GCC: Doors open & close for foreign workers

Regional Views
GCC: Doors open & close for foreign workers
  • The GCC labour market is highly dependent on foreign labour, especially in the private sector. Overall, foreigners account for 50% of the regional economic group’s total population.
  • GCC employment and immigration laws are undergoing changes in several member states aimed at both professional foreign workers and those involved in manual labour.
  • Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are tightening employment and immigration laws for foreign workers, but the UAE and Qatar are seeking to make life easier for expats.


Florence Eid-Oakden, Ph.D, Chief Economist

Charlene Rahall, Analyst

The Regional Views series are thematic papers aimed at identifying and analysing factors behind medium to long-term economic trends shaping the region. Our analysis draws conclusions that help businesses and investors get ahead of the curve. As a firm staffed by Middle Easterners, we focus on insight rather than standard analysis.

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