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Adjusting to a World in MotionTrends in Global Migration and Migration Policy$
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Douglas J. Besharov and Mark H. Lopez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190211394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190211394.001.0001

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Middle East Country Migration Policies

Middle East Country Migration Policies

(p.291) 13 Middle East Country Migration Policies
Adjusting to a World in Motion

Binod Khadria

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes immigration policies in the Middle East region. The Middle East is the world’s third most important migration hub, after Europe and the United States. It draws two-thirds of its immigrants from Asia. The region, comprising six oil-exporting Gulf Cooperation Council countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—became a major importer of migrant workers during an infrastructure build-up that followed the “oil boom” of 1973. The chapter traces this upward trend, followed by restrictive immigration policies as economic development projects experienced completion. It also outlines why Asian workers are preferred. The chapter finds that the segmented structure of Middle Eastern labor markets and concern over abusive practices like “visa trading” have led to some policy challenges and some cross-country cooperation, including the Abu Dhabi Dialogue and the Colombo Process, both collective policy initiatives between the destination and origin countries.

Keywords:   immigration policy, Middle East, Gulf Cooperation Council, visa trading, Abu-Dhabi Dialogue, Colombo Process, migration

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