Saudi Arabia's Minister of Labor and Social Development, Ali Al-Ghafees, has issued a decree to limit twelve retail jobs to Saudi nationals only, Arab News reported on Tuesday.
In hopes of providing Saudis with more opportunities in the private sector, the ministry has released a list of sales activities that will be considered off-limits for non-Saudis as of September 2018.
This comes as part of the kingdom's efforts to nationalize its workforce and reduce its reliance on foreign labor.
Violators are expected to face hefty fines and deportation
According to the ministry's spokesman Khaled Abalkhail, the following retail categories will become designated as Saudi-only:
- Medical equipment and devices
- Electrical and electronic appliances
- Auto parts
- Building materials
- Cars and motorcycles
- Home and office furniture
- Children's clothing and men’s accessories
- Home kitchenware
Abalkhail said a specialized committee will be formed to coordinate the Saudization process in the above industries. He added that action will be taken against those who fail to abide by the ministry's regulations.
"While the ministry has not yet set specific penalties for those who violate Saudization in the new sectors, I expect these to include hefty financial fines, as well as deportation in some cases," said the founder and general manager of Saudi recruitment firm Saudi Employment Murtadha Al-Yousef.
Nationalizing the workforce as part of the kingdom's Vision 2030
The kingdom has passed several orders under the plan, including one that terminates all contracts pertaining to expatriate workers in governments and ministries within three years and another that nationalizes jobs in shopping malls.
In November 2017, the Ministry of Labor and Development announced it has been arresting expats caught working in nationalized sectors and warned violators of deportation.
The ever-transforming Vision 2030 also aims to develop non-oil industries, support small and medium enterprises, increase the participation of Saudi women in the workforce, and create a broader investment base in the country.