Saudi Arabia has banned the kingdom’s expatriates from working in 12 occupational domains, making them available to Saudi nationals only.
The decision by Minister of Labour Ali bin Nasser al-Ghafis will take effect starting September 2018, SPA news agency reported on Sunday.
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The ministerial decree’s objective is to grant Saudi men and women more job opportunities in the private sector, SPA said.
Labour ministry spokesman Khalid Abalkhail, said the jobs were mostly in sales: sales in watches, eyewear, medical equipment and devices, electrical and electronic appliances, auto parts, building materials, automobiles, furniture stores, and more.
He also noted that a committee would be formed to facilitate the project.
The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia surpassed 12 percent last year as the economy grappled with the fallout from low oil prices.
The move comes amid nationwide changes to revamp the economy by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
On Tuesday, a high-profile “anti-corruption purge” appeared to be winding down as Saudi authorities released all remaining detainees from the Ritz-Carlton hotel, after more than two months of detention on allegations of corruption.
Dozens of royal family members, ministers, and top businessmen were arrested in early November during an “anti-corruption crackdown” launched by Bin Salman. Allegations against those detained included money laundering, bribery and extorting officials.
Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said that the kingdom had seized more than $100bn in anti-corruption settlements.
The amount – 400bn Saudi riyals ($106.7bn) – represented various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, cash and more.
The government’s Vision 2030 plan to revitalise and diversify Saudi Arabia’s oil-dependent economy has seen the kingdom introduce a value-added tax (VAT), which applies to a wide range of commodities, including food, clothes, entertainment, electronics, and utility bills.
Saudi Arabia also halted state payments of water and electricity bills for royal family members.