GCC labour markets absorb shocks

Regional Views

The pandemic, coupled with the oil crisis, have inevitably forced MENA countries to slash their budgets. This in turn has prompted layoffs and an outflow of foreign workers from expat-dependent GCC countries. While it presents an opportunity for GCC to accelerate their worker-nationalisation programmes, the rapid departure of foreign labour, including skilled professionals, is expected to slow the post-pandemic recovery in the GCC, at least for the short-to-medium term. This week we analyse:

  • The repercussions that lower expat figures have on vulnerable sectors that are highly dependent on foreigners.
  • The impact on remittance flows and the pressure on consumer spending.


Florence Eid-Oakden, Ph.D, Chief Economist

Ghalia Al Bajali, 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.

To access this report, please click here.