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Saudi Arabia Vision 2030

Gulf non-oil growth challenges

Gulf’s non-oil sector challenged by growing pains 

The pace of growth in non-oil business activity is creating challenges for business owners across the Gulf, including delivering new orders on time, increased labour shortages and higher non-staff costs. The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 55.5 in May as surveyed firms continued to report a marked increase in […]

Saudi domestic tourism Al-Hijr

Saudi domestic tourism drive takes off at Dubai’s expense

Saudi visitor numbers to Dubai are expected to remain high, despite falling considerably from pre-pandemic levels as residents from the kingdom feel the pull of domestic tourism. The 289,000 travellers from Saudi Arabia made it the fourth-largest source market for travellers to Dubai in the first quarter of this year, but this total was still […]

Saudi petrochemicals

Saudi petrochemical giants braced for hike in gas costs  

Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals companies, whose margins have tumbled this year, could be hit by higher prices for gas feedstocks if reforms to state subsidies materialise. The petrochemicals industry is the kingdom’s most important after oil and chemicals manufacturing is a key part of the Vision 2030 economic diversification plan. Yet some producers suffered losses in […]

Saudi spending includes giga-projects such as The Line

New wave of Saudi spending is no cause for concern

A spike in spending during the first quarter of 2023 is likely to lead to a “modest” full-year fiscal deficit for the Saudi government but room remains to make further outlays, experts say. The government recorded a deficit of nearly SAR3 billion ($800 million) in the period, driven by a 29 percent surge in spending, […]

Lionel Messi and his family visit Riyadh on May 1. The World Cup winner is an ambassador for Saudi tourism, part of its strategy to attract 100m visitors a year

Middle East beats pre-pandemic tourism numbers

The Middle East has become the first region to return to pre-pandemic tourism levels for a full quarter, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation. In the first three months of 2023, international visitor arrivals to the Middle East were 15 percent higher than in the same period of 2019, the UN agency said. The […]

Saudi office workers with jobs on stock exchange

‘Saudisation’ creates 500,000 jobs for home nationals

Saudi Arabia has created half a million new jobs in the last four years as part of its “Saudisation” policy of requiring companies to hire Saudi nationals, helping the kingdom’s unemployment rate fall to its lowest for six years. Ahmad Al-Rajhi, the minister of human resources and social development, speaking this week at an event […]

Saudi Arabia is likely to have the largest growth in solar capacity in the region

Saudi approves 106 firms to help hit solar power target

Saudi Arabia has approved a list of 106 companies qualified to install solar power systems. The decision aligns with the kingdom’s aim for 68.1 percent of its renewables capacity to be generated by solar power by 2030. The Saudi Electricity and Water Regulatory Authority has qualified a list of both contractors and consultants to design, […]

Neom Saudi

New $2bn port to serve Saudi’s Neom

More than SAR7.5 billion ($2 billion) has so far been invested in a new port at Saudi Arabia’s planned $500 billion smart city Neom, with plans to open a new terminal in 2025. Located on the Red Sea at the crossroads of global trading routes, the port will be a critical enabler for Neom and […]

Maaden mining surveying

Ma’aden buys $126m stake in US mining firm

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) has bought a 9.9 percent stake in US minerals exploration company Ivanhoe Electric as part of a joint venture exploring an area in the kingdom that’s larger than Denmark. The $126 million deal includes a $66 million joint venture where Ma’aden will use Ivanhoe’s Typhoon geophysical surveying technology to mine […]

Workers on a construction site in Riyadh GCC

GCC construction dilemma as Saudi ‘sucking up’ skilled talent

Saudi Arabia’s huge construction projects are luring workers out of neighbouring countries in the GCC and resulting in skills shortages, say experts and builders. Construction executives in the UAE and Oman in particular have voiced concerns about the overall resource demands of the region as Saudi Arabia’s market continued to show strong growth during the […]

Red Sea Global Video length: 02:49

Red Sea Global to spend $20bn by 2024

Red Sea Global will open its first hotels this year at the new Saudi Arabian tourist destinations, Red Sea Project and Amaala. The company, owned by Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, has spent $5 billion so far, according to its CEO, and will be spending another $15 billion by 2024.  “Between Red Sea and Amaala, […]

A new airline will serve King Fahd International Airport in Dammam Video length: 02:33

Saudi tenders for new low-cost carrier in Dammam

Saudi Arabia has issued a public tender for another airline to operate in the kingdom. Two new airlines have already been announced in the country this year – Riyadh Air and Neom Airlines. And the General Authority of Civil Aviation is looking to introduce one more. The tender invites investors “wishing to obtain a national […]

Saudi giga-project Mukaab Riyadh, part of Vision 2030

Saudi giga-projects may tap into debt market funding

Saudi Arabia’s vast pipeline of giga-projects will require funding assistance due to the tightened liquidity in the country’s banking sector, say analysts at credit rating firm S&P Global. This, they add, opens opportunities for the Gulf’s debt markets. “We think that the Public Investment Fund and Saudi’s banking sector alone won’t be able to fund […]

Saudi Arabia has been described as the "biggest construction site in the world"

Global banks look to fill ‘huge’ funding gap for Vision 2030

International banks have spotted an opportunity in Saudi Arabia to meet the “huge financing needs” of Vision 2030, according to an industry expert. Dr Mohamed Damak, senior director and financial institutions sector lead at S&P Global Ratings, told a media conference on Thursday that Saudi banks will continue to “grow tremendously” but the sheer size […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched The Line last year, one of several giga-projects increasing the value of construction contract awards

Value of Saudi project contracts doubled to $24.6bn in 2022

The value of giga-project related contracts awarded in Saudi Arabia in 2022 grew by 103 percent to $24.6 billion from $12 billion the previous year. As the kingdom accelerates activity towards achieving its Vision 2030 economic diversification goals, Neom saw the highest number and value of awarded contracts, especially on infrastructure works on The Line. […]

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi sets up fund targeting global events sector

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a fund that aims to position the kingdom as a global hub for cultural, tourism, entertainment and sports events. The Events Investment Fund (EIF) will conceptualise, finance and oversee the development of more than 35 venues by 2030, diversifying the Saudi economy and “increasing its share of […]

Saudi tourism surges as foreign visitors spend 570% more in Q2

International visitors to Saudi Arabia spent SAR 15.7 billion ($4.17 billion) in the second quarter of this year, a year-on-year increase of 570 percent, as the country continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The kingdom welcomed 3.6 million tourists from April to June, a rise of 575.4 percent year-on-year, according to figures revealed by […]


Saudi firms partner to boost SME involvement in supply chains

Banque Saudi Fransi has formed a tie-up with Saudi Aramco-backed fintech firm Lamaa pledging to develop products and services to aid supply chain management and cut costs. Under a memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday, the two companies agreed to collaborate to develop, evaluate and launch “supply chain solutions” that will streamline the process for […]