A bird's eye view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


1.2 million expats to leave Saudi Arabia in 2020


DUBAI – Around 1.2 million expatriate workers are expected to leave Saudi Arabia this year, according to a report from Jadwa Investment Company.

The report also revealed that an estimated 300,000 expats have already left the country this year.

Between April 22 and June 3 alone, a total of 178,00 people have applied through the Ministry of Interior’s Awdah to facilitate their repatriation.

The report comes as Saudi Arabia prepares to triple its Value Added Tax from 5 percent to 15 percent starting on July 1.

Authorities said the decision to raise VAT was necessary amid a “sharp decline” in oil revenue as the coronavirus pandemic affected the global demand for oil.

Coronavirus and VAT in UAE: What’s coming?

Saudi Arabia has also been moving to employ more Saudi nationals in its workforce, banning expats from taking jobs in at least 12 job types starting in 2018.

There has been a steady increase in Saudization in the private sector over the last three years, according to the latest report of the National Labor Observatory.

The percentage of Saudis rose to 20.37 percent of the total workforce in the private sector during the first quarter of 2020 compared to 20.21 percent during the same period last year, according to the report.

Expatriate workers make up one third of Saudi Arabia’s total population of 32 million people. ICA/Expat Media

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