Saudi Economy

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in Saudi Arabia requires more than just the obvious Saudi CV and Saudi cover letter writing and translation, it requires thorough preparation. You will face problems that probably did not even come to your mind when you decided to start Saudi Arabia job search.

Do not take too lightly the influence a work in Saudi Arabia can have on the effect of your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, unfamiliar job candidate selection criteria and out of the ordinary management culture.

art_warning Saudi Economy

Most visits to  Saudi Arabia are trouble-free but you should be aware of crime and the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. The Saudi Arabiamauthorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks. You should exercise a high level of security awareness and are advised to monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.

Saudi economy - overview: Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 17% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC.

The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 80% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. Saudi Arabia is encouraging the growth of the private sector in order to diversify its economy and to employ more Saudi nationals. Diversification efforts are focusing on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors.

Over 5 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors, while Riyadh is struggling to reduce unemployment among its own nationals. Saudi officials are particularly focused on employing its large youth population, which generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs. Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, most recently with the opening of the King Abdallah University of Science and Technology - Saudi Arabia's first co-educational university.

As part of its effort to attract foreign investment, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in December 2005 after many years of negotiations. The government has begun establishing six "economic cities" in different regions of the country to promote foreign investment and plans to spend $373 billion between 2010 and 2014 on social development and infrastructure projects to advance Saudi Arabia's economic development.

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 6.7%, industry: 21.4%, services: 71.9% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10.7% (2012 est.)
note: data are for Saudi males only (local bank estimates; some estimates range as high as 25%). Foreigners are now barred from a range of occupations as the government seeks to tackle Saudi unemployment.

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: male: 23.6%, female: 45.8% (2008)

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper

Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction

Currency: Saudi riyal (SR) = 100 halalas. Notes are in denominations of SR1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 riyal. Coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 halala.

Money Exchange: Most of the foreign currencies, like Stirling Pound or US Dollar, can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and airports, railway stations, ports & major hotels in Saudi Arabia at the official exchange rates.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. ATMs are widely available.

Traveler’s Cheques: International traveller’s cheques in Stirling Pounds, Euro and US Dollars are widely accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.

Exchange rates: Saudi riyals (SAR) per US dollar - 3.75 (2012 est.), 3.75 (2011 est.), 3.75 (2010 est.), 3.75 (2009), 3.75 (2008)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.6% (2012 est.)

Other Saudi Economy Info

We hope that your Saudi job search has been successful and you have a Saudi visa and Saudi work permit too. So, if your Saudi cover letter and Saudi CV are ready, you may distribute them to your future employers and start preparing for a Saudi job interview.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with the Saudi economy info.


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