190126 Zulfiqar Bukhari
Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, during a visit to worker's accommodation in Jebel Ali, Dubai early this year.. Image Credit: Gulf News/archive

Dubai: Pakistani workers continued to come in large numbers to the UAE and Saudi Arabia as both the countries continued to be largest source of employment for them this year as well.

As many as 176,947 Pakistani workers came to the UAE on employment visas during the first 10 months of 2019 registering an increase of 1.7 per cent, according to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Humran Resource Development. For the last few years, an average of 200,000 Pakistani find jobs in the UAE but this year this number is set to increase, according to an official at the Ministry.

“UAE continues to generate a lot of job opportunities for overseas workers and it remains the vibrant source of employment for Pakistani due to its dynamic economy and rapid development,” an official at the Ministry told Gulf News. He said that the recent MoUs signed between the UAE and Pakistan have also made it easier for Pakistanis to find jobs in the UAE.

Higher numbers

The number of Pakistanis being employed in the UAE could even be higher, as this figure is based on statistics sourced from the Pakistan Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, which registers every employee going abroad on work permit. Many people also come to the UAE on visit visas and change their visa status to work permit, which is normally not registered back home.

More Pakistanis find jobs in Saudi Arabia

However, even larger number of Pakistanis have gone to work in Saudi Arabia during the first 10 months of this year. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MOPHRD) during has assisted over 258,215 Pakistanis to proceed Saudi Arabia for prospective job opportunities in various sectors.

“MOPHRD was able to achieve 207% increase in manpower export to Saudi Arabia. Thank you Saudi Arabia for being the second home to millions of Pakistanis, largest country to home Overseas Pakistanis,” says a tweet by the Ministry.

Qualified workforce

“Ministry of Overseas sent as many as 768,419 Pakistanis to other countries for employment since Jul 18. The number has increased by 33 per cent in 2019 as compared to previous year. More qualified workers overseas means increase in foreign remittance inflows and more families will prosper in Pakistan.” tweeted Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Pakistan Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis & HRD.

According to the data compiled by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, the manpower export to Saudi Arabia had registered a marked increase of over 207 per cent this year as compared to corresponding months of the last year when 84,091 went there.

The number of Pakistani emigrants to Oman had also increased by 5.8 per cent as 23,998 Pakistanis proceeded to the said country during the 10-month period compared to 22,668 in the corresponding period of 2018.

Digital platform

Recently, Bukhari had formally requested Saudi authorities to enhance the Pakistani manpower in multibillion dollars’ project of New Taif City of the Kingdom. He said Saudi Arabia had also extended an offer for Pakistani manpower’s export through ‘Musaned’- a digital platform launched by the Kingdom to facilitate labour recruitment process and ensure their rights protection

The MOPHRD is also in process of linking up its digital portal with the UAE to set up direct link between its job seekers and foreign employers, APP, Pakistan’s official news agency reported.

The initiative would eventually minimise the middleman’s role in recruitment process and help the country to train its workforce as per the international markets’ demand.