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How to enter the Saudi Market

Our CEO Zaid Al Mashari gives his opinion on how to enter the Saudi market

Zaid has extensive experience in Saudi Arabia entrepreneurship, SME’s and corporate entry into the Saudi Arabian market. Here, he looks at the reasons to expand into Saudi Arabia, the opportunities available and gives his tips on sourcing a partner for your growth into the Kingdom.

Why Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Gulf region, it has a stable currency pegged to the US dollar which has seen no major changes to its exchange value in the last few decades and a stable government. Its has also made strong moves to diversify the economy away from oil with the announcement of Vision 2030 in 2016 and is becoming increasingly welcoming to foreign investment. There have been many opportunities coming from increasing government spending in infrastructure, housing, healthcare and education.

Key reasons for investing in Saudi Arabia include:

  • It is one of the world’s 25 largest economies and the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • It has low setup cost and low corporate tax advantages.
  • It provides duty-free access to other Middle Eastern economies with good transport and infrastructure which will soon be supported by a national rail system.
  • The country’s population has an average annual increase of 2.54 percent with 72 percent ranging between 15-64 years of age.
  • Saudi Arabia is a key member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
  • The country has long standing political stability.

What opportunities are available for foreign companies?

There have been announcements on major projects in;

  • Power and renewable energy
  • Mining
  • Water and waste management
  • Oil, gas and petrochemicals
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Communications, data and IT
  • Transport
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical
  • Agriculture and aquaculture
  • Construction including affordable housing

For companies ready to invest in Saudi Arabia, there are large numbers of opportunities already available with an increase in project announcements leading up to 2030.

Tips for entering the Saudi market successfully

Entering into the Saudi Arabia market can be a confusing and timely project if you don’t have the right support from the outset. When you are selecting a company that will support you in your transition to Saudi, there are a few key elements that any partner should provide.

  • Consult with a legal firm or reliable services provider to guide market entry and proper business setup.
  • Use a company that is based in Saudi Arabia and have their own in house consultant and government relations (GRO) team to allow for quick response when law or licence changes are announced. When changes are announced, your GRO representative will need to confirm details with the government department and advise you accordingly. Confirming details will be done by a visit to the department office by your GRO.
  • Ensure you and your Saudi partner agree a documented timescale with key milestones vital to your business set up. Approvals are often multi layered process, which can mean a lengthy timescale. It is essential that your company is prepared from the outset to minimize costs and meet your business plan.

For support in setting up your business in Saudi Arabia, contact Proven on +966 11 411 1127 or

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