Filipinos in Saudi Arabia

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Filipinos in Saudi Arabia
Total population
1,020,000–1,500,000, possibly 1,800,000[1][2][3]
Tagalog or other languages of the Philippines, English, Arabic
Roman Catholicism or other Christian denominations, Islam
Related ethnic groups
Filipino people, Overseas Filipinos

Filipinos in Saudi Arabia are either migrants or descendants of the Philippines living in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is currently the largest hirer of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs),[4] and has the largest Filipino population in the Middle East.[5] Filipinos make up the fourth-largest group of foreigners in Saudi Arabia,[1] and are the second-largest source of remittances to the Philippines.[6]

Migration history[edit]

Filipinos first arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1973, when a group of Filipino engineers migrated to the country.[7] Today, staff at the Saudi Arabian embassy in the Philippines process between 800 and 900 jobs for Filipinos daily.[2] In 2008, Saudi Arabia had 300,000 job orders for Filipinos.[3] Later, in the first time hiring Filipino medical professionals, Saudi Arabia announced intentions to hire 6,000 Filipinos as doctors and nurses between 2009 and 2011.[2] In addition to medical professionals, Filipinos work as automotive workers,[8] construction workers,[9] and engineers,[7] as well as in the fields of desalination,[9] petroleum production and processing,[9] telecommunications,[9] and transportation.[9]

There are 24 Filipino international schools in Saudi Arabia, 18 of which are found near Riyadh or Jeddah.[10]

Labor issues[edit]

Every year, an unknown number of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia are "victims of sexual abuses, maltreatment, unpaid salaries, and other labor malpractices," according to John Leonard Monterona, the Middle East coordinator of Migrante, a Manila-based OFW organization.[11] Some Filipinos are attracted and transported to Saudi Arabia illegally, where they are left stranded without work.[12] Between January and August 2008, approximately 800 throughout the country sought help at Migrante chapters,[12] and 922 others were deported to the Philippines in the first three months of 2008 after overstaying their visa requirements.[13] At one point in early 2008, 103 Filipinos stranded in Jeddah lived in a tent camp under a bridge before being able to be processed for deportation.[13][14][15]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b Garcia, Madelaine Joy A. (2008-06-28). "Pinoys in top 10 foreign populations of 16 countries". PBSN. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  2. ^ a b c Torres, Estrella (2009-01-22). "Saudi Arabia will still need RP medical professionals". Business Mirror. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b Martin, Sammy (2008-04-06). "More workers needed for the Middle East". Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-01-24. [dead link]
  4. ^ Antonio, Raymund F. (2007-05-29). "Saudi Arabia remains No. 1 employer of OFWs". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  5. ^ "OFWs group in Saudi hails reforms for overseas Pinoy DHs". DOLE News. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2009-01-24. [dead link]
  6. ^ Opiniano, Jeremaiah M. (2008-08-20). "Economist says crisis stretching OFWs’ ability to send money". Philippine Times. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  7. ^ a b Wali, Mohammed Ameen. "Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the Philippines". Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  8. ^ "POLO mediation improves conditions of 15 Filipino car workers in Saudi Arabia". DOLE News. 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2009-01-24. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b c d e "Deployment of OFWs seen to increase this year -Imson". DOLE News. 2004-06-22. Retrieved 2009-01-24. [dead link]
  10. ^ Concha, Ronaldo (2009-01-23). "DepEd inspects Filipino schools in Saudi Arabia". GMA News. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  11. ^ Leonard, John (2008-07-03). "OFW rights violation worsens under the Arroyo administration". Filipino OFWs Qatar. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  12. ^ a b Olea, Ronalyn (2008-10-25). "Middle East is ‘Most Distressing OFW Destination’ - Migrant Group". Bulatlat News. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  13. ^ a b Makilan, Aubrey S. C. (2008-03-01). "191 OFWs Still Stranded in Jeddah, Says Migrante-Saudi". Bulatlat News. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  14. ^ Cueto, Francis Earl A. (2008-02-17). "24 stranded OFWs in Saudi submit". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-01-25. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Stranded OFWs in Jeddah had to Camp Out Under Bridge to be Repatriated". Bulatlat News. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  16. ^ Ramiele Malubay biography. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  17. ^ Grass, Damian (2008-03-13). Little 'Idol,' Big Voice: Malubay, Baby. Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-03-15. [dead link]