Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

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  • tacomaboywa
    19 January, 2009 at 17:22
    • Total posts: 4

    M-Trading is a recruiting company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are always desperate to get new teachers because they cannot retain them. This company often does not answer questions about the contract (non existent/generic) or other job benefits (non existent). Usually they just reply with half answers in bad English.

    They are notorious for not paying on time. Some people were not paid for over 45 days from entering the Kingdom.

    They tried to keep our passports and threaten teachers not to pay them if they didn’t sign their generic contracts.

    This company brings all of its teachers on a Business Visit Visa. So if you do come with them you can easily keep your passport and find an alternative job.

    They do not pay for your flight to and from the Kingdom. There is no medical coverage. They charge you for just about everything. Only the apartment and stuffed van ride to and from Jubail Industrial College is included.

    The manager, (MOD edit), and his assistant (MOD edit), are incompetent. The manager (MOD edit) has forgotten people at the airport. One teacher did not get picked up for 3 days. He will not help with the luggage. He’ll probably tell you to come to the street and meet him. The assistant (MOD edit) will blow-up and get really loud when confronted about simple things like being paid on time.

    There is so much more that they have done but I can’t go into depth this time. Please feel free to post questions.

    20 January, 2009 at 19:14
    • Total posts: 4

    Reply To: Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

    For more information and other people’s experiences, please visit the following Link:

    7 February, 2009 at 8:33
    • Total posts: 4

    Reply To: Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

    [quote]For more information and other people’s experiences, please visit the following Link:[/quote]

    The above link is no longer valid. My friend and I were forced to pay 13,000 SR to M-Trading for them to lift a block they placed on our passports. We were not able to leave the country. They also demanded an apology and the deletion of any information posted on the internet. Now that we have returned with new visas and have no ties to this company any longer, we can provide more information to those who might consider working for them.

    Check out the new thread over at eslcafe that someone else started:

    Also get my full story at the link above or at:

    31 March, 2009 at 12:45
    • Total posts: 1

    Reply To: Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

    M Trading has been a good, trustworthy sponsor for me in Saudi Arabia. I can only speak from my own experience, and my experiences with M Trading have been very positive. First of all, they gave me incredible assistance in getting my visas and visas for my family memebers. I’d tried to do this on my own for several months, and got nowhere. Saudi is a difficult country to work in, and it is difficult to even get tourist visas if you are not a Muslim going on a pilgrimage. But M Trading stood by me, every step of the way. They worked directly with the Saudi consulate where I lived, and got it done.

    M Trading answered all my emails, phone calls, and gave me great advice. They processed all my immigration paperwork, even though the university hiring me had tried and failed. They never gave up on me.

    Then, I had an unexpected financial glitch, and found it difficult to pay for our plane tickets. M Trading got us the tickets. I did have to pay them back, and they took it out of my salary, but that was fine. M Trading is a business, not a Saudi government agency, and I expected them to make a profit on providing these services.

    Tacomaboy complains a lot about M Trading’s "generic contracts," but this is misleading. The contract M Trading sent me is a form contract that is typical for teachers being hired to teach English in KSA. Form contracts are actually standard in KSA–you really can’t work without one here. I had our family lawyer look it over before I signed, and M Trading answered all our questions. I’ve now signed two, and not had any problems.

    The easy solution?

    If you don’t like the contract, don’t sign it!


    Tacomaboy’s biggest problem seems to be his jealous rage. Yes, some teachers are hired directly by Saudi universities, and there is no doubt that these "direct hires" get much better contracts, more benefits, better pay, than those with private Saudi sponsors do. If you are too immature to handle the fact that some people in the universe have better deals, more money, better jobs, then please–stay home! Go back to Tacoma! Or Tacoma Park, or wherever you are from. If things are better in China or Japan, GO WORK THERE.

    Tacomaboy’s various gripes about not getting picked up at the airport and not having M Trading employees come get his luggage are laughable! If you can’t handle your own luggage, tip a porter! M Trading is your sponsor, not your personal servant. If you don’t know how to get out of the airport, don’t leave home!

    You aren’t smart enough to live in Saudi Arabia if you can’t leave the airport or handle your own bags.

    M Trading gave me generous salary advances from the beginning, so that even when my check was two weeks late, I still had plenty of money. The problem with some M Trading BASHERS is that they are sooooooo bored in Saudi Arabia that they just spend and spend and shop and shop and pretty soon, they are broke, and even more angry than they were before. And whew! That is something to see and hear! Because they complain so much, you can’t get any work done!

    As for taking our passports, well…duh! You need to have your visa renewed, and so they need your passport! They’ve sent mine to me whenever I’ve asked for it–twice for travel within Saudi, twice for check cashing, twice for when I wanted to buy something where I needed to show it–once, they DHL’d it to me at their own expense.

    If you overstay your visa and let it expire, as tacomaboy says he did, the Saudi government will fine you–not M Trading! But because M Trading is the sponsor, the Saudi government holds it responsible for you, so they have to pay the fine, then they recoup it from you. It’s the same in Bahrain–just try overstaying your expired visa there, and see what happens!

    Tacomaboy’s little "M Trading Beware!" rants are just gripes and lies, as far as I can see. Or else, he really has no idea where in the world he is, and what the reality of life here in Saudi is about.

    If you want to start working right away and you want to work in Saudi, I totally recommend you go with M Trading. I know the direct hires have better contracts, but there isn’t much I can do about that, and I am grateful to have the job.

    Thank you, M Trading!

    29 October, 2009 at 15:21
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

    MK Trading what a joke! This is one take on a scam, whatever you want to call it. Do not sign up with this company. I was stupid enough to do this, and do I regret it. My gut told me not to do it, but I would not listen to it, so I paid the ultimate price, and this is a shortened version of what happened to me.

    I refused the job at Hai’l university, (employed by MK trading and not the university directly) because I had to pay for the ticket and visa (this is a warning sign and I did not pay attention to it). I then decided to go ahead and take the job, but MK Trading would pay for the one way flight and this would be deducted from my first salary. I arrived in Ha’il on September 24, and was dropped off at this hotel of sorts. I was given a plastic key to room 403, and upon entering the room I went to the fridge to get some water, but there was nothing in the fridge, and it was not switched on. I then went down to the lobby and asked the person who was in charge for some water and he gave me a cup of water. I asked him if there were any washing facilities (washing machines and dryers) he stated NO. I then asked him if they had an ironing board and an iron, and he once again replied NO (all of this according to Tamim AL-Ansary would be in place upon arrival). The following day nobody from the trading company or the university contacted us and this went on for a few days. Finally on the 29th we were asked to meet at this building that was going to be used for the English program; it was across the street from the hotel (the hotel was going to be were we lived for the duration of our stay). On the 29 nothing happened; it was to introduce themselves, and we had to go back the next day to get questions answered. At this point I had been living on bread and jam as I had no money (I was under the impression that MK Trading would give us an advance on our salary). On the 30th it was just another get together and to explain the course, which was a joke. Anybody could have done that. Maybe that is why they hired people who do not have teaching degrees? Some questions were asked about MK Trading, but they were unable or they would not talk about it, and MK Trading were not present. One of the direct hires approached me and asked if I had any questions, so I asked him to tell me the truth. He did, and he did not paint a pretty picture. You would not get paid for at least 2-3 months, there is no medical, the hotel is where we are will be living for the duration of our stay; the list went on and on. He then told me about the special classes they had after finals last year, and some of the teachers had not been paid as of yet, and they all left. That was 4 months ago, so what recourse do they have none.

    One person had money sent by Western Union, but he could not get it as he did not have Saudi ID, and you can not send money out for the same reason, but MK Trading would send it for you at a price. At this point my friend and I decided to leave, so we booked the flight for the 4th of October. We spent 20 hours in the airport in Bahrain as we wanted to get out of Saudi for fear that M Trading might try to stop us if we stayed at the airport in Saudi.

    I don’t want to bore you with the details, but this is true, and yes everyday I woke up thinking that it would get better and my attitude was positive as I wanted to stay there for at least one or two years just to make the money, but I lost money. Please stay away from MK Trading; they tell you what you want to hear. Their emails to you are very good, but they have double meanings, and when you speak to them in person on the phone you can’t understand them. One final thing if you look at the pictures of Ha’il University, it is very beautiful, but in real life it is a skeleton. The picture is what it will look like in 20 years maybe. One final, final thing: this is October 5th, and they still do not know that my friend and I have left as Daniel Bowles Director; E.L.C. sent my friend an email on the 4th October which is below.

    From: Daniel Bowles
    Subject: Re: apologies

    Cc: "Eid Haisoni"
    Date: Sunday, October 4, 2009, 3:55 PM

    What you have been told about M-Trading is probably basically true about their record, which is very poor, though it is equally probably exaggerated and so far the indications are that the situation has now improved. If you are still here, please come to see me (office no. 110).

    If, however (as your message implies), you are already back in Thailand, I am sorry you have left without discussing the problems but I appreciate your notifying us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Daniel Bowles
    Director, E.L.C.

    These are some of the emails these two characters have been sending to me, and each other and they made sure that I received them I have not changed anything just their email address, as I would not like them to get unsolicited mail from anybody. I never said than I would pay for any ticket, and this person Gregory has made himself the leader, and he does not have a teaching degree to teach English. Once again this proves what sort of people I had to deal with. I was looking forward to working there, and I was going to say for at least two years. They also can not take the passports of the other people as the visa is not for a year it is a business visa and is valid for sixty days only. They when the visa expires they have to pay for the extension. As you can see this character Greg has his noise right up you know where. I also agreed that they could deduct from my first salary the amount of the one way ticket to get to Hai’l. But I had been there for 5 working days (9 days total), so I figured that the days that I was there (not including the weekends) takes care of the one way ticket, as I paid for my flight out of there. I also had to pay for my business visa. Greg also admits that he is not a teacher, and Tamimul states that, because we left he is unsure about his wedding. This proves that his only concern was his commission for hiring people, and not the welfare of the employees.

    Dear Greg,

    Thanks for your prompt reply. Let me see whether he will pay back or not. I really appreciate your idea of sticking a notice board in the hotel. You have so much creative ideas and I will definitely update this to our boss when he is free.

    Please find below email address of them. If you have the chance to convince them and bring them back, I will be so much thankful to you.

    Let us see. And, please collect all the Male teachers passport and handover to Mr. Roger immediately. Make sure that all teachers should have the photo copy of the passport with them.

    Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 9:34 AM
    To: Tamimul Ansary
    Subject: Some Updates

    Marhaba, Dear Tammim

    Steve said that he will pay back to M-Trading for his air ticket.

    I think that we should find him firstly before making any judgements.

    I am going to organize a notice board in hotel’s lobby so all M-Trading consultants will be looking for your announcements over there as our internet connection still not too good.

    Please do not get disappointed too much. I will try my best to help you to find them. Please let me know their email addresses.

    My best wishes on your soon marriage!!! Insha Allah!
    We shall find them one way or another. I know that you’re very nice to everybody and it’s not fair.

    Kind regards,

    M-Trading Leader
    Gregory Sharpan

    Subject: RE: Urgent
    Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 1:50 AM
    Thank you so much dear Greg. I appreciate all your work and help you are doing to me. I am quite disappointed with both the teachers ran away because the company will cut the ticket payment from my salary only. It’s again very big loss in my salary when I am supposed to get married by next month. Anyway, it’s all quite small hurdles in this business.


    Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 4:06 PM
    To: Tamimul Ansary
    Subject: Re: Urgent

    Dear Mr. Al-Ansary

    Thank you very much for your phone calls.

    Everybody informed regarding passport situation. All M-Trading Teachers will bring their passports to the University tomorrow and they will hand over their passports to Mr. Rogel or Mr. Sultan.

    Please do not worry. Everything under control.

    Have a lovely evening!
    Insha Allah.
    M-Trading Leader.
    Gregory Sharpan
    ROOM # 402

    — On Mon, 10/5/09, Tamim Ansary wrote:

    From: Tamim Ansary
    Subject: Urgent
    Date: Monday, October 5, 2009, 6:59 AM
    Dear Teachers,

    Good day to you,

    As per Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs instruction, a government stamping has to be attained in your passport after arrival to Saudi Arabia. Kindly take a photo copy of your passport and hand over it to Mr. Roger or Mr. Sultan immediately. You will receive the protection letter from our company exchange to the passport in next two days.

    Thanks for all your support and usual cooperation.

    Thanks & Regards

    Tamim Al-Ansary
    Project Coordinator
    Al-Kam Trading Company
    International Manpower Division
    Al-Khobar, K.S.A

    To: Subject: Hi from Ha’il / attention to
    Hi there This is Greg. I’m just wondering where are you? All other teachers are wondering too. You didn’t say good bye… Are you doing all right? Things are getting organized over here. We submitted our first time sheet (with working hours) already. We shall get our pay on next week hopefully. Will you come back? We are lack of teachers. Anyway all the best to you! Do you have a phone by the way? My phone number is: Please feel free to give me a buzz.
    Cheer, Gregory
    Hi Gregg,
    Please take me off your contact list, and check your spelling.

    Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 3:11 PM

    Thank you very much for your rude message,

    Well, it’s not the way people do business anyway… You are a thief if you will not pay the money for your air ticket back as you promissed. Is it why you two didn’t say good bye to anyone because you wanted to steal?
    You will be traced and you’ll have to pay a fine (something like 10’000 reals). Moreover you’ll never be able to enter K.S.A. again.
    Just keep it in mind. This is if you will not come back.

    Anyhow I am wishing you the best.

    Take care,
    P.S. I’m not hiding from anyone that my qualification in Software and Hardware engineering. I’m an engineer. However I don’t mind teaching for now.

    First of all I will reply to this message, and after that forget it.

    I arrived there (Ha’il) on the night of the 24th September, and the contract begins from that date (even though we did not sign one), so not counting the weekend that gives me a total of five days which covers my ticket correct? So I am not a thief; let’s get that part straight. I do not have to pay anybody any money for I was there in body and soul ready to work, so they have to pay me and everybody who was there from that period of time.

    Let me advise you on Saudi law MK Trading can not take anybody’s passport, because of the stamp that is already stamped in it. It is only a 60 day business visa, and nothing else is required, so if they take your passport it is illegal OK. If you had a yearly visa then that is different they will take the passport.
    Please show this or send it to T as he has sent me emails with your name on it, and I know that you are in contact with him OK. Please do not contact me again thanks and good luck in you adventure.

    29 October, 2009 at 23:00
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

    I wrote to TEFL and attached what I had posted and this is their reply.

    Hi ,

    Thank you for your message.

    No company of this name is registered with



    Hi Veronica,

    Sorry to disappoint you, but this is where I got the job from on They are still advertising on your site, as I observed another advertisement for them today see below?


    Urgent Requirement for ESL Teachers in Saudi Arabia


    We are an international manpower recruitment company in Saudi Arabia. We have secured several staffing contracts with different government universities and colleges in Saudi Arabia (Hail Jeddah, Najran & Jubail) and we are currently recruiting English Language Teachers for October 2009 openings.


    Job Requirements:

    a)Teachers must be English native speakers
    b)With basic degree preferably in English, Journalism, Mass Communications, Linguistics or relevant English studies.
    c)A candidate with Masters Degree or PHD in English or Linguistics is an added advantage.
    d)Must have certificate/s in EFL, ESL, TEFL, TESL, TESOL, CELTA, DELTA, etc.
    e)With minimum of 2 years teaching experience.



    Monthly salary package of US$3,050.00 plus free air conditioned furnished accommodation including basic utilities, local transportation from residence to work and vice-versa are also provided.

    Interested candidates are advised to apply in full confidence with the following documents;

    1. CV in MS-Word format w. photograph
    2. A recent passport size photograph
    3. Scanned copy of your Passport
    4. Scanned copy of academic & ESL related certificates.


    [CLICK for more information on this company/organisation]

    Al Khobar Mall
    Al Khobar, Eastern Province
    38755 – Saudi Arabia



    Contact person
    Noman Ehtesham, Recruitment Officer

    Apply for this job now!
    Registered Job Seekers
    If you consider you meet the requirements of this position, you may apply immediately. InstApply will send your online resume with a covering letter. Please ensure you have the appropriate legal status for employment in this country.

    31 October, 2009 at 21:27
    • Total posts: 4

    Reply To: Saudi Arabia – M-Trading – Beware!

    It is amazing what M-Trading will say about those who share true experiences with others in order to better inform them before making a decision for employment.

    Just remember to investigate the company you’re going to go overseas to work for. Here are links to information on the web that might help.

    Saudi Arabia Section:

    M-Trading Info: … topic=4445

    Saudi Arabia Embassy Visa Info:

    Just use Google to find out more. Good luck!

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