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Saudi Arabia's Job Market Some FACTS
Posted By:Hajas On 12/21/2006


avapro vizvilagnap.hu

Subject: Some FACTS About Saudi Arabia's Job Market etc

I have collected some of the facts and truths about the Job market and the people working in Saudi Arabia. I have collected the negative factors only and expect people reading it to decide what could be the positive side of it. Unfortunately most of the people living and working there do not divulge these facts. I dont know why? Perhaps they do not want to be found discouraging the job aspirants. With IT boom in Hyderabad people are not required to go but still if some body wants to go then he can find these facts helpful.


Two types of visa are normally known to us. One is called free visa or Aazad Visa and the other as Job Visa. In fact both are one and the same. In job visa a person can directly join the company issuing the visa and in case of free visa he will search for a job by himself. In both cases the person will be under the sponsorship of a Saudi. Let us understand the back ground. In Saudi Arabia nothing can be done independently. It is a must to have a Saudi as partner for business for some cases and in most of the cases the business is done in the name of the Saudi citizen and the expatriate pay him an agreed amount monthly. Saudi citizen do not contribute any thing except providing necessary signatures for the registration of the business. If the Saudi citizen wants, he can claim all business as his own and expel the expatriates as business is registered in his name. This type of business relationship is considered illegal but all the business is done in this manner only.

Thus a Saudi doing the business can apply for Visas and bring people to Kingdom. It is allowed as per the existing laws to transfer the sponsorship locally to another establishment or Saudi. Thus in an Aazad Visa the individual will be under sponsorship (Kifafalt) but will be permitted by his initial sponsor to change the sponsorship. In some unfortunate cases the sponsor may not allow to change the sponsorship.


Depending upon the place of living of the sponsor the visa is issued to him. Visas for Jeddah are more costly as compared to Riyadh & other cities. This had an impact earlier as people were not allowed to move freely within the Kingdom. Now with no restrictions on movement a person can buy visa for any city and move within the Kingdom freely. One thing which has to be carefully asked is about the residence of the Sponsor (Called kafil). Normally it is said that the Visa is for example, say Riyadh, but the kafil will be living 75 to 150 Km away from main city. If the middle man is corrupt then he will never allow the new comer to meet or know the Kafils residence. This can create lot pf problems if you have to go & meet the kafil due to transportation charges involved. The easy means of transportation available is the Taxis but it costs a lot if you have to travel great distances. And the bus services in the outskirts of the cities non-existent.

So the things to be checked before going for an Aazad Visa are:

- Location of the kafil
- Availability of friends and relatives Normally Hyderabadis go with the help of brothers, fathers, friends and brother-in-laws
- Money to spend


It is a very important factor for those who want to bring their families to Saudi. All professions are not allowed to bring the family. Moreover some of the visa like Shepherd (Aamil Muwaishi), House driver (saiq qaas) etc can not change the profession. It was a trend earlier that people used to come on any Visa and change the profession while changing the sponsorship. Now it is not possible. Be sure to check about the profession.


Irrespective of the type of job it is better to learn driving and bring a driving license from India. Transportation becomes a problem after getting the job. Normally the old and good condition cars available in the range of 5,000 10,000/- SAR

Do not forget to get your certificates attested from the Saudi embassy in Delhi. The local agents in Hyderabad will charge 4 to 5,000/- But if you manage to go by your self then it will cost you only the traveling and lodging in Delhi. First get the document attested from secretariat (GAD) then go to Delhi. I Delhi first get your document attested from ministry of Human resource development. The office is near India gate. They do it for free. Next get the certificates translated into Arabic from an authorized translator. These translators will be available near the Saudi embassy. Submit the translation and the certificates to the embassy and they will return it attested same day or next day without charging any thing. (May be it is not done free now)

The attestation is a must when you want to change sponsorship, and apply for family visa to bring your family to Kingdom.

In addition to it bring sufficient number of photographs and copies of the documents.


If coming on a job visa then the time of the year will not matter. But if Azaad visa has been purchased then it definitely matters. The weather is very harsh. Severe heat and cold will affect the health and health is really wealth when somebody is without a job in Saudi. Try to come in second or last week of March or in second week of September. From March to July the heat will be less and tolerable for a new comer. And from September till December first week the cold weather will be tolerable. Cold weather can be resisted with the help of jackets but summer is difficult to adjust in the initial stages.


It is the work permit given in the form of a booklet (Now card). Muslims get a green cover booklet and non-muslims a brown. It is to differentiate between Muslims and non-muslims. This has been done to help the religious police called Mutawwa to catch the people not attending prayers during the prayer time. All the shops are closed during the prayer time and religious police makes rounds to see if people are not standing on corners, here & there.

Iqama can be valid for one to two years at a time. Normally people coming on Aazaad Visa get an Iqama valid for two years. It has to be checked before buying a visa. If it is valid for two years it is a good thing but you have to keep visiting the middleman or the Kafil occasionally, otherwise the middle man may disappear without giving you the address of the kafil or the kafil may declare you absconding. Lot of problems will be faced if you get a good job and needs to transfer the sponsorship immediately.


If you have some job already arranged then it is good for you. Otherwise going to various offices and attending interviews will become a problem if nobody is there to offer help.

Job hunters have to be very careful from the inspection squads of the passport department. They carry out frequent checks and the new comers may feel harassed due to language problem. Since it is illegal to change the sponsorship within 06 months to a year, any new comer found searching for a job will automatically become a target for the appropriate law dealing with this problem. Govt knows that Saudis do this type of Visa business but it can not stop them and if checked with the sponsor he will simply say that the person has not reported to him and there is not contact and he was about to be declared absconding. They call it declaring Ghuroob. So be careful and ask your friends in Saudi to tell you about the colour of different Govt. vehicles like Police, immigration and labor department and disappear if you find such vehicles in your area of job hunt.


Jobs are not available in all categories now. Due to Saudization jobs like secretary, accountant, Salesman, receptionist and telephone operators etc etc are reserved for Saudis only. Since efficient and experienced Saudis are not available in enough quantities the Companies do hire the expatriates for these categories but under different professions. For example a person will be working as a Salesmen but the profession on his Iqama will be programmer, technician etc.


Jobs can be searched in the standard way of visiting the companies, applying to news paper advertisement and through friends etc.

However the first thing to be done before coming on an Aazad visa is to ask your friend/relative arranging for the visa to guide you about the easily available jobs etc. It will help you prepare in advance to upgrade your skills, get some training and experience etc. Otherwise it will be very difficult to get training unless you dont have some body to help you. The best way to find out about what is required in the Job market is to read Gulf news papers on the net, Times of Indias Sunday Job supplement ASCENT and HINDU on Saturday & Wednesday. The advertisements in the news paper will tell what additional qualification or skills are required in addition to the basic qualification.


These things matter most in getting a good job. Normally people coming here do not bother to get certified or gain experience and face all sorts of difficulties. For example some times ago there was a requirement for Oracle programmers. The news spread like a fire and every body coming to Saudi was carrying an Oracle certificate. Now Oracle is taught by an institute charging 4,000 to 15,000/-. It is clear who gets the quality education and experience. For the local employer the name of the institute is not important he checks the capability and the qualification. If somebody is certified as OCP then that acts as an international degree and half the battle is won. There were examples where people were offered good salaries based on the degrees but got demoted when they did not deliver.


Finding a job requires some efforts and it is proportional to the amount of hard work done before coming to Saudi Arabia. Experienced people have always found good jobs except some exceptions where luck played a factor.

The first step is getting the interview call. Unless some body is not helping from inside then the chances are purely based on luck. As every body know, the expatriates from all over the world and with every religion, background and culture work in Saudi. So whenever a vacancy is available in a company all the efforts are made by all the people to bring in the person from their country, religion and ethnicity. Some times it fails depending upon the urgent requirement or the loyalty to the company of the person scrutinizing the Cvs. Otherwise if an Indian is In-charge all the Cvs of other nationals will never pass through him and vice-versa. Even if an Indian is there, it will have to pass the filter of religion, state and language. For example a person from district of AP will see to it that first people from his area get the chance then so on and so forth.

However people from Kerala are a bit different. They prefer a Keralite irrespective of religion. So any body having complaints about discrimination in India will find it at its best in Gulf countries. As you will be discriminated based on your country, religion, language and area etc etc. For finding job other than reading the news papers CVs can be submitted to web sites like


After getting the job a contract is normally signed between the company and you. Read carefully the contract and ask about the following:

- Basic salary

- Transportation: Normally 10% of basic but mostly a fixed amount.

- Leave/vacation: Normally it varies from annually to bi-annually

- Ticket on leave: Ask it till your home town otherwise it is normally given till Bombay or Delhi etc ) (major city ). Inquire about the ticket for the wife and children.

- Housing: Normally two basic salaries are given to the single person and three to the family. Some companies providing the company accommodation do not pay this allowance.

- Medical coverage: As per law it is compulsory for the company to provide it but some do not. Some pay on submission of receipts after a lot of delays.

- Iqama renewal fee: It is to be paid by the company but some of the companies do not. It costs 750/ SAR per annum today

- Exit Re-entry fee: When you go on vacation an exit re-entry visa has to be stamped. It costs 200 SAR now. Some companies do not pay it.

- Condition of transfer of Sponsorship: Make sure that there is a clause mentioned in the contract or the joining letter that you will be given the transfer of sponsorship if you wish to resign at the end of your contract or if the company does not require your services. Sometimes people were sent on exit after 3 to six months by the companies for not fulfilling their job requirement causing lot of financial loss to the individual.

- Service award: Normally it is half the basic salary for the first five years of the service and then one salary for the rest. Different finance departments calculate differently to maximize your loss. Some pay at the end of the year. This plays a major role in changing the jobs if yo work for soe years in a company. Most of the people have not changed jobs due to the fear of loosing this amount. As it is calculated differently if you resign (60%) or gets fired (100%)

These are just the guide lines. Otherwise the corrupt and dishonest finance managers and the owners of the companies have devised all the ways and means to suck the blood of the workers. And thats where you will find that though kuffar but why still people prefer to go US & Europe.


If want to stay outside the company accommodation and get paid then flats will be available where singles live. Some families also offer rooms in bigger flats. The rent varies between 2000 to 4000 SAR per annum depending upon the size of the flat and the rooms.

Make sure that you stay in a flat with people of the same background (job etc) otherwise in some of the flats stay the gamblers, illegal telephone line operators and people without valid Iqama. If raided by police or passport department, all will be dumped and sent on exit.

Do not stay in a flat where more than two people are staying in a room. Do not stay in a flat where people from any religious organization are staying and are active. For Saudi Arab does not allow people from other aqida to hold any gatherings etc and they are watched. So you may stay thinking that the people are good company but they may be in the black list of the Govt. Moreover avoid staying with people from tablighi jamaat. They are a good company but they welcome Jamaats from other localities frequently and you will find yourself cornered in your own flat for all your basic needs by sharing the reward of their activities.. (Nothing against the Jamaat but this is one of the facts told and it may be wrong)


It is not a problem for people staying in main Jeddah, Dammam or Riyadh. Almost all the cities and localities have some Indian restaurants. They charge 150 -180 SAR per month for one meal.

You can cook if you know or better to learn it. For, most of the people have developed gastric problems etc. after eating for a long time in these hotels. To maximize their profit some of them use expired or near expiry items. Health is really wealth for an expatriate.


Transportation is available through mini buses run by Saudis to various part of the city in Riyadh and Jeddah. Taxis are easily available. For those areas where buses do not run, people working there and with vehicles drop others on paying 2 to 3 riyals or on monthly basis. Traffic police if become finicky can stop these cars and fine the driver for carrying these passengers as it is considered illegal to use personal cars as taxis.

Lucky people have good friends who do not bother taking colleagues with them.


It is available in Saudi Arabia through television channels, video cassettes or CDs. You will get all the latest movies there. Theatres are not available. Entry to parks is also limited at some paces to the families only. Even while visiting the shopping malls youngsters should be careful not to get caught by the Mutawwas or the police for gazing at the ladies etc. The punishment is severe and exit.

There are some mushaira organized by the Indian community at the embassy once or twice a year.


It depends on your luck where you land. Mostly the managerial positions are occupied by Arabs except IT & telecom. They in most of the cases are thriving due to the language, that is, Arabic. Often you will find yourself acting as the core player and credit being taken by these Arabs.

Most of the Arabs like to be manager. They manage with the threat of exit not on any human values. This is the case with most of the companies. You have to be always straight and upfront with them. Otherwise you will be the scapegoat for any job not done.

People working in any company mostly try to promote their self interest (as is normal) and pull others legs. Never give any cue about your skills and style of working. Otherwise when you go on vacation, the other person will do every thing to insure that you are discredited in the eyes of the manager/management during your absence.


As said earlier every body tries to help people from his area etc at the expense of others. But there are people from some nationalities who are constant in their attitude and as a Hyderabadi you should be careful.

EGYPTIANS: The majority view about them is that they are noisy, quarrelsome, and ready to cheat type of people. They take pride in their language skills, Pharaonic past and consider Egypt as the mother of world. If you have them as your boss then you should be assured that your benefits and allowance will be eaten or curtailed to the maximum extent. If you become aggressive yet carefully diplomatic then you can survive with them.

PALESTINIANS: The whole Muslim world sympathize with them but ask any body who has worked in Gulf countries with and under them, they will have no good words to speak for them. They are cruel and do every thing to harass and control people working under and for them. Very few people talk good about them. There are some who are good but only if you dance to their tune.

PAKISTANIS: Most of the migrated Pakistanis prefer to go to European countries and very few muhajirs are in Saudi. The majority of the Pakistanis in Saudi are Punjabis and Pathans. Pathans are simple and short tempered. Be careful not to pick up a fight with them. They are infamous for their involvement in drug trafficking. The worst are Punjabis. They have a sort of aversion to Indian muslims though old ones recognize the help extended by the Nizam of Hyderabad in the nascent years of Pakistan. A typical Punjabi will always try to destabilize you and sort of boss over you. They will be very friendly but from inside they will do every thing to uproot you and bring their brethren. In short after seeing their behaviour you will really feel bad if some body from Sangh parivaar accuses you of being a Pakistani supporter. All the Pakistanis from Aalim to jahil t pronounce the letter Qaf as Kaf but still they will try to mock your Hyderabadi style.

PHILIPPINES: They are the beloved of the Arab managers. Normally they are sincere in work. They are very sectarian in the sense that given the chance they will not co-operate with any other national. But as a manager you will find them very sincere and efficient in whatever they do. Some of them are involved in illegal activities.

SAUDIS: Since they are the bosses and they behave such. If you have a Saudi manager he will behave depending upon his level of education. But one thing which all th4e Arabs share is that they want every thing to be done instantly. Since majority of them does not have any field experiences they prefer to have people of do the job instantly. Quality does not matter in the initial stage. If you are particular about details and want to take time, then you will be not so good in their eyes for being slow.

WHITES: The Americans, British and whites are best managers in the region. They value human potential and respect people for the work done. You will have a very good time if you work with or under them. Surprisingly they have all the manners of good Muslims.

Other worth mentioning are SUDANESE and BANGALDESHIS. Sudanese share the same traits as ARABS and are considered lazy. Bangladeshis are now seen every where due to the low salaries paid. They are very dangerous if you pick up a fight with them, Never try to have an argument with them as they do not hesitate to kill or get killed. Mostly they are friendlier to Indians. They have taken over from Keralites in most of the illegal activities.

OTHER INDIANS It varies from the state to state. Muslims from Karnataka will treat you with some reservation for the role of Nizam of Hydrabad in not helping Tipu Sultan. Muslims from Kerala usually mix up with Keralites only and they have no preference based on religion but only on language. People from UP are slightly similar to Pakistanis in nature and if you have one of them as Boss then expect a taunt on your Deccani Urdu although most of them can not read or write Urdu and can not pronounce a Qaf properly.

LAW & LITIGATION: It will be unfortunate if you are caught by police for some illegal activity. The fate in majority of the cases will be exit. Do not get caught by the mutawwas during prayer times strolling in markets etc. If you are caught three to four time for not praying, then have the powers to send you on exit for not praying. It means some body has to hide of he is not a good Muslim.

If you file a case against your employer for some of the job related issues then you are doomed. Try to find a settlement and get the transfer of sponsorship by compromising on some or all of your service benefits. Otherwise they case will go on for months and it will be difficult to survive and if your Iqama expires during that period then you will be in immense trouble. Always you will have to carry a document from the police or the court thatyour case is pending.

The main problem is the late verdict given in such cases. For as per the law it is not binding on the sponsor to come to the court hearing. He can send his nominated person. This person also will come only after the letter sent to the sponsor that he will be arrested. This happens after two to three months. Then the case will drag and at the end you will have all your savings consumed on food and stay etc.

Indian embassy is supposed to help such people but they are also some times found wanting in their support due to the number of cases, resources and human factors. So it is always better to be on the safe side and away from litigation etc.


Well any body above 21 years can come and work but it depends on financial requirements and chances available. Some people have come immediately after completing the education and some waited for the opportunity.

For middle aged to old people, it is better to come completely prepared with the required skills. Otherwise all the troubles can be expected. Youngsters with no or little experience can come and gain experience. If they do not have pressing financial obligations then they can save money and go back on a long vacation and upgrade the skills and search new jobs. If planned well a youngster can do well. Otherwise he will face all the difficulties if he does not upgrade the skills or does not get the chance.

As it is said Saudi Arab will make a person Understand How Luck Plays a major role as people with no skills are doing better than people with higher skills.


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