The influx of foreign workers into the Gulf region poses a "threat to our existence", a senior Bahraini minister told a conference in Abu Dhabi.
Dr Majeed Al Alawi, Minister of Labour, said that while the GCC employed 17 million foreigners, there were more than one million unemployed citizens.
He was speaking at the 15th annual conference of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research focusing on education and the labour market, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday.
Al Alawi, who is driving labour reforms in Bahrain, added that even though 50 percent of projects in the region had come to a halt due to the slowdown, the number of foreign workers had not decline at the same rate.
"But this is not accompanied by a decline in the number of foreign workers. Whoever thinks this foreign manpower in the region comes for a project and leaves on its completion is wrong," he said.
He added: "This way countries were lost and we, in the Gulf, are facing the same threat. If this is not happening now, it will happen in the next generation."