Saudi Arabia to deport non Muslim expat who disrespect Ramadan

Published:  27 Jun at 6 PM
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With Ramandan beginning this weekend, expats in Saudi have been warned they will be deported should they disrespect the rules of the holy month of fasting.

An announcement by the kingdom’s Interior Ministry urged non-Muslims to respect the feelings of practicing Muslims by not smoking, drinking or eating at work, in public places or in the streets between the hours of sun-up and sundown. Expats caught disobeying the order, it stated, will have their contracts cancelled and be deported, adding that not being aware of the restrictions will not be considered an excuse.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Council of Ministers has decided to ease the expat worker levy paid by smaller companies employing foreign workers. Firms with less than nine employees may hire up to four foreigners without paying the US$640 charge for each worker.

The change is aimed at helping SMEs in the kingdom, and is expected to apply to around 900,000 small businesses. Exemptions from the tax have also been granted to foreigners married to Saudi women as well as to the children of the family.

In Oman, massive new construction projects have resulted in an upsurge of expat workers. Over the last decade, expat worker totals have grown by 167 per cent, with the government admitting that expats are essential to the emirate’s development.

Expats now make up 1,761,000 of Oman’s total population of 3,987,000, with senior government officials stating that the small country needs foreign workers to help update its infrastructure, redevelop its airport and build new roads. When all is finished, the numbers are expected to fall sharply.
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