started the race fast from the start.”

He also highlighted the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the Games. “The crisis overshadowed the Olympics indeed, and this was difficult for the athletes in particular. But I took precautions before I came to Japan. I followed the same approach that I had adhered to before to protect myself and others from the virus.

“In Japan, I found strong precautions in place already, and I remained protected from the pandemic until the time of the competition,” he added.


Taliban claim Kabul attack targeting defence minister: insurgent spokesman

Taliban claim Kabul attack targeting defence minister: insurgent spokesman
Updated 04 August 2021

Taliban claim Kabul attack targeting defence minister: insurgent spokesman

Taliban claim Kabul attack targeting defence minister: insurgent spokesman

KABUL: Taliban claim Kabul attack targeting defence minister: insurgent spokesman