HR a Challenge For Construction Firms in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Hiring & Staffing,International,Labor,News,Workforce Planning |

The “challenge” of “human resources” for companies doing business in the Arab states means hiring more of national population. The countries and companies have historically been heavily dependent on “guest workers” or “foreign experts” be they Malaysian maids or German civil engineers. The governments in nations such as Saudi Arabia are anxious to keep their people employed and happy in the wake of events that have unfolded in nearby North African countries. The scramble for “localization” of the workforce in the oil-rich Arab states may wind up remaking these societies as an unintended side effect of job creation.


Khaldoun Tabari

Khaldoun Tabari

The biggest challenge to doing business in Saudi Arabia remains human resources, says Drake & Scull International (DSI) CEO Khaldoun Tabari, speaking at the CW Leaders in Construction summit, 28 September 2011, at the Armani Hotel in Dubai.

“We have what we call Number One classification in Saudi. We did that by acquisition. Remember, if we wanted to go there and establish our own company and bring in people, today we will still be looking to bring in people,” says Tabari.

“We currently have 6,000 workers in Saudi. On the list of available manpower, we are probably number seven, whereas Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin have 150,000 to 120,000. These are phenomenal figures.”

“I think that is a crucial part of Saudi Arabia: how to get people on the ground, because of the Saudi government trying to promote work for locals, and you cannot fault them for that.

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