How Saudi Arabia is Transforming Its Economy Through Its Workforce

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy from oil dependence with an increase in private sector investment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Vision 2030 is developing sectors including tourism, education, healthcare and infrastructure.

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As a result, there is a growth in investors across these fields establishing businesses in Saudi Arabia. Saudization is also having a positive effect with an increasing number of Saudi locals joining the workforce. This is leading to a Saudi-led and Saudi-operated switch in the economy. 

In 2019, Saudi Arabia issued 1.2 million work visas, a 100% increase from the previous year. At the same time, Saudization numbers continue to indicate the successful enrollment of further Saudi’s into the workforce, and foreign workers are still welcome in Saudi Arabia despite the promotion of Saudization by the government; as they have always constituted a major part of its workforce. Corporate immigration compliance is a key component in delivering results across this process, as it allows for further expertise to enter the workforce whilst businesses still contribute to the Saudization requirements.

As a result, and in an effort to serve both the Saudization scheme and Vision 2030, the Kingdom made major steps in the past few years; there are multiple steps to make it easier for women to work, with programs dedicated to making that as easy as possible, including Wusool, a transportation program to help women get to work and Qurrah which supports with childcare services for those women who are working mothers. 

Across the Kingdom, a new regulatory change was announced in January 2020. In a step to improve the quality of life in cities, a new license was issued, allowing businesses to be open 24/7, providing further job opportunities and allowing businesses to increase revenue.

Saudi Arabia has continued to update its immigration programs in order to keep providing organizations with the talent they need. Following the issuing of the entrepreneurship license, both locals and foreigners have shown increased interest in establishing businesses. 

Accordingly, as a move to attract further investments, the Kingdom recently lifted restrictions on visit visas for UK, US and Schengen visa holders. By doing so, Saudi Arabia accomplishes two very distinct and important steps towards Vision 2030; tourism is a key focus point in diversifying the Saudi economy from its oil dependence and potential investors can visit the Kingdom, enjoy its culture and be encouraged to start businesses there. 

By 2030, with notable changes taking place in terms of entrepreneurial opportunities and workforce diversification, Saudi Arabia could accomplish a lot of its main goals. We could witness an impressive progress for women in work, and we could see Saudi Arabia in a completely new light; modern, entrepreneurial and attractive for international tourists.

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