GCC expat workers top 12.5 million
Jeddah, September 11, 2012
More than 12.5 million workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are foreigners and they account for about 31 percent of the 40 million GCC population, a report said.
Expatriates account for 80 percent of the population in the UAE, 27pc in Qatar, 63pc in Kuwait, 62pc in Oman, 30pc in Saudi Arabia and 26pc in Bahrain, said the Arab News report.
Some other studies say that the actual number of expatriate workers in the GCC is about 15 million, the report said quoting Al-Hayat daily.
The level of Arab expatriates has been falling compared to Asians in the GCC. According to a report of the Arab Labor Organization, the number of Arab expatriate workers in the GCC drooped from 72 percent in 1975 to 23 percent in 2008, the report said.
Abdullah Al-Gheilani, an Omani expert on demography, was quoted as saying the imbalance in the population was a security issue rather than an economic one.
He called on the Gulf states to grapple with the unhealthy demographic situation seriously and jointly. He recommended that Arab expatriates be integrated into the GCC society, “because Arabs are less dangerous for the GCC society than any other nationality of expatriate workers.”