Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

In this file photo, Laborer work to remove a pole outside a residential building in Riyadh on Feb. 9, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

  • The Kingdom intends to gradually cancel labor visas issued under the previous system
  • Says it will prioritize certain occupational categories

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia will introduce a new foreign manpower program starting next month by issuing visas for specific occupations, said Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Al-Omair noted that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes. He also noted that the previous labor category system would be gradually be removed from the ministry’s system.

The new scheme will be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it will become compulsory.

According to Al-Omair, the new program will be first applied to the manpower recruited from India due to it is a large size in the Saudi market.

However, it will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, since workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of the professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Economic reforms creating real estate opportunities in Pakistan, says property tycoon

Updated 19 min ago

Economic reforms creating real estate opportunities in Pakistan, says property tycoon

  • The two-day Pakistan Property Show in Dubai has attracted significant numbers of expat Pakistanis
  • The event has displayed several affordable property options

DUBAI: Pakistan’s economic reforms and tax implementation scheme have benefitted genuine buyers and developed their trust in the country’s real estate market, a senior property expert told Arab News on Friday.
Zeeshan Ali Khan, CEO of, said that despite the global economic downturn in the property business, there was still an opportunity for buyers in Pakistan.
Khan was speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the two-day Pakistan Property Show (PPS) that kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Center on December 6.
He said that while bulk buying was not happening, buyers in the Gulf states were still interested in the property market of his country.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan at the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

The event in Dubai has offered overseas Pakistanis a chance to explore rewarding investment opportunities available in some of the most reliable and promising real estate projects.
In addition, since the exhibition features projects from several major cities of Pakistan, it provides visitors with a great opportunity to explore affordable property options.
Khan said that taking the property exhibition to an international level was a tough undertaking in the beginning, though he added that the PPS had gradually acquired its own brand recognition.
“The success story of this event is a source of pride for Pakistanis living in the Gulf,” he said.
“Increasing investment opportunities in the property sector is vital for setting the sector on track to progress, and the main objective of organizing such events is to circulate money in the investment sector, which, in turn, will benefit the overall economy of Pakistan,” he continued.
“The World Trade Center holds its own exclusive status in terms of trade and investment activities in the region where only the best corporates and business entities can stage their activities, and for a Pakistan-based company to organize such a grand event there is definitely a matter of national pride,” Khan noted.
He also highlighted the fact that most of the online traffic received was from Pakistani expatriates residing in the Gulf countries.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan particpating in the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

“The event thus offers great opportunities to Pakistanis living here to make solid, safe and rewarding investments in reliable real estate developments.”
Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency, Dubai, inaugurated the event.
“I have seen a lot of [Pakistani] companies offering unique projects, sharing data and knowledge from Pakistan to Dubai and Dubai to Pakistan,” he said while interacting with various exhibitors and senior management of
“Today there are no borders for investment and real estate is the biggest investment that everybody is looking for,” he added.
The PPS 2019 featured the biggest names from Pakistan’s most urban centers, such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, Murree, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Raheem Yar Khan, Gwadar, Bahawalpur and DG Khan.
In the last two editions of the event, the property extravaganza attracted a combined audience of over 31,000. Prominent names among this year’s exhibitors included “Eighteen” and “Capital Smart City.”
The show is organized by and this is the company’s third consecutive annual property exhibition event in Dubai. has so far held a total of 17 major property exhibitions in different countries, attracting over a million visitors.