Saudi to ban foreigners from work in car rental offices

The car rental sector is the latest to fall under a Saudisation drive

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development has announced that only Saudi citizens will be able to work in car rental offices from mid-March.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency, labour ministry spokesperson Khaled Aba Al-Khail said the government aimed to promote the “productive and sustainable” localisation of the labour market.

The ministry will provide electronic training programmes to qualify young Saudi workers of both genders for the sector and offer the use of a national work portal to connect employers with job seekers, he said.

A joint inspection team will monitor car rental establishments for violations and issue fines that will double in the case of repeated offences.

The deadline for rental offices to ensure their workforce is fully Saudi is Rajab 1, or March 18 on the Gregorian calendar.

The labour ministry has also moved to bar foreigners from a number of other sectors in order to reduce the unemployment rate among citizens. This fell to 5.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, according to the General Authority of Statistics.

Read: Saudi unemployment falls 5.8% in Q3

Industries that are now limited to Saudis include mobile phone shops, gold and jewellery stores and retail outlets in malls.

Read: Saudi regions commit to localisation of gold and jewellery market

Read: Only Saudi citizens to be employed at kingdom’s shopping malls