No room for expats in Saudi malls as Ministry bats for nationals only

Jeddah: Labour and Social Development  Ministry  of Saudi Arabia, this Wednesday announced jobs in malls will only be limited to Saudi Nationals for both men and women, as reported in Arabnews .

“Minister of Labour and Social Development Ali Al-Ghofais issued an order limiting work in closed shopping centers in Saudi Arabia to Saudi men and women,” Khalid Abalkhail, spokesperson at the ministry tweeted.

The Ministry said the new permit to employ women as sales assistants should be limited to women’s clothing and lingerie shops, usually inside the malls. Further added saying “The decision ensures that the Labor and Social Development Minister sets a time plan for the implementation and designates the location in accordance with the market’s condition and the data of job applicants. Coordination with the Saudization committees in the regions will be carried out with regards to the implementation plans and their dates.”

Vision 2030 released in 2016 states that the retail sector has about only one-fifth of Saudi nationals currently working making it to only 300,000 Saudis out of 1.5 million workers employed in the retail sector.

As per the National Transformation Program (NTP) under Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom plans to cut down the unemployment rate to 7% from current 11.6 percent as well as creating more than 450,000 jobs in the non-governmental sector in the next 3 years.
The vision’s report reads: “We aim to provide job opportunities for an additional million Saudis by 2020 in a growing retail sector that attracts modern, local, regional and international brands across all regions of the country.”