Saudi expat tax will harm economy - Grand Mufti

Kingdom's top religious authority says policy is “not based on clear judgment”


This is a good plan. We need to reduce the number of workers from Pakistan, India and South Aisa. They have lived in Saudi for decades and if we keep them here the day may come in which we will be forced to give them citizenship. We have to send them back home and this is a good way to do it


@sultan - I agree with your view. I would also like to make one thing clear. If you don't want Indians, Pakistanis and South Asians, do not ask for them? Your country is always giving them an OPPORTUNITY for a FEE. It is more like a barter system of exchange concept. GCC countries want the work to be done and improve their economy and expats want money. Nothing more nothing less.


How about just start with longest in Country first to go, including there families .Perhaps pay there way home and a little cash bonus for there hard work and a hand shake .Thanks have a good life.

Joe Mallone

I am currently working in Saudi Arabia, I feel that the law makers are out of touch with what's happening on the ground,they are too far up in their Ivory towers.
This is blatant discrimination! Saudi's are ill equipped,unskilled and lack the right qualifications to function effectively in the work place. Discouraging expat workers will simply bring the economy to a standstill.....eventually.

Things are bad for most Asian expats who fill jobs most of us wouldn't dare think of taking up,this is just the tip of the iceberg. These poor souls have far bigger problems.

Also,there are lot's of workers here who buy visas from a sponsor and work freelance,these people will have to cough up the extra 2,400 SAR. not the sponsor. They work for peanuts and have to pay the sponsor

P.s I am making arrangements to leave in the next few months never to return again. I'd rather go to Dubai


I don't understand the article and the reaction below
1) If the Tax is for the company or for the employee? If for the company, then it means inflation as cost will be passed down to consumers and wil make good more expensive. If cost of living is more expensive in all areas, salaries will need to be udapted or most people with modest salaries doing all the jobs nobody wants will leave. Not sure locals will benefit, neither from the jobs or the situation.
2) While going to Denmark, the rules where known and i doubt they changed while you where there. The main issue expats compalin about in GCC countries is the lack of clear laws, the sudden changes and the lack of appreciation and respect for foreign investors thatn are always in an unsecure situation and risk loosing everything even without doing anythng wrong. Not good for building long term sustainable economy and expertise


i agree with RAH, and to steve no one asked for anyone to come people just move wherever there are oppourtunities its human nature. the reason they complain is because since most gcc countries have a low population, they feel they are the minorties in their own lands. they have a right to question and be fearful of the influx of foreigners coming in. finally i don't see why is the sheikh involved in this, he is the mufti and his duties lays within the realm of the faith not the economics of a country.


Dear Jon wake up as it seems you know everything about Saudi and if I'm not wrong, it's not about a country which has separate politic and religion you are talking about . . . it's Saudi where religion is involved in politic, economic as well as in the private sphere It's a fact and a societal choice done by one of the most conservatism Middle East country ruled by the same familly since its creation in 1932, as clearly mentionned in the article most of the important measures pass through the "shoura Council" and Imam there are involved in everything as there's no separation in between pubic and private sphere.
As an expat, Accept it, leave it or don't go there, I made my choice. By the way the very rapid and constant growth the last decades is due to natural ressources and . . . .expats from all over the world and a last survey shown that more than 1/2 of the population never even tried to find a job especially in private sector.


@ RAH what a silly comment. Does not really have much to do with the article and problem at hand.

What Steve is saying is correct. After all 600andsomthing $ a year per employee is not a lot and a small price to pay compared to the tax in other countries. However, you got to remember that this will be pushed out to the consumers and end users in order for companies to make up for the loss. So the fact of the matter is that consumer product will increase and you end up having to spend more.

Finally, it is quit backwards (if you ask me) to have a "if you don't like it, then leave" mentality. Expats, Nationals etc can not agree on everything. I am sure Nationals and Nationals don't agree on everything! This is normal as it is normal to find better alternative to a given challenge instead of just ignoring it and telling people that they can just pack their bags and leave. this is not 1813 you know....


MO, Companies hiring the guys you refer are not small privates or groceries. These are corporate, banks, business houses purely owned by Locals and only locals. Pls tell me, WHY don?t they recruit you even for half instead of 1/3 of their salary?

Possibly, you are lucky 1/3 they give you a chance many not... Remember the local PRO publications and interviews on paper? Double the loss in than out. Results are good lessons, we should learn before making the same mistake...


Steve, I understand where you're coming from, nonetheless if you were not offered that big of a package you wouldn't leave home & come to the Gulf. As they say money talks.. plus i bet you that the package you got here you will never get back in your country, as I am sure if you got something better back home you would never come. Am I wrong?
Referring to what you said "if you don't hire us we won't come" - well if you don't accept we won't hire you...
That is the reason all of us Gulf Nationals do complain, as the expats nag, although they get the best packages where the locals get peanuts compared to you guys.

I am not including the laborers who come from the indian sub-continent.

All i am saying is that with all the benefits you get while you're here, try to be grateful as many of us don't even get 1/3 of the salary + allowances you get. I am sure many of us are as qualified as you are for the jobs you get. Go back home if you have a better offer, YOU DONT, so stop complaining !


Well Steve if expats do complain about something, then it is only natural for locals to get fed up with the negativity and ask the complainer to pack up and leave.

As a GCC citizen myself, I worked in both the UK and Denmark and when I complained about the taxes I had to pay in Denmark, the Danes would tell me the same: "you dont like our system? Pack up and go home", fair enough, I thought, and from there I learned to just accept the system of the country I am based at.


Agree with RAH. Do not keep yourself in an environment which is not comfortable for you. Pack up & leave, do not just complain & keep enjoying. I am an Indian living in Saudi Arabia & do not find fault with any such issues. If a host contry has to deal with some issues & solution lies in reducing the number of expats, it is the right of that contry to do so. Do not just complain about everything. There are many who do not even spare the social norms, culture, food, life style etc complain about. Come on when you decided to come this part of the world or any foreign contry you knew what are the circumstances there.


RAH, heres an important difference. You benefit from those taxes, with subsidized education, health, etc. Here, the expats are taxed, while all benefits accrue to local populations. I know the first cry will be "What about the infrastructure, etc etc?". Well, that's fine, but then EVERYONE should pay municipality taxes (which I assume goes to support the upkeep of those services), not just expats!

While I think citizens should benefit from the resources of the government, it is clearly unfair to tax one group of people (including the most disadvantaged) and confer benefits on another advantaged group. Just be fair in both charges and benefits (without conferring citizenship) and you'll quell a lot of the unhappiness.


you are right, we should accept the system and go ahead.
But in UK or Denmark, taxes are for the both locals and expats.
And in terms of law there is no discrimination.


Well, I hope we get a new and better government in my country some day so as they could tell you Kuwaitis in Lebanon that your properties are confiscated and that you're not welcome anymore: pack up and leave!


All the GCC countries have the same complaint about expats. I see posts here from GCC persons saying for us to stop complaining, well, just stop asking us to come here for the work. If you don't hire us, we won't come. Do it all yourself. Any excess tax on personal income or companies will just be passed on to the consumer from the companies forced to pay.

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