Despite all the negative publicity about Saudi Arabia, the economy is really booming. Of particular interest is the eastern region of Al Jubail where a whole new industrial city called Jubail-II is under construction. Towards the west and in the north, more industrial cities are being planned. The growth is mind-boggling and so is the man-power requirement. Not only are hundreds of new industries planning to come up in these cities, but also the logistics and support systems associated with these are going to come up at break-neck speed. <:-P
All contractors here are having a field-day. The ground reality as of today is that there are too many jobs but too few visas and hence too few people to carry out the same. Virtually, thousands of people are required for these gigantic cities to be up and running. So, which are the jobs in great demand and which aren't?
To give a comprehensive list is impossible. However, the most obvious job categories are engineers, technicians, fitters, welders, electricians, masons, plumbers, project management specialists....the list is virtually endless. When these new projects get underway, there will also be a huge requirement for support specialists, doctors, nurses, paramedics, carpenters, plumbers, IT specialists, etc. To sum it up, any skilled professional has a ready job waiting for him here, provided he has the required experience.
Now, for the "not required" list. Due to the ongoing Saudization program (more on this in a future post coming up shortly), several job categories have been classified as forbidden for expatriates. Typical job categories are secretaries, operators, showroom salesmen, jewellery shop people, etc. The list keeps varying frequently and it is rather difficult to give a comprehensive one. However, one can safely assume that any white collar job which does not require much skill, is forbidden for expatriates, even though this is a rather vague and loose definition. #:-S
Everything depends finally on the mood of the officer in the Saudi Embassy of your country whether he is satisfied that you may be allowed to work in the kingdom or not. Sometimes, there are hilarious instances (more of these to come in future posts). Recently, one of my friends, who has done his Phd in Chemistry, got his visa rejected because the stamping officer in the Saudi embassy was confused as to why a person who has done a doctorate in Chemistry is required for the kingdom (he probably thought that the word "Doctor" refers only to the medical fraternity!) =))
Do give your comments in this post on whether you feel the information given here is useful. This would encourage me to write more.