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Survey: Gulf-wide nationalization efforts face similar stumbling blocks

There is a funny paradox that the governments want to create jobs for their nationals, but are themselves sometimes reluctant to employ them.

Azfar Khan, senior migration specialist at the International Labour Organization (ILO), on the challenges facing GCC governments that are trying to create more private sector jobs for their citizens while reducing their reliance on foreign workers – including Qatar.

Arabian Business reports:

Qatar’s solution may be increasingly imitated across the Gulf: where it is unable to find local citizens to move into jobs, it appears to be encouraging the use of Arab workers from other countries, rather than the South Asians and East Asians who have traditionally done much of the hard labour.

“We have now started to limit foreign labour,” said Hussain Yousuf al-Mulla, undersecretary at Qatar’s labour ministry. “When I say foreign, I mean Asian workers.

“The instructions that have come to us from the government are to stick to Arab labourers. Foreign labourers caused many problems – their number is big, their customs and habits are not similar to ours, besides social and security problems.”

Well, that is certainly an interesting approach – though it flies in the face of plans announced by Qatar to hire more workers from countries including Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania, Myanmar and China.