Saudi Arabia is one of the Arabic countries that give paramount importance to its culture and religious beliefs. In fact, the country has never been able to detach its tradition from any facet of life. Religion, an underlying principle in the life of an individual inhabiting Saudi Arabia, has played a pivotal role in leaving a deep impact on the work culture followed in here.
From being a culturally narrower nation to becoming one of the favorite destinations for job seekers from all over the world, Saudi Arabia has come a long way; a way that was full of significant changes.
Let us see how work culture in Saudi Arabia has changed over the years and the current scenario for the working class:
Saudi Arabia: A Deep Probe on Occupational Upsurge
Like any other Arabic federation, Saudi Arabia too experiences a good expat movement rate and this proves that work culture and business etiquettes in here are extremely employee friendly. But, the story was never so sweet.
Saudi Arabia was once fighting with traditionally narrower beliefs and was not that supportive towards women's rights. However, times have changed and things have improved in the way businesses are operating and work culture has improved a lot for both the sexes.
The major change occurred in the 1950s:
Saudi Arabia discovered its oil reserves and this very incident gave rise to:
Huge infrastructural make-over
Heavy movement of people from rural to urban areas occupational mobility
Significant amount of villagers working as small-scale traders became government and private sector employees, professionals.
Work culture was still the same; crucial for men and not at all favorable for females. The employment laws were new hence more stringent and thus, there were absolutely no space for employee happiness and flexibility in working styles.
During this time, only the nationals of Saudi Arabia were given importance in the industry for employment.
A Step Further
As years passed by, Saudi Arabia started showing good growth in terms of urbanization and industrialization and the oil industry in the Saudi Arabia started expanding. The Arab country now began showing up in the world chart for its contribution to the global exports and economy owing to wealth-creating oil reserves. Saudi Arabia by this time has formed export and import ties with some of the emerging economies and directed initiatives towards bringing in wealth for development bringing forth the following changes:
Emerging countries got associated with Saudi Arabia for oil export & import
The economy by now was dominant by the oil & gas sector only
There were more and more companies stationed in the same domain
The employment market was brewing with oil & gas jobs
Women professionals were not encouraged as there was a lack of occupational safety
The number of expats visiting Saudi Arabia started increasing owing to high salaries in flourishing economy
The work culture started improving as companies started focusing on employee-friendly policies.
A Step Towards Economic Diversification
It was in the year 2005, when Saudi Arabia joined hands with governmental bodies to bring in economic diversification. The aim was to free the Saudi economy from oil revenues and give boost to other industrial sectors. This was also intended towards generating employment for expats and nationals both.
Further, economic diversification is also meant to attract foreign investors to come and make investments in the private companies’ ventures. From this onwards, even the work culture improved as culture followed in private companies and westernization invaded the occupational environment.
Saudi Arabia: Current Job Market & Work Culture
Employment Market: Saudi Arabia in 2014
Saudi Arabia has grown into a huge global job market that has opportunities for skilled expats from all over the world. The expat movement rate to Saudi Arabia has also grown over the years; a latest report from a trusted economy related portal that has tracked expat activities says that:
Both the private and government sector has a number of high-paying jobs for expats from all over the world. ( currently more than 5000 jobs are listed at -http://www.naukrigulf.com/jobs-in-saudi-arabia )
- The non-nationals or the expats are inclined towards joining private sectors with more than 89% employed in some of the high-paying jobs in here.
- Sectors like construction and real estate have some of the apt jobs for expats in Saudi Arabia
- Long after Saudi Arabia became a member of World Trade Organization (WTO), encouragement was given to foreign investments and this in turn created better career prospects for job seekers
Other sectors that are on boom and flooded with career opportunities are:
- Healthcare and medicine,
- Banking and financial services,
- Teaching (especially women),
2. The Work Culture
The work culture has improved a lot for expats for both the sexes. Women are now free to make their career in any sector and job role the\y want to. This doesn’t mean that they are free on the cultural grounds but yes, they have definitely break-free from notion that women are household creatures and should not be sent outside.
The job market and the work culture in the Saudi Arabia have changed for good and expats from all over the world are welcomed here. These non-nationals are building their careers and are successfully getting settled in the Arab country with utmost comfort on social and professional grounds.
Vineeta Tiwari, is an established writer professionally attached with job search portal Naukrigulf.com. Has deep interest in global economic scenario and the employment markets. Her articles also cover facts pertaining to global business activities.