Saudi Arabia to ban foreigners from slew of hospitality jobs

Saudi Arabia to ban foreigners from slew of hospitality jobs

As Saudi Arabia tries to develop its fledgling tourism industry, it’s also tackling citizen unemployment, which hit a high of nearly 13% last year.



Saudi Arabia plans to restrict certain hospitality jobs to its own citizens by the end of the year, banning the recruitment of foreign workers for those positions.

The decision, announced in a Labor Ministry statement on Friday, will apply to resorts, hotels rated three stars or higher, and hotel apartments rated four stars or higher. Positions that must be filled by Saudis range from front-desk jobs to management. Among the exceptions are drivers, doormen and porters, the ministry said in the statement. Other jobs that will be restricted to nationals include restaurant host and health club supervisor.

As Saudi Arabia tries to develop its fledgling tourism industry, it’s also tackling citizen unemployment, which hit a high of nearly 13% last year. Hospitality is the latest sector to face stricter “Saudization” policies, which call for replacing the foreigners who dominate many parts of the private sector -- particularly blue collar and service jobs.

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