9 more sectors included in Saudization program

In this March 21, 2009 file photo, Saudis look at jewelry at a gold fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In this March 21, 2009 file photo, Saudis look at jewelry at a gold fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Labor has included nine new domains under the Nitaqat nationalization scheme, bringing the total number of sectors that are subject to Saudization to 58.

Domains that have been subsumed under the program include disability centers, strategic partnership institutes, health colleges, female services, children’s hospitality centers, female cosmetic centers, female sewing centers, the construction sector involved in projects at the Two Holy Mosques, gas stations and the pilgrims’ transportation sector.

Several newly included categories, such as photography shops and women’s sports centers, are highly dependent on a female workforce.

“While the ministry knows that the labor market needs time to accommodate new amendments, the ministry is, nevertheless, acutely aware that the private sector can hire more Saudis,” said Ahmed Al-Humaidan, undersecretary for labor policies at the Ministry of Labor.

“This is why it is imperative that we assess the nature of business activity before imposing nationalization rules.”

“The Labor Ministry has continuously developed the Nitaqat scheme since 2011,” he said. “The ministry is in constant contact with businessmen and women, as well as local commerce and industry chambers, for feedback on Labor Ministry proposals.”

He added: “The ministry takes advantage of studies and research carried out by specialized research centers, while striving to reflect the reality and potential of the labor market.”

Construction and transportation at the holy sites have been treated as separate categories to the general construction and transportation sectors owing the extensive specificities of these areas.


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