Expats exploiting Saudi wives

January 23, 2019
Expats exploiting Saudi wives
Hammad Al-Salmi

HOW to exploit your Saudi wife for financial gains? Recommendations and steps to be followed to achieve this are written and circulated through social media platforms by a number of people who have no dignity or morals.

These are people of Arab nationalities and they live among us. These messages are then circulated by people who are looking for residency in the Kingdom in order to make money by exploiting Saudi women, who want to get married to foreigners. We respect all Arab and non-Arab expats who live among us, except people with such dirty minds.

I mean here the non-Saudi men who are married to Saudi women. The whole idea behind their marriage is to benefit from the official and non-official privileges and facilities given to Saudi women in many areas, especially in the commercial sector. The one that is benefiting from this is the expat husband who cleverly uses the Saudi woman to his own advantage.

Some of my friends who are keen on protecting their Saudi sisters drew my attention to this disgusting activity on social media. I was hesitant to write about the matter initially, but I have decided to go ahead because exposing such filthy people and to warn the public against them is my social and moral responsibility.

These are a group of people who represent themselves alone and they are dangerous to their societies and our society as well. We need to warn Saudi women of what could happen if they were married to a non-Saudi. Most importantly, we need to review with the related authorities what can be done when it comes to commercial licenses granted to Saudi women who are married to foreign men.

I am not against the idea of Saudi women marrying non-Saudis. I am not against women working in both public and private sectors. I am not against granting women the permits and facilities they need or allowing them to own commercial registrations or to be a leader and investor in the market.

Our women should thank the government that made it easy for them to be employed and gave them complete trust in private and public affairs. They deserve it and they have proved their ability by becoming successful in many fields. Thank God, Saudi women are now becoming partners in development with men. So where is the problem?

The problem lies with people who exploit their wives and allow others to benefit from certain privileges given to Saudi women by the authorities. The problem lies with the foreign husband who is planning a temporary house and marriage to make a fortune in the name of his Saudi wife. Such people do not respect the sanctity of marriage. To them, it is a temporary arrangement to satisfy their greed. This was explicit from the posts and tweets on social media. It reached such a level that one of them took up the role of an adviser claiming that he went through many successful marriages accumulating wealth. He was seen trying to help his fellow countrymen to benefit by marrying Saudi women.

Some of the tips include how to avoid paying the iqama fees in the Kingdom and become a businessman by buying and selling goods, just like a Saudi national. All what needs to be done is to marry a Saudi woman so that she can obtain a commercial certificate for him under her name. This way one can skip all the government fees and taxes to be paid by the expat.

When the foreign husband makes enough money, he escapes from the country leaving everything behind, including the Saudi wife.

A man confessed that his actual goal of marrying a Saudi woman was to get a commercial certificate in her name and then escape after sinking the woman in debt. Another person advised his clients to marry any Saudi woman no matter how she looks because the ultimate goal is to avoid paying the iqama fees and to be protected against any future restrictions. This was a small sample of messages being exchanged in an ongoing dialogue on WhatsApp.

We know that there are rules regarding the marriage of Saudi women to non-Saudi men. There are other rules that govern women›s work and granting them permits and commercial certificates. We need to make sure that these rules at least protect the Saudi women from all kinds of exploitation. We need to protect them from blackmail and extortion, especially as there are foreign men who have revealed that their main purpose from marrying a Saudi woman is to benefit financially.

I want to know from the related authorities including the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development what measures they have taken to protect Saudi women from this sort of exploitation. Does a Saudi woman who is married to a foreigner have the right to issue a commercial certificate where her foreign husband can benefit from the privileges enjoyed by her? Does the law allow foreigners married to Saudi women who already possess commercial registrations to benefit from such permits?

January 23, 2019
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