Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and exporter and controls the world’s second largest hydrocarbon reserve. It’s the only Arab country to be a part of the G20 countries, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and OPEC. The country’s global standing has created substantial business opportunities and has become a preferred destination for many foreign investors.
The government eased entry requirements for foreign investors and established the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) to assist businesses. SAGIA help businesses with the approval process for operating in KSA, obtaining a license, labour visas and other related items all under one umbrella.
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Income Category: High income
Capital City: Riyadh
Ease of doing business: 63.5/100
Business culture in Saudi Arabia has an approach that’s focused on building relationships rather than getting straight to business. Meetings are usually lengthier and include social time to get to know the people you are working with. They may even start later than scheduled and run overtime too. When greeting people, Saudis will take time to shake each person’s hand while standing, and sometimes a kiss on the cheek will also be exchanged before sitting down. However, men and women do not shake hands or greet each other in public.
Visiting Saudi Arabia requires the correct visa to remain compliant. If you’re visiting for business purposes, you can choose between the business visit visa and the commercial visit visa. If you are permanently relocating, then you’ll need a work visa and iqama.