The labour market in Riyadh

Labor market Riyadh
Updated 2022-03-03 13:37

Working in Riyadh can come with many benefits: whether you are a young professional or expert in your field. As Saudi Arabia's capital and a rapidly developing economic power, Riyadh has a lot to offer to those who come here to develop their careers. You will not only gain experience working in a new environment and mixing with other professionals but also be able to benefit from the 100% tax-exempt wages.

The Saudi economy

While living and working in Riyadh, you will contribute to Saudi Arabia's flourishing economy, which is the most significant in the Gulf Region. The average GDP in Saudi Arabia amounted to USD 262.73 billion from 1968 to 2020, while the average annual GDP growth rate averaged at 3.44% between 1969 and 2021.

Before moving to Riyadh, you will realize that the nation mainly owes its flourishing economy to the oil industry. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is presently one of the leaders of OPEC thanks to its huge reserves! The petrochemical industry represents 45% of the GDP, 80% of the state's planned incomes, and 90% of the profit.

The oil industry in Saudi Arabia is managed by the government. Saudi Aramco, which used to be an American oil organization, was nationalized in the 1970s. Today, it is considered one of the leading oil organizations worldwide.

In Riyadh, however, you're not likely to work in the oil industry. Home to a wide range of government agencies and other organisations, Riyadh is full of opportunities for foreign professionals in various fields. Most of the Saudi employees in Riyadh work in the services sector and government administration.

Expats often work in strategic missions and invest their off-energy in a compound. The Diplomatic Quarter, or "DQ", is home to a lot of remote government offices and social foundations. Besides receiving generous wages, foreign employees also have a contract that includes many benefits.

The most promising fields for expats in Riyadh

As indicated in the article about working in Riyadh, most expats in the city work for the strategic missions and in the administration or have moved via an intra-organization exchange to a Saudi branch office. In case you are keen on finding a job on your own, there are a couple of alternatives.

You can join a foreign business affiliation situated in the Saudi capital or contact a remote business council. These organisations often have agreements with businesses in Saudi Arabia and can help you find a job in the field of your choice. This can help you target a maximum of organisations from your home country or of foreign origin, especially if you don't yet have any local contacts. Also, if you're making a business trip to the Middle East, you could look into new professional opportunities. For example, Riyadh regularly hosts exchange fairs and other professional events.

However, finding a job in Riyadh can be quite challenging for female expats. Most of them are likely to be employed by worldwide schools, colleges, and medical clinics in Riyadh. Moreover, since working in the retail sector is a quite new concept in Saudi Arabia, female expats are not recommended to look for work in this field.

Another important factor you should be aware of when exploring work opportunities in Saudi Arabia is the Saudisation program. Known officially as the Saudi Nationalization Scheme or Nitaqat, is a policy enforced by the Ministry of Labor that requires Saudi companies to employ Saudi nationals on a quota basis. This makes it harder for local companies to hire foreign employees — and each hire requires a justification and proof that the position in question can not be filled locally.

To learn more about job hunting in Saudi Arabia, look into our city guides:

Working in Jeddah

Working in Dammam

Working in Khobar

Working in Jubail

Working in Yanbu

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