Recently my driver brought his wife and two boys to Saudi Arabia on an Umrah visa. He found living quarters for them and I could see that these were the two happiest little boys in the world. My driver often works seven days a week, but with his family in town, he worked only six. Thursdays was family day. The boys knew that their dad reserved that day for them. Each Thursday morning, they were dressed and ready for the big day long before their dad arrived to pick them up for a trip to the Corniche, an amusement park, the mall or a fine family restaurant.
From a practical standpoint this visit is good for Saudi Arabia. The money that my driver earns is being spent in Jeddah. It’s not being sent to Pakistan. He is contributing to Saudi Arabia’s economy.
At the end of the holiday, the family returned to Pakistan and my driver will probably not see them for another year. It’s not often that I see a grown man cry, but I can’t fault his tears for the unfairness of being forced to find work in a foreign country to provide for his family. And even when that wage is exceptional, the labor laws in Saudi Arabia keep that family separated.
Further, millions of Saudi Riyals leave the Kingdom each day. Saudi banks and Western Union offices are jammed each day with expatriates sending money home with little being spent in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia would benefit better if it changes its policies to allow unskilled expatriates earning a good income to have their families live with them.
From Allowing all expats to bring families may help economy a comment on the lives of the expats in Saudi Arabia by Sabria S. Jawhar in Saudi GazetteTo read the full article click here.