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September 25, 2012

Saudis take to mobile repairing in Riyadh

A Saudi customer is served in a mobile shop at a market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - AP Photo

Expatriates have for many years been the ones running mobile phone repair shops in Saudi Arabia, but now in Riyadh one can find Saudis managing many shops and reaping a portion of the business’s massive profits.

These service shops do not include extensive repairs, but services like helping customers with installing programs, opening accounts online — such as Google, iTunes and others — as well as upgrading mobile phone’s software, transferring mobile data (contacts, multimedia messages and other files) and downloading and installing games.

According to them, they earn an average SR 7,000 per month or more. These young Saudis do not have qualifications, but have acquired their skills by experience.

There is a strong demand for smartphone applications and maintenance. Most customers request services related to smartphone applications, especially chat and music apps.

“Workers in this field have to be honest and have integrity to preserve costumer’s information and privacy,” said Ali Al-Kuraidis, who owns and works in one of the shops. “Currently expatriates constitute 70 percent of those working in the field.”

Sami Al-Ashqar, an 18-year-old who works in one of the shops, said he entered the field because of his childhood passion for technology, as well as the field’s profitability.

“Since I was 16, I have supported myself completely without my father’s support,” he said. When he started out, he worked in a mobile shop making SR 1,500 a month.

Report by Arabnews


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