The largest markets for Asian job seekers has been that of the GCC States.  Since the advent of oil into the life of these countries, their lack of population generally and more specifically lack a local workforce, has resulted into the employment of a large expatriate manpower.  This phenomenon, contrary to many beliefs did not have a very significant impact onto the politics, and the social structure of any of the GCC countries.  It did allow though for a rapid economic development of the GCC countries. The time for some salaries unification across GCC countries has come so as to continue thee blanketing of  this development through a same spread of expatriate manpower .

Although foreigners in the GCC states have not created problems of the magnitude of those found in other immigrant countries of the world, different economic and political interests of governments and individuals have brought numerous tensions and conflicts.   

This article reviews some aspects of the heterogeneity of the local populations’ factor dilemmas as it lives side by side with an overwhelming foreign working population. 

The recent meeting of the GCC Foreign Ministers dedicated to planning to unify salary structures for jobs occupied by their nationals currently based in non-native member states is hoped to be the first step towards harmonisation of all working people remunerations.

Arab News, the Arab world’s most read English daily, published this article below.  We reproduce it with the obvious objective to help understand the current migration phenomenon in and out of the Middle East. 

GCC to unify pay for citizens working in member countries

GCC member states are planning to unify salary structures for jobs occupied by their nationals currently based in non-native member states. It was not immediately clear whether the plan to unify the salary slabs of the GCC citizens were discussed at the GCC summit in Doha.

“But, this proposal has already been discussed by the GCC finance ministers,” said a GCC statement, here Thursday. This proposal is significant keeping in view of the fact that most GCC citizens are employed in public-sector jobs, while most expatriates are employed in private sector jobs. The trend in the GCC is still to go for public sector jobs including the government agencies.

The jobs in government agencies attract a large number of citizens because these jobs often allow retirement with almost full pension rights after 20 years of service. On the top of it, most public-sector workers in the Gulf contribute less than five percent of their earnings for retirement benefits.

A detailed report about the plan will be discussed soon, the statement said. There has been substantial gaps in the salaries of the GCC nationals. So, the decision is expected to be taken regarding unifying salaries and perks of the GCC citizens in jobs in different member states in 2014.

“This will give more options for the GCC citizens in terms of employment by moving from one country to another in the bloc,” said Saleem Abbasi, a recruitment expert. “A Saudi working in the UAE may get more salary than he or she may receive in Saudi Arabia or for that matter any other GCC country,” he added.

Saudi Arabia and Oman have been on the top in terms of giving employment to the GCC citizens. In Kuwait, Qatar and UAE, a large number of private-sector workers are migrants. It is interesting to note that unemployment is rare among foreign workers, since losing one’s job normally means losing the right to remain legally in the country.

But, unemployment is more among the GCC nationals. Saudi Arabia alone is home for about nine million foreign workers, who have been sending billions of dollars in remittances to their native countries. Indians represent the largest foreign community in the Kingdom followed by Egyptians, Pakistanis, Filipinos and Africans.

Updated on March 18, 2018