Posted on August 23, 2015

Qatar’s private sector employs about 12,400 citizens compared to 1.47 million expatriate workforce, The Peninsula. Qatar is the only GCC country with the smallest number of nationals engaged in the private sector, according to 2014 figures.

But over the past nine years, a large number of Qataris have taken up private jobs, up 248 percent. For example, in 2006, there were about 3,600 Qataris employed with private companies and the number reached 12,400  last year. The rise in the number of citizens in the private sector in the past nine years has been 9,000, or 248 in percentage terms, says an International Monetary Fund (IMF) note, according to a report in local Arabic daily Al Watan yesterday.

Qataris entering the private sector in increasing numbers in the past nine years represents the biggest such growth in the GCC. As for expatriates, in 2006, about 417,000 were employed in the private sector. The number has multiplied by 254 percent in nine years — more than Qataris. In nine years, the growth of Kuwaitis in the private sector has been 138 percent, 73 (Oman),  54 (Saudi Arabia) and 22 (Bahrain).

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Being the largest Gulf country, Saudi Arabia has some 1.65 million citizens employed in the private sector as against 5.7 million expatriate workforce. Omanis in private jobs totalled 198,000, Bahrain (99,000) and Kuwait (91,000). Al Watan quoted a report of international audit firm Ernst & Young and said private players in the GCC cite challenges in employing locals, prominent among them being their expectation of high pay and perks.

GCC employers cite lack of skills, qualifications and experience among locals as major reasons behind private companies not wanting to employ them. The Ernst & Young report is on how GCC states can fill up experience gaps. It says three-fourths of employers in the GCC feel that educational institutions do not have enough understanding of the requirements of the private sector as far as jobs are concerned.