The Push-Pull Factors of Migration: A Case Study of the Pakistani Migrants in Saudi Arabia

Project: Research

Project Details


This project aims to examine the push-pull factors inspiring migration from Pakistan to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Further, this project also intends to investigate the conditions of Pakistani migrant workers; their configuration of work and networks; their relationship with the local Arab community; and socio-economic impact on both KSA and Pakistani society. Presently, Saudi Arabia has been one of the top migrants destination and source of remittances. Expatriates constitute 32 percent of the Kingdoms population, which make up more than half (56.5 percent) of the total workforce and 89 percent of the Kingdoms private workforce, half of which (26.5 percent) are involved in the construction sector (De Bel-Air Francoise, 2014; Graham 2013; Sonmez et al. 2013). Most of these migrants come from South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to escape abject poverty and improve their social conditions in their country (Alhamad, 2014; De Bel-Air Francoise, 2014). For Pakistan, international migration, specifically to Saudi Arabia, is very significant. This is because Pakistans economy, largely, depends on the export of human capital and the remittances these expatriates send back home. In this sense Saudi Arabia has been one the most preferred places of work for Pakistanis. Moreover, Saudi Arabia alone hosts the highest number of Pakistani migrants (more than 2 million) than any country in the world. In addition to the push-pull factors, ideological, religious, cultural political and sentimental attachment to this land, and strong network relationships among the migrants immensely influencing the phenomenon of migration from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. Since Pakistani migrants constitute a significant proportion of the Kingdoms population and workforce and as it influences the social and economic conditions of both KSA and Pakistan, it is important to understand the patterns of this migration. Further, very little research has been done to delineate the patterns of these movements, configuration of work, and network relations of these migrant workers; their life conditions, relationship with the local community and social and economic impact on the KSA society. This project is therefore an attempt to probe into these areas and bring some true and reliable facts into front. The results of this study, I believe, will be of significant use for academicians, contemporary researchers and policy makers of both KSA and Pakistan. This project intends to apply qualitative methodology. Since the study under consideration aims to examine the life experiences of the migrant workers, it is important to interact with and listen to them, qualitative methodology, therefore, seems more appropriate. This project will use non-probability sampling. Further, purposive, convenience and snowballing techniques will be used to access potential respondents in four different locations of the Kingdom i.e., Riyadh, Mecca, Medina and Dammam. To get diversity of information and to ensure heterogeneity of the data the researcher also intends to conduct Focused Group Discussion (FGD) with respondents of diverse professional backgrounds and age groups in each location. Besides FGD some individual interviews of respondents living with families in each location shall also be conducted. A semi-structured interview schedule will be used and all the interviews shall be conducted face-to-face. Moreover, I also plan to do participant observation. Finally, the project will employ content and thematic analysis to examine discourses of research participants and informants. The results of this proposed project will hopefully be published in international journals as well as presented at national and international forums/conferences.
Effective start/end date1/12/1531/10/16


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