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Title: Drivers of effective localisation policies in the hotel industry : stakeholders' perceptions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Author: Azhar, Areej Talat
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 1879
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2018
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have high rates of unemployment among nationals, yet each has a great number of expatriate workers. Saudi and Emirati nationals have long preferred to work in the public sector, but in recent years, these sectors have become saturated. The Saudi and Emirati governments have turned to the private sector to provide jobs. Localisation policies have been introduced in the KSA and the UAE, aiming to replace expatriates with local workers. These policies have been successful in quantitative terms in the public sector, but less so in the private sector. This study contends that the effectiveness of a localisation policy should be measured not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. The hotel industry makes a significant contribution to the economies of both countries, but has failed to attract local employees. The aim of this research was to identify the drivers of the effective implementation of the localisation policies in the four- and five-star hotel industry in the KSA and the UAE through key stakeholders’ perceptions. There is a dearth of literature on localisation in the hotel industry in both countries. Hence, this study set out to narrow this research gap. A pragmatic research philosophy was adopted based on a multiple case study strategy in which the four- and five-star hotel industry in the KSA and UAE were taken as cases. An abductive research approach was taken, and a mixed methods research design was employed. The research was underpinned by the theory of labour market failure. The literature review was used to develop a conceptually informed framework for localisation in the private sector in the KSA and the UAE. Empirical work was carried out in three phases. The first phase comprised unstructured interviews with officials in the tourism sector, and government bodies in the KSA and the UAE. The findings from Phase I were used to develop a questionnaire for Phase II. Questionnaires comprising 19 Likert-type questions and one open-ended question were administered to hotel managers and employees in four- and five-star hotels in both countries. Phase III consisted of unstructured interviews with hotel managers in the KSA and UAE. Data from the interviews in Phases I and III and the open-ended question from Phase II were analysed using thematic analysis, while data from closed- ended statements in the Phase II questionnaire were analysed using t-test. A conceptually informed and empirically modified framework for the effective implementation of the localisation policies in the four- and five-star hotel industry in these two countries was then developed. The main drivers of the effective implementation of localisation policies in this industry in the KSA and the UAE identified through the empirical work were change in employers’ attitudes towards local workers; change in Saudis’/Emiratis’ attitudes towards hotel industry work; closer alignment between training and hotel industry requirements; facilitating women’s employment; greater consultation with the government on localisation policy development; greater emphasis on skills development in education and training; greater parity with working conditions in the public sector; and raising awareness of career opportunities.
Supervisor: Duncan, Peter ; Edgar, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available