New law stipulates only Saudis can work in Kingdom’s malls

Human Resources and Social Development Minister Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi said changes would mean jobs for 51,000 Saudi men and women

  
A Saudi saleswoman is pictured in her stall at a shopping mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 25, 2018.

A Saudi saleswoman is pictured in her stall at a shopping mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 25, 2018.

REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
 
RIYADH: The Kingdom’s shopping malls must only hire Saudis under new labor rules.

Human Resources and Social Development Minister Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi issued three new labor directives that are set to transform the country’s retail and restaurant sector.

The changes would mean jobs for 51,000 Saudi men and women, he said in a statement.

Gulf governments, under pressure to provide more jobs for citizens amid declining oil revenues, are extending localization programs across industries that have in the past relied heavily on expatriates.

The first directive stipulated that only Saudis would be able to work in “closed commercial complexes (malls)” and their management offices.

A limited number of roles would be exempt, but the ministry did not specify which ones.

The other rule changes were related to raising the number of Saudis working in the restaurant, cafe and catering trade.

The statement did not specify what the new localization rates would be across these sectors.

It is the latest government move to boost the number of Saudis in the workforce.

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