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date: 23 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The discovery of oil in Gulf countries significantly influenced international migration of workers to the Gulf region as these countries required human resources from other countries to work in oil industry. Due to the nonavailability of nationals, migrant workers, first from Arab-speaking countries and later from Asia, began to be employed. These migrant workers brought change not only to the economy of the Gulf region but also in the age-sex composition of the region. Initially there were no plans to reduce or to stop immigrant workers because of the need for skilled and semiskilled workers for the development of the economy. The respective governments of Gulf countries started implementing nationalist policies to reduce or regulate migration due to high unemployment among nationals. In addition, due to the large-scale presence of undocumented migrant workers or shadow labor forces, Gulf countries faced a crisis which they solved through amnesty schemes introduced from time to time. This chapter explains the role of migration in the Gulf and its implications for migration policy, undocumented workers, and resulting crises brought forth in the economy and society.

Keywords: Oil discovery, migrant workers, Gulf migration crisis, amnesty schemes, nationalization policies, migration and development

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