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Gulf employs ‘most expats’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28: Gulf countries employ the highest number of foreign workers in the world, as per a report released by Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Research Center, reports Daily Sabah online.

Saudi Arabia tops the list with a total of 9 million employed foreign workers, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 4 million, Kuwait with 1.5 million, Qatar 1.1 million, Oman 900,000 and Bahrain 500,000 foreign workers. According to the report, there are 17 million expatriates working in the Gulf countries.

When the families of those workers are included, the number of expatriates in these countries increases to 23 million. Highest number of workers to this region is from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The total number of foreign workers constitutes about 48 percent of the combined population in all Gulf countries and more than half of the population in all Gulf countries except Saudi Arabia.

Expatriates constitute about 85.7 percent of population in Qatar, 88.5 percent in the UAE, 69 percent in Kuwait, 52 percent in Bahrain, 44 percent in Oman and 32.7 percent in Saudi Arabia. Due to the rich oil and natural gas reserves in the Gulf countries, the latter require huge labor force, which they lack because “the locals with high incomes do not prefer to work as employees”. Therefore, the Gulf countries accept workers from all parts of the world to meet their labor needs.

Meanwhile, foreign workers in Gulf countries remitted a staggering $80 billion to their native countries in 2014. From Saudi Arabia, $35 billion in capital was remitted, $16 billion from the UAE, $12 billion from Kuwait, $8 billion from Qatar, $7.5 billion from Oman and $1.5 billion from Bahrain.

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