Expats banned from buying produce at Jeddah’s vegetable market – report

The Saudi government has recently been driving employment of locals in the private sector



Traders have reportedly been banned from selling fresh produce to expatriates at Jeddah’s central vegetable market, as part of efforts to drive Saudisation.

Arab News cites local media reports on Friday quoting Jeddah’s director of slaughterhouses and public markets as saying to traders: “”If you are waiting for foreigners to buy, then (you must understand that) we do not want them to buy.”

The incident reportedly resulted in a standoff between the director Nasser Al-Jarallah and traders who said no law prevented them selling good to expats living in the country legally.

Several previous raids on the market have resulted in the arrest of expat workers and customers. This led many expat workers to stay at home, resulting in a SAR 4m loss per day to the market’s operating company, the report stated.

Traders at the market have said they are unable to comply with the Labour Ministry’s regulation for 100 per cent Saudisation of the workforce and called on the municipality to provide names of citizens willing ot work on the stalls.

Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s fruit and vegetable committee member Fahad Al-Ghamdi was later quoted as saying traders were complying with the law.

He said the matter would be raised with the government.