(MENAFN - Arab News) Thousands of Saudis from small towns and villages are flocking to Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam because 75 percent of new jobs are in these cities, said experts here recently.
"The infrastructure development projects in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam have increased the number of jobs in these cities. Many more positions are waiting to be filled as a result of the exit of hundreds of thousands of expatriates during the amnesty period," Fadal Ainain, an economic expert, told Arab News.
However, several experts at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) said that government should curb this urban migration and develop major infrastructure projects in these small towns to create jobs for young Saudis.
Abdullah Radwan, head of the JCCI's contractors committee, said many Saudis from these areas have limited job opportunities in the private sector. However, many private copanies have extended their business operations to Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. This has led many to move to these cities for stable and secure employment.
"If there were major projects in small villages and towns, the private sector would find them attractive and invest in them thus creating jobs," Radwan told Arab News.
"The metropolitan areas have more developed services and strong transport and communication networks. Small towns and villages will only attract Saudis if there are investment opportunities there," Tala Samarqandi, a member of the JCCI's real estate committee said.
According to a report published in local media, 88 percent of the Saudi population would be living in major cities by 2025, because of the job opportunities there. The report also stated that several government bodies have drawn up strategic plans for the next 20 years to create jobs in small villages and towns.