Saudi Arabia has barred expatriates from its camel markets and confined them to nationals on the grounds such business is among careers restricted to Saudis, newspapers in the Gulf kingdom reported on Saturday.
Deputy premier and defence minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz issued a decision telling all the country’s foreign workers to stay away from local camel markets and told police and other law enforcers to ensure compliance.
“All expatriates are no longer allowed to work in the camel markets in Saudi Arabia according to that decision, which said only Saudi citizens are authorized to deal in camels,” Ajel Arab language daily said.
“The decision noted that foreigners working in camel markets have been violating labour regulations and the government’s job Saudization campaign.”
The papers said authorities enforcing that decision would present regular reports to Prince Nayef to ensure no expatriate is involved in camel dealing.
Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s top oil exporter, had the fourth largest camel wealth in the Middle East with around 869,000 camels at the end of 2010. It was followed by the UAE which had nearly 378,000 camels.
Nearly seven million expatriates, mostly from other Arab nations and Asia, live in Saudi Arabia, with a total population of 27.1 million in mid 2010.
The Kingdom has been locked in a drive to create jobs for its citizens and ease reliance on foreign workers. At the end of 2010, unemployment among Saudis exceeded 10 per cent, or nearly 500,000 people.