Saudi telecom inspectors have closed 1,864 establishments in a move to replace 50 percent of expat workers with Saudi nationals in the telecom sector. Makkah had the largest share of closures with 508, followed by Asir with 499 and Eastern Province with 203.
According to latest statistics released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD), Madinah, Qassim and Riyadh came next with 195, 165 and 84, respectively, with Najran being the lowest in the number of closed establishments due to violations recorded.
The ministries of Interior, labour and Social Development, Commerce and Investment, Municipal and Rural Affairs and Communication and IT have collectively advised employers to follow the Saudization directive and recruit Saudis in the mobile phone sector.
In the aftermath of nationwide inspection campaigns, a total of 883 shops selling mobile phones and accessories have been alerted of permanent closure if they continue to disobey the ministry’s regulation to hire Saudi salespersons and maintenance professionals.
Fahad Al-Owaidi, deputy minister for inspection and development of work environment at MLSD, said the first phase of nationalizing telecom jobs is drawing to a close, calling upon reluctant establishments to promptly implement the directive and allow Saudi nationals to prove their potentials in the sector. The private establishments that abide by the directive would contribute to the reduction of cover-up business and provision of suitable job opportunities for Saudi males and females, Al-Owaidi added.