Saudi Arabia plans to import 45,000 Ethiopian nationals into the kingdom every month in order to meet its requirement for domestic workers.
Maids from the African nation have been in high demand since the Gulf’s most populous nation placed a ban on recruiting workers from the Philippines and Indonesia after those countries imposed stricter employment conditions, the Saudi Gazette reported.
Noor Adeen Masfa, Vice Consul for Economic Affairs in Jeddah, said his department had met with committees from the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour in a bid to facilitate the transfer of Ethiopian workers to the kingdom.
However, the lack of sufficient flights between Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Saudi hubs has caused delays.
The conservative Kingdom has been forced to find alternative locations from which to source domestic workers in recent months.
Last year, Saudi Arabia stopped issuing visas for domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia after those governments attempted to impose stricter conditions on Saudi employers, such as higher minimum pay and better working conditions.
Saudi’s Ministry of Labour this week dismissed those demands as “illogical”.
There are approximately 1.2m Filipinos working in the kingdom alone, with 180,000 of these being domestic helpers.