As of September 2016, the number of Syrians in Saudi Arabia is estimated to be 500,000 and consists mainly of temporary foreign workers. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' representative for the Persian Gulf region, Syrian nationals are referred to as "Arab brothers and sisters in distress". Saudi Arabia does not consider Syrians as refugees.
But clearly there was a large influx during the Syrian civil war:
Total number of Syrians in Saudi Arabia was 100,000 before the start of Syrian Civil War.
So, it would be interesting if more recent data exists on Syrians in Saudi Arabia, in particular since starting in 2019 Saudi Arabia has announced plans for the "Saudization" of a number of employment sectors that previous had a large number of foreign workers. The Saudis are now apparently concerned with domestic youth unemployment.
Unemployment is high, at more than 12 percent, and youth unemployment is at 25 percent. The government sees youth unemployment as a source of social instability, as well as a breeding ground for extremism.
Part of the government’s response to this problem has been to tighten restrictions on the employment of foreigners, based on the belief that foreign workers are a substitute for Saudi nationals. Officials in Riyadh believe that employers will be forced to hire nationals instead.
Also news from Sep 2019:
In the last 30 months the number of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia has fallen by over 20%, due to a high tax regime and an economy that shows the first signs of difficulty. This is what emerges from a report published these days by the Saudi Jadwa Investment company, from which it emerges that the kingdom has lost 132,000 economic migrants in the second quarter of 2019.
A constantly decreasing trend that leads to the total figure of 1.9 million workers who fled Saudi Arabia since the beginning of 2017. In percentage terms the collapse is around 22% in just under three years.
The number of foreign workers in the public and private sector has gone from 8.55 million at the end of 2016 to 6.66 million at the end of June 2019. On the other hand, in the same period examined by the study the number of domestic workers, servants and private drivers increased by 33% to reach 3.1 million.
So did the number of Syrians in Saudi Arabia change in an significant way in the past 3 years?