Research shows Saudi expat private sector workers earn less than locals

Published:  6 Aug at 6 PM
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A new study has revealed that expats employed within Saudi Arabia’s private sector are paid around 50 per cent less than their Saudi equivalents.

The survey, undertaken by the Saudi Labour Ministry, revealed a huge gap between comparative salaries for similar positions held by Saudi employees and their expat equivalents. A report on the study, confirmed by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, suggests the practice covers all available jobs in the kingdom.

For example, expat administrators and secretaries average SR1,640 against the average Saudi salary for comparable positions of SR4,300. Expats working in marketing or sales draw SR1,200 whilst locals earn at least SR3,200, and expat engineers are paid SR 1,000 against the local wage of SR4,800.

A sudden intake of Saudi women into the private sector has fuelled an increase of 29 per cent in the numbers of citizens employed by private sector companies. At present, almost half as many women are now working as are Saudi men, although the majority of posts are still expat-oriented.

On the positive side, expats working in the kingdom will now be able to renew visitor visas for their relatives online. The new service will be introduced on 11 August after a successful initial testing period, and is being brought in to lessen pressure on the country’s passport offices.
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