Saudi Arabia has taken drastic measures to counter the threat of unemployment by launching its “Nitaqat” labor reform program with the aim of replacing expatriate workers with Saudi employees. It has since November, when an amnesty to regularize papers expired, expelled thousands of low-paid migrant workers, mainly from South Asia and poorer Arab and African states. Under the new rules, businesses will have to ensure that Saudi nationals make up 50% of the workforce ,and face fines for non-compliance. Any company where the balance of foreign workers is higher will have to pay a fine of SR2,500 ($667mn) for each above-quota foreign worker.

However this policy has had a negative impact on the domestic front, both social and economic, and a spillover effect into such countries like Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arabian Peninsula, and other trouble spots like Somalia. So far, up to 300,000 people have been forced to leave Saudi Arabia and a million have left of their own accord. (CONTINUED - 317 WORDS)