A new era for labour migration in the GCC?


  • Philip L. Martin Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
  • Froilan Malit Migration Policy Researcher American University of Sharjah




Gulf Cooperation Council, migration, development, skilled workers


The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are among the most dependent on foreign workers to fill private-sector jobs. A combination of lower oil prices and rapid native labour force growth has given new impetus to efforts to diversify GCC economies away from oil and encourage natives to fill private sector jobs. This article summarizes the current status of foreigners and foreign workers in GCC countries and considers several scenarios, including maintaining the status quo, improving protections for foreign workers in countries of destination (CODs) and countries of origin (COOs), and changing the current migration system to employ fewer and more skilled workers.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Philip L. Martin, Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of California, Davis

Philip Martin is Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis and a member of the Commission on Agricultural Workers established by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. He is the author of numerous studies and reports on immigration, including Trade and Migration: NAFTA and Agriculture (1993). Prof Martin has guest-edited two issues for Migration Letters on Competitiveness in US and Japan, Migration and Development; comparing US and Mexico, and on Migration Expert Commissions. He has also been co-chair of Turkish Migration Conferences organised by Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies in London.




How to Cite

Martin, P. L., & Malit, F. (2017). A new era for labour migration in the GCC?. Migration Letters, 14(1), 113–126. https://doi.org/10.59670/ml.v14i1.320

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>