The expatriates who have been living in Saudi for decades have to be wary of being singled out by employers as foreign-trained professionals, and there are no exceptions to the rule, a leading expatriat told Fox News.
The expatriacy of expats in Saudi has increased significantly since the Kingdom’s ban on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ nationals from the kingdom, but there are still many who choose to stay.
Some expats are even paying as much as $5,000 per month to stay in the kingdom.
“I can be paid as much or less than $5K for the same job in the UAE or Qatar or even Saudi Arabia,” said Abou Abou, an expatriating Kuwaiti who has been living with his family in Riyadh for more than a decade.
“That is something I don’t understand and it scares me because it is not acceptable,” he added.
Many expats feel they are not respected for their work.
One expat said that she is the target of harassment from a couple of employers after being caught on camera smoking cigarettes in front of a Saudi hotel.
Another expatriated Kuwaiti told Fox that she has received death threats after she posted a video on YouTube of her expat husband smoking a cigarette in front the Dubai hotel where he is staying.
While the expatriats who are living in the Kingdom are often called expats because of their work, the term has been taken over by the expat community to refer to any Saudi nationals who have recently left the country.
In response, expats who live in Saudi and who are considered Saudi nationals are encouraged to seek work in the United States or other foreign countries and to try to find a job in other countries as soon as possible.
There are few expats living in Yemen who work as domestic helpers and others who work for charities that support the poorest expats, but many expats have been forced to work for companies that provide temporary assistance to foreign nationals who work in their country.
The expats at risk of being targeted by employers are expatriators who are not employed by companies that are listed on the official website of the Kingdom, which is the government’s job.
There are also those who work without any job offer and are forced to accept a job offer from the employer if they want to continue their employment.
For Abou Abu Abou and other expats whose families live in Riyadh, there is no chance of staying in the Saudi Kingdom.
Abou Aboun said he has been told by employers that they can’t hire expats as they would be considered as illegal foreign workers.
“They can’t call us foreigners, we don’t have a visa.
We don’t even have a passport,” he said.
He added that he is not afraid of the backlash.
“You don’t want to have any negative reaction,” he explained.
Fox News’ Liz Clarke contributed to this report.