Saudization Myths and Facts


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Saudization Facts


I have personally struggled with this subject, and try my very best to implement it wherever I can.

But some companies are still hesitant to hire Saudis, and there excuses are -most of the times- ridiculous, and they are basing on myths that I personally have seen not to be true in a lot of Saudis.

And here are myths in this subject that needs to clarified. I hope I can cover most of them below:

  • Myth 1: There are no competent Saudis in the market.
    • Whenever I hear this statement, I honestly get angry, and companies will always give you obstacles, below are some of them:
      • No or poor English: I have to agree with them, in most -if not all- of the private sector the English level is one of the most -if not most- important competency.
      • No Experience: I agree to a certain limit to this statement  I am a true believer of practical knowledge over paper knowledge, but there has to be a starting point, if the candidate is saying that he wants a senior level without having the necessary experience I am completely against him/her, but when the company doesn’t offer entry-level opportunities  I stand against that company until they offer such opportunities.


  • Myth 2: Saudis are Unstable, Expensive:
    • Usually that means that the Saudi employee will resign quickly, let us take a deeper look into this and understand why, and to summarize them to points I will use’s Study titled “Recruiting Top Graduates in Saudi Arabia” published on September 2011 to list the top 5 basis of graduates career choices:
      • Training & Development: Understandably if the employee doesn’t have a clear path and growth he will look for it somewhere else. And not having this gets in the way of the first Myth (How do you expect to find competent people when you are not developing your people?)
      • Interesting & Challenging Work: The Saudi youth are -mostly- looking to implement what they have learned and prove everyone believing in the first myth wrong.
      • Company Image and Reputation: I say this coming from Jubail Industrial City where the competition in this part is very brutal between the companies, when your company is involved with the community you feel proud as an employee of that company.
      • Salary and Benefits: Believe it or not, this is NOT in the top three basis. But it is an important aspect not to be neglected to treat your employees fairly and generously.
      • Team Environment: In all the companies that I have worked for, I still maintain a very strong relationship between myself and my ex-colleagues. In my opinion, this should be in the second basis after training and development, as you are going to spend more time with your team then you will be spending with your family.


  • Myth 3: Saudis are expensive:
    • Well, this is not a myth, it is a fact, Saudis are more expensive  but it is the reality, the difference is the Saudi has a social life in this country and he is looking to own property, on the other hand an expat has lower social life in Saudi Arabia, and the economy in his country usually allows him to own property faster than a Saudi. I am not going to argue a fact, but it is what it is, as long as the economy is going higher so will the salaries of Saudis.


  • Myth 4: Saudis are Not Serious (hard workers):
    • I will be honest, this is a discussing generality, and unfortunately I used to believe it. but after working in different companies I have to say that there is a large number of serious, hard working, and competent Saudis out there.


  • Myth 5: Saudis are not Mobile:
    • This means that Saudis are not willing to relocate. Unfortunately I used to believe that to be true (although my father relocated to Jubail in 1988), but after working in Halliburton, and seeing Saudis willing to go to Rig sites in the middle of the dessert and the middle of the ocean, this was immediately scratched out from my head.


  • Myth 6: We are already nationalizing the jobs, we are already in the green:
    • I will split this category into two main points:
        • Truthful Companies: Also this splits into two categories:
          • Fairly distributed: meaning that Saudis are working in all levels of the hierarchy  and I have worked with highly intelligent people in companies dominated by Saudis, where you can see the workflow going without a hitch, and I do salute such companies, but it doesn’t mean that it is a green light to stop hiring Saudis, continue on the good work
          • Unfairly distributed: Meaning Saudis are occupying only low level jobs, but there are A LOT of them to give you the illusion of nationalization (and I have seen such companies), these companies are what is wrong with the system, because of companies like these whatever plan drafted will not give actual results, these types of companies should be treated like the Lying Companies..
        • Lying Companies: Those companies in my opinion are the virus that is destroying this country’s national workforce. I highly recommend that they are publicly and shamefully humiliated and HIGHLY charged with fines. Government should not do business with them, nor should the other private companies.


This subject needs more than a blog post, and I know that i might have missed some points, if you have anything to add to this, please mention it in the comments below.

Sources: I used my personal experience and an outline of the book "The Saudi Arabian Economy: Policies, Achievements & Challenges"

3 comments on “Saudization Myths and Facts

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