How can 100% Saudization in KSA malls benefit retailers?

August 22, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

“It’s only a matter of time before you find shopping malls running entirely on a Saudi workforce,” said Mohammad Iqbal Alawi, Managing Partner, and CEO at Real Estate Development Solutions.

As retailers are mandated to implement 100% Saudization in malls, the government has announced that it will incentivise those who hire Saudi nationals that are new to the sector by offering financial aid and subsidies.

“There are a lot of incentives for retailers to hire Saudis. There is the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) provided by the Ministry of Labour, which reduces costs for retailers. If retailers hire new (to the retail sector) Saudis, the government will subsidise at least 50% of their salaries for a period of two years,” he said.

It costs less to hire Saudi manpower, according to Alawi. Expatriate workers looking to work in Saudi Arabia are subject to visa costs incurred by the employer, amongst other taxes and fee expenses. Saudi nationals are exempt from these costs, in turn making it cheaper for employers to hire Saudi staff. Unlike expatriate workers, Saudi nationals are also more likely to spend their salaries within the country, which is healthy for the Kingdom’s retail environment.

“Hiring Saudis is not difficult as they are available. I think complete 100% Saudization will take place within one year or 18 months.”

With a multitude of academies available for employees to train staff, employers can ensure that their newer personnel learn essential skills about the retail landscape from government-approved institutes and government-financed training programs.

“We used to have a problem finding the right institutes to train those who wanted to join the sector. Now, there are many private and government academies to prepare those who wish to embark on their retail journey,” he added.

“Retail is one of the biggest sectors in the country, and since 2016, the government has held talks about implementing Saudization on the sector. They placed a quota of 30% that grew to 60% in the years that followed. This year the government decided to increase Saudization to a minimum of 80% in retail within shopping malls and to 100% in shopping mall management,” he said.

Earlier this month, on August 4th, The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in the Kingdom issued a decision to implement 100% Saudization in closed commercial spaces and shopping malls. The ministerial resolution aims to create 51,000 jobs for Saudi nationals within the labour market.

“In the past, retailers did not understand the importance of creating jobs. I think over the past six years since the beginning of these regulations, retailers have changed their minds about hiring a Saudi workforce,” he concluded.



Previous Article Next Article



A new branch of Waitrose comes up in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa City

British grocer Waitrose has opened its newest store in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa 

Continue Reading

January 25, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Its Netherlands Food Week at Al Maya Supermarkets

UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets has kicked off its ‘Netherlands Food Week’ that 

Continue Reading

January 20, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Tesco announces price lock to support consumers amid inflation (PC: Andrew Parsons / Parsons Media)

British grocery retail chain Tesco has announced a price lock on over 

Continue Reading

January 13, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Union Coop renews ISO certification

Dubai-based grocery retailer Union Coop has successfully obtained the ISO 22301, an 

Continue Reading

January 12, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona announces salary increase amid inflation (PC: Mercadona)

Spanish omnichannel supermarket chain Mercadona has announced salary increase amid inflation that 

Continue Reading

January 3, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Choithrams partners with Rove Hotels to open 8 new outlets

Grocery retail chain Choithrams will open eight convenience stores across Rove Hotels’ 

Continue Reading

December 30, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Géant to open more than 20 stores in the UAE in 2023

Part of regional retail conglomerate GMG, Géant plans to open more than 

Continue Reading

December 23, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
FMCG online sales growing by 68% in UAE and 58% in KSA

Online share in FMCG sales has been growing all over the world, 

Continue Reading

December 19, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Majid Al Futtaim Retail, Standard Chartered launch region’s first Sustainable Supply Chain Finance Programme

Majid Al Futtaim Retail, operator of the Carrefour franchise in the Middle 

Continue Reading

December 15, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
GMG and Silal partner to support 1,100 UAE farms access local retail market

UAE-based diversified conglomerate GMG and Silal have signed a memorandum of understanding 

Continue Reading

December 12, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Lulu Group partners with Amazon expanding grocery offerings to online customers in the UAE

Abu Dhabi based grocery retail chain Lulu Group has partnered with Amazon 

Continue Reading

November 24, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
Food Tech Valley partners with Tradeling to boost UAE’s food ecosystem

UAE-government-led initiative Food Tech Valley – announced in 2021 by His Highness 

Continue Reading

November 17, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

Download Images RetailME Magazine