Workforce Nationalization in Gulf Cooperation Council States

Kasim Randeree

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

2620 Downloads (Pure)


In recent decades, GCC countries have become over reliant on a large foreign workforce, to the extent that in many countries, foreign workers form the majority of their inhabitants. Consequently, nationalization of human resources, the concept of reducing expatriate employment by bringing more indigenous citizens into the workplace, has become the desired and articulated policy of all rulers of countries that form the GCC. Building on earlier extensive research focused on the UAE, this work is the first attempt to review all six GCC nations, with the view to shedding light on the catalysts for success as well as examining the difficulties in workforce nationalization. In conducting the research, the role of Gulf citizenry in economic development within their nation states was explored. Prior to this work, the UAE remained the only country among the six GCC nations to have had any serious studies on migrant labor and national workforce imbalance carried out. This has led to the realization that understanding the GCC more broadly was required. This study thus evaluates the challenges and progress of the UAE in more detail before examining the remaining five GCC countries.
In this exploratory-cum-constructivist approach to the problem, the argument that emerges is that closer cooperation and unified policy structures on nationalization are needed among all GCC countries. Central to this is that education, training, the transfer of knowledge from expatriate to citizen, better approaches to encouraging citizens into the private sector, and the greater inclusion of women, are all significant and universal issues which need to be tackled to achieve the desired aim of a (mainly) nationalized labor force across all GCC countries in the coming decades. The notion of structural reform encompassing these problems thus emerges to be a valid one, where a clear and unified policy across GCC countries could be strategically defined, though methods of implementation may need to be more tailored and distinctive. The research further demonstrated that continued economic potency alongside a structured reduction and eventual elimination of the need for hydrocarbon industries would be needed to impact future nationalization policy, though global economic trends have negatively impacted areas of the Gulf in recent years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigrant Labor in the Gulf
Subtitle of host publicationWorking Group Summary Report No. 2
Place of PublicationDoha, Qatar
PublisherCenter for International and Regional Studies Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
Number of pages2
EditionSummary Report No. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Workforce Nationalization in Gulf Cooperation Council States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Migrant Labor in the Gulf

    Randeree, K.


    Project: Project at former HEI


Cite this