Working Papers

Will Nationals and Asians Replace Arab Workers in the GCC?

Publication Number: ECESWP74-E

November, 2002

Author : Maurice Girgis

Type : Working Papers

This paper starts by reviewing the population and labor migration record of the GCC. It then outlines four scenarios concerning the prospects of Arab worker migration to the region, and examines the factors that will shape the direction of the migration trends in the near to medium runs. It concludes that slow Arab out-migration over the next five years is the most probable scenario and is likely to displace 485,400 Arab workers in the GCC countries. Finally, the paper points out that unless major strides are made to invigorate economic growth and introduce major macroeconomic and labor market reforms, neighboring Arab countries are well-advised to anticipate fewer remittances, more workers returning home and possibly increasing unemployment rates.