Saudi market
A man buys vegetables at a market in Qatif, Saudi Arabia. Jeddah wholesale market is full of expatriates unlawfully involved in business deals. Image Credit: Reuters file

Cairo: Saudi market authorities have barred non-Saudis illegally pursuing business from entering a wholesale vegetable market in the port city of Jeddah, according to a media report.

The Public Market Management Department at the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Mecca, has requested expatriates to show up with their employers in a restriction aimed to support efforts to localise jobs for Saudi citizens, news website Sabq has reported.

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The move has drawn praise from Saudi investors in the market, who called it a “brave decision” to protect localisation and encourage Saudis to work.

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Months ago, Sabq reported that the Jeddah wholesale market was full of expatriates unlawfully involved in business deals. At the time, the portal remarked that foreign drivers pursued the business of buying and re-selling fruits and vegetables in broad daylight.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia, home to a large community of migrant workers, has launched a series of initiatives to employ its nationals and replace foreign workers in several fields including education, telecommunications and real estate as part of an employment policy known as “Saudisation”.

In December, Saudi labour authorities said a decision to localise jobs of sales, purchases and project management went into effect.