UAE and Qatar’s construction firms are hiring expatriate workers who have failed to legalise their work status in Saudi Arabia, said a report.
The UAE emirates have been able to take advantage of this pool of labourers to push forward with their mega-infrastructural projects that have suffered delays due to a shortage in manpower, said the Arab News report.
About eight million expat workers in the kingdom face obstacles in transferring their sponsorship to the companies they work in, it said.
Many employers stall sponsorship transfer, placing additional pressure on jobseekers who end up in a legal limbo and resort to looking for employment elsewhere in the GCC, said the report.
“Expat workers will naturally move between the Gulf states in pursuit of opportunities when they fail to achieve security where they are,” Fadel Abul Ainain, a consultant for several private companies, was quoted as saying.
“They can’t, however, directly migrate to a neighbouring country. Expats usually go back to their home countries in order to be able to get a new visa to another Gulf country.”
Many neighbouring states have been able to take advantage of this crisis, he added.
“Several firms in Qatar and the UAE are interested in hiring skilled and experienced expat workers who have spent many years in the kingdom,” economist Ali Hamdan was quoted as saying.
“Qatar has huge financial wealth, but faces a labour shortage due to its small population,” he said.