First it was the mobile phone sector, now car retail.

Christine is a journalist from South Africa, who has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, covering everything from hard news to art to business & tech. Having been bitten by the travel bug as an infant, Christine finds it fairly easy to uproot herself in search of new adventures and stories. With degrees in both fine arts and journalism, she’s equally interested in visual storytelling as well as the written word. Having been part of three launch teams of three different media startups in her lifetime, she’s intimately familiar with what it takes to get a publication off the ground.

In a bid to further usher Saudization into the retail sector, Saudi Arabia’s government is planning on taking on auto dealers next.

Ibrahim Al-Shafi, director of the Guided Saudization Program at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, has said that the ministry is set to nationalize nearly 69 professions in the retail sector in the next phase.

The plan will cover 2,228 retail establishment, 77 auto agencies and 1,733 auto dealerships. The decision will contribute to providing 9,000 jobs for Saudi citizens, in the sector.

Al-Shafi said the Ministry of Labor and Social Development is coordinating with the Ministry of Transport to apply the Guided Saudization Program in the auto sector and to issue the necessary licenses.

He added that the program will also entail granting loans to Saudis wishing to enter the sector, as well as protecting them from competition from foreign workers.

The official said that a 100% Saudization rate will apply to those working with companies like Careem and others throughout the country.

The ministry will enable Saudis to enter the sector through funding and loans, as well as through the establishment of programs that will help citizens get hired in the field, he said, adding that the ministry is also working with representatives of the tourism sector to come up with a plan to Saudize it as well.

The government move comes after the Ministry launched a program to Saudize all jobs in the mobile phone retail and maintenance sector, in March, in coordination with the ministries of Commerce and Investment, Municipal and Rural Affairs and Telecommunications and Information Technology.

The government gave establishments three months to Saudize half the jobs and another three months to fully nationalize the sector.

The decision, the ministry said, aims to provide more job opportunities to Saudi men and women wishing to work in the field, by providing necessary financial support, job stability and professional development support, as well as to combat the practices of tasattur (Saudis allowing foreign residents to run businesses in their name in return for a fixed fee).