Kuwait lawmaker hits out at overlarge expatriate communities

Published:  16 Aug at 6 PM
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Expatriates in Kuwait are in the firing line again as MP hits out at the size of expat communities.

This week it was Kuwati lawmaker Ahmad al-Fadhi’s turn to slam the emirate’s expat community, claiming it was far too large and therefore poses a security threat to the country. As a sideline, he also mentioned the vast majority had either no or very low qualifications. Indians, Syrians, Bangladeshis and Egyptians, he said, now make up over half of the emirate’s 3.4 million expat residents.

Quoting what he described as the latest available figures, he stressed Kuwaiti numbers in the country totalled just 1.42 million – some 30 per cent of the entire population – whilst the expat community’s demographics now stand at 70 per cent. Expats, he added, have arrived from 120 countries worldwide, facilitating a rapid growth in their numbers as against those of Kuwaiti nationals.

The Indian community now contains 900,000 expats, with 600,000 Egyptians, 200,000 Bangladeshis and 145,000 Syrians adding up to some 50 per cent of the expat total. The rapid growth in these communities, he said, must be stopped as it’s now a security risk for the country as a whole, although it seems he couldn’t bring himself to explain the reasons behind his assumption.

The lawmaker also believes the reason why Kuwait isn’t now attracting the right calibre of highly-qualified expat professionals is that such people now prefer to head for Saudi Arabia, Qatar or the UAE, leaving Kuwait’s expat community below standard for the region. However, he seemed to accept that the majority of jobs now filled by expats don’t attract interest from Kuwaiti citizens.

For proof, he cited government jobs, at present held by 120,000 expats due to the fact that locals weren’t applying, adding the government should legislate to bring the numbers down and also prevent the growth of the numbers of foreigners in residential areas.
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