Saudisation forces closure of 800 mobile phone shops

New rules require 100 percent of phone shop staff to be Saudi nationals
(Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Sun 09 Oct 2016 11:34 AM

A reported 800 telecoms shops in Saudi Arabia have closed since new rules came into force requiring 100 percent of staff to be Saudi nationals.

Under a ramped-up Saudisation policy from the government, all stores selling mobile communications devices had to ensure that at least 50 percent of employees were Saudi citizens from June 6; the requirement rose to 100 percent on September 3.

Saudi authorities have been conducting raids on shops to ensure the new rules are being implemented – and have recorded multiple violations, Saudi Gazette reported.

The newspaper said that 800 establishments have been forced to shut as they were unable to meet the new requirements, while others were flouting the rules.

Following the latest inspection, in the Eastern Province, the Labour and Social Development Office recorded 41 violations out of 71 visits.

An official source was quoted as saying: “A total of 1,982 establishments have adhered to the Saudisation decision.

“The office visited 4,953 establishments in all. Only 2,023 of the visited establishments were running and 1,739 Saudis were employed in them.”

Mohammad Al Laghbi, the committee head of Jazan municipality labour office, said the telecoms Saudisation plan had succeeded in increasing jobs for Saudi citizens, however, more training is needed in mobile phone repair to offer those services to customers.

“There aren’t enough Saudis who are well-trained to offer mobile repair,” he said. “This has led to several telecommunication shops reaching agreements with expatriate technicians who will work from home.”

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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