Work and employment in Saudi Arabia: the most popular fields and how to find a job in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia


Work and employment in Saudi Arabia: the most popular fields and how to find a job in Saudi Arabia

One-third of Saudi Arabia's population is made up of migrant workers. The country is, after all, one of the richest in the Middle East region. The Kingdom's economy is growing at a record pace and the country's GDP consistently ranks high. But it is not easy for foreigners to get into Saudi Arabia. So we'll tell you how to find a job and find work on a legal basis in the country.

Specifics of employment 

There are certain traditions related to Islam in Saudi Arabia that you should be aware of before moving here. For example, weekends here will be Fridays and Saturdays, which is quite unusual for residents of most other countries. Meeting Saudi women at work is almost impossible. Therefore, it will be difficult for women to find employment in Saudi Arabia.

In general, the country's labor laws have recently started to shift towards providing employment, particularly for Saudi Arabian citizens. Each year, the government sets specific limits on the employment of foreign nationals, for which companies are subject to heavy penalties. Therefore, even when setting up a company, a Saudi must be among the partners. Although, in general, entrepreneurship can be quite profitable as there are no taxes in the Kingdom.

The position of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia has some peculiarities. For example, representatives from Western countries live in separate gated territories with a pass system. But inside these compounds, residents are not obliged to comply with Saudi legal standards, in particular women are allowed to dress whatever they want. Also, employers often take away foreigners' passports before they leave. And you can only leave the country with the permission of the company and local authorities. Instead, foreigners are issued a residence permit (iqama). This document is considered an official identity card. The iqama is required for many financial transactions, such as opening a bank account or buying a car.

How to find a job in Saudi Arabia

The easiest way to find a job in Saudi Arabia is through recruitment agencies. But agency services are often charged between 10 and 20 percent of an employee's annual salary. Therefore, if you have sufficient qualifications and experience, you can try to find a job on your own. A job portal in the Middle East region can help you with this. It is also advisable to browse the websites of large Saudi companies, where current offers are sometimes published. Knowledge of English or Arabic is also a very important requirement for employment.

The most popular fields of employment

The easiest way to find work in the country is the one relating to oil production. After all, this industry is the most profitable for Saudi Arabia's economy. It is in the Kingdom that the world's largest mining company Saudi Aramco is located, pumping out a quarter of the planet's oil.

The country is also home to branches of well-known multinational corporations that are keen to welcome foreign workers:

«Procter & Gamble»



Now the Kingdom is trying to modernize the economic system and find additional ways to fill the budget. Therefore, qualified professionals from other countries can find work in tourism, IT, construction, etc. In particular, one of the largest telecommunications service providers in the Middle East is the Saudi Telecom Company.

Jobs for women in Saudi Arabia

Jobs for women in Saudi Arabia are only possible in a very limited number of industries. The most accessible areas of employment are education and medicine. After all, women are expected to visit doctors and study separately from men. And this requires the presence of female specialists in these fields. Foreign workers can still find a place in an oil production company. But only as engineers and only in the company 'Saudi Aramco', which is the only one that employs women. For several years, women have also been allowed to work as shopkeepers and cashiers in supermarkets.

Work visa to Saudi Arabia

Only citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates do not need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. For employment in the Kingdom, representatives of other countries must obtain a work visa. You can apply for one once you have signed a contract with the company and passed a medical examination. Usually, the visa is issued for the period specified in the employment contract. Fees for the work visa and accompanying documentation, including the work permit, must be paid by the employer.