Non-Resident Indians in Saudi Arabia

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Indians in Saudi Arabia
الهنود في السعودية (Arabic)
सऊदी अरब में भारतीय (Hindi)

ਭਾਰਤੀਆਂ ਸਾਊਦੀ ਅਰਬ ਵਿੱਚ (Punjabi)
سعودی عرب میں ہندوستانی (Urdu)
സൗദി അറേബ്യയിലെ ഇന്ത്യക്കാർ (Malayalam)
సౌదీ అరేబియాలో భారతీయులు (Telugu)
ಸೌದಿ ಅರೇಬಿಯಾದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಭಾರತೀಯರು (Kannada)
சவுதி அரேபியாவில் உள்ள இந்தியர்கள் (Tamil)
सौदी अरेबियातील भारतीय, সৌদি আরবে ভারতীয়রা (Bengali)

ᱥᱟᱩᱫᱤ ᱟᱨᱟᱵᱤᱟ ᱨᱮ ᱵᱦᱟᱨᱛᱤᱟ (Santali)
Indian workers at the Larsen & Toubro residential complex in Riyadh receiving a visit from their Prime Minister Narendra Modi (far left) in April 2016
Total population
~13.22% of Saudi Arabia's population (2017)
Regions with significant populations
Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Jubail, Jizan
Arabic • English • Malayalam • Telugu • Urdu • Hindi • Kannada • Tulu • Marathi • Rajasthani • Tamil • Gujarati
Hinduism • Islam
Sikhism • Christianity • Jainism • Buddhism • Zoroastrianism • Baha'i • Irreligion
Related ethnic groups
Indian diaspora
Indian Saudis

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in Saudi Arabia Arabic: الهنود في السعودية, romanizedal-Hunūd fī as-Saʿūdīyah) are the largest community of expatriates in the country, with most of them coming from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana[3] and most recently, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh[4] and Gujarat.[5]


Indians as migrant workers first began to arrive in modern-day Saudi Arabia in relatively small numbers from the British Raj soon after the discovery of oil in 1938,[6] but their migration numbers skyrocketed exponentially after the 1973 energy crisis and subsequent oil boom.[7] However, migration to Saudi Arabia dropped dramatically after reaching its peak in 2014[7] due to the introduction of the Nitaqat scheme in 2011,[8][9] the acceleration of the 2010s oil glut by early 2016, and the launch of Saudi Vision 2030.


India and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to manage and organize the recruitment of domestic workers in January 2014. Between then and April 2016, 500,000 Indians moved to Saudi Arabia for employment. The agreement includes a provision which stipulates that sponsors must pay a guarantee of US $2,500 for each Indian worker they recruit.[10]


The following table shows the estimated population of Indians in Saudi Arabia since 1975.

Year Population
1975 34,500[11]
1979 100,000[11]
1983 270,000[11]
1987 380,000[11]
1991 351,000[11]
1999 700,000[11]
2000 1,000,000[11]
2004 1,300,000[12]
2015 3,000,000[10][13]
2017 4,100,000[1][2]


International Indian School, Dammam

Indian curriculum schools in Saudi Arabia include:





  • International Indian School Buraidah


  • International Indian School, Al-Jubail

Notable Indian Saudi Arabians[edit]

  • Abdulbasit Hindi, Saudi Arabian footballer of distant Indian origin
  • Awaiz Patni, Group CFO - Bugshan Investment

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "How Saudi Arabia's 'Family Tax' Is Forcing Indians To Return Home". The Huffington Post. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Indians brace for Saudi 'family tax'". Times of India. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Indian diaspora in Saudi Arabia remains connected to its roots". Arab News. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  4. ^ Roche, Elizabeth (23 January 2017). "UP, Bihar sending more migrant labourers to Gulf than Kerala, Tamil Nadu". mint. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  5. ^ Ashish Chauhan (18 May 2020). "Gujaratis stranded in Saudi Arabia cry for help | Ahmedabad News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  6. ^ Errichiello, Gennaro (2012). "Foreign Workforce in the Arab Gulf States (1930—1950): Migration Patterns and Nationality Clause". International Migration Review. 46 (2): 389–413. doi:10.1111/j.1747-7379.2012.00891.x. ISSN 0197-9183. JSTOR 23279471. S2CID 143142494.
  7. ^ a b "India-Gulf Migration: A Testing Time". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  8. ^ Peck, Jennifer R. (2017). "Can Hiring Quotas Work? The Effect of the Nitaqat Program on the Saudi Private Sector". American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 9 (2): 316–347. doi:10.1257/pol.20150271. ISSN 1945-7731. JSTOR 26156408.
  9. ^ "Saudi's Nitaqat Law: Trouble for Indian Expats?". Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  10. ^ a b "500K Indian workers arrive in 16 months". Arab News. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspo" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Arab versus Asian migrant workers in the GCC countries" (PDF). p. 10.
  13. ^ "PM Modi's Saudi Agenda Big On Oil And Indian Workers". NDTV. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  14. ^ "New evaluation system to benefit Indian students". Arab News. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2022.