acacia logo

Build your HR Career in Saudi Arabia

acacia learning logo

Our CIPD tutor and General Manager Kevin Haslam, who’s lived and worked in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, for a number of years, was recently featured in a promotional video by the Saudi government-run Salam for Cultural Communication initiative. In the video, he highlights his experience of living and working in the Kingdom.
Something for everyone in Saudi Arabia.

As a renowned expert in the field of HR teaching, Kevin has worked in a range of locations across the Middle East in his impressive career. He decided to share his experience of living and working in the country in a video which you can watch here.

As he says in the video, he was surprised at the generosity of Saudi citizens and recounts being taken out for dinner and meals multiple times by his students!

From the ruins of 2000-year-old Al Ula in the northwest of the Kingdom, through to the sparkling Red Sea islands and the green mountains of the south of the country, Saudi Arabia has a lot of sights to offer people living and working there and truly something for most people.

What is Vision 2030

Kevin’s video was recorded as part of a push by the KSA government to encourage coexistence between different cultures and nationalities in the country. It ties into the Vision 2030 program – a wide-ranging scheme by Saudi Arabia to encourage the sustainability of the country’s economy by reducing its dependency on oil as the world transitions to a fossil-fuel free future.

Vision 2030 plans to grow the private sector and reduce the size of the public sector by developing the skills of Saudi citizens to perform jobs that are currently being performed by people from outside Saudi Arabia.

As part of the Vision 2030 scheme, the KSA Government is offering funding for employers who hire Saudi citizens, and for Saudi citizens who want to study professional qualifications to improve their skills. (We’ve written about this in a previous article which you can check out here). It’s also creating opportunities for jobseekers from outside Saudi Arabia to experience the country themselves.

Building a career in the Kingdom

If you want to build a career in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and you’re not already a Saudi citizen, it can be quite hard to know where to start. The first step is to get a visa to allow you to stay in the country to work.

How to get a work visa for Saudi Arabia

If you want to work in Saudi Arabia, you’ll need to get an employment visa first. These are usually valid for up to two years. You’ll need to have a sponsor to apply for and obtain a work visa – a sponsor is a company in Saudi Arabia that is willing to employ you. The Saudi embassy website outlines the requirements in more detail. You can apply online here. To summarise, you’ll need:

● Original passport with more than 6 months left
● Digital Power of Attorney from your Saudi employer, (created by Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
● Visa referral note, issued by Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
● Sponsor letter from your Saudi employer, certified by both Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs
● A copy of your employment contract, signed by the sponsor and the applicant, and certified by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
● A certified and notarized copy of your professional qualifications, authenticated by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission
● Three copies of a signed medical report by a licensed physician. Must be no more than three months past being issued
● A police report, issued within six months prior to the date of application, about your criminal record (if any)


How to get Saudi Arabian citizenship

In general, it’s quite hard for people from other countries to gain Saudi Arabian citizenship. If you’re looking to get Saudi citizenship you’ll need to fulfill a number of criteria:

● To be over the age of maturity
● To have sound mind
● To have been living legally and continuously in the Kingdom for more than 10 years
● To have a legal way of supporting yourself
● To be considered a moral person
● To not have a criminal record
● To read, write, and speak fluent Arabic


Build a HR career in Saudi Arabia

Currently, as the Vision 2030 program gets underway and the Saudi Arabian economy attempts to redefine itself, there’s a big demand for roles in the labour market such as human resources.

One of the best ways to equip yourself with the right skills and knowledge for a career in HR in the Kingdom is by investing in a professional qualification.

The qualifications that are considered the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to providing learners with practical HR skills that they’ll need in their careers are those offered by the CIPD – the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The CIPD is a professional membership body based in the UK that’s responsible for maintaining standards in the people professions – human resources and learning and development. It does that through issuing qualifications, designed to equip students with the skills employers genuinely need.

CIPD qualifications are recognised by the Saudi Arabian Government, meaning that if you have one, you’ll be able to apply for a whole range of human resources and learning and development roles in the Kingdom.

Qualifications are suited to all stages of career, from absolute beginners coming into entry-level roles (CIPD Level 3), through to intermediate professionals at the next stage of their career (CIPD Level 5) and senior professionals looking to improve their strategic HR knowledge (CIPD Level 7). We offer CIPD qualifications that you can study to advance your career!

If you’re looking to develop a career in Human Resources, your future in Saudi Arabia could be very sunny!