Saudi Arabia to open jobs market to qualified expats

by Ray Clancy on January 1, 2014

Saudi Arabia is seeking thousands of expats to fill positions in health services including doctors and nurses.

Adverts have been placed in a number of countries such as India, Pakistan and Egypt and it has been confirmed that there are around 3,500 vacancies to be filled in various hospitals across the Kingdom.


The Saudi government’s spending on health has grown rapidly in recent years, up 18% between 2005 and 2012

Saudi Arabia can be a challenging work environment for expats and it is interesting that the job adverts have gone out to only Muslim countries so far.

The Ministry of Health said it will be conducting interviews in a number of cities including the Indian cities of Hyderabad, Cochin and New Delhi to select 714 specialist doctors to work at hospitals in Jeddah, Tabuk, Taif, and Riyadh.

The recruitment process is being undertaken by 14 authorised recruitment agencies and the interviews are conducted by a Saudi committee comprising of officials from various regional directorates and specialist doctors from the Ministry of Health.

The Saudi government’s spending on health has grown rapidly in recent years, up 18%  between 2005 and 2012 and this recruitment round is being viewed as an attempt to attract more professional and highly skilled expats.

In a nod to the view that the jobs market in Saudi Arabia needs to be more open, it is expected that local companies will be allowed to hire expat women workers in key business sectors including health, education, childcare and cleaning.

According to a draft plan prepared by the Ministry of Labour there are not enough suitably qualified Saudi women for all the positions available.

There are likely to be some restrictions relating to age and experience and the plan still needs to be approved by the Human Resources Development Fund.

Meanwhile, owners and operators of women’s accessory businesses have called for expat women to be allowed to work in lingerie shops and be part of required quotas like other sectors.

They said that there are not enough Saudi women willing to work in lingerie and as a result many retail shops had closed down because of the restrictions.




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