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Doing business in Saudi Arabia


The first edition of Eversheds’ new 'doing business in’ e-briefing series, looking at what you need to know when doing business in certain parts of the world. This time, Amjad Hussain, partner in the firm’s Doha office reports on establishing a business and investing in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is strategically located in the Middle East surrounded by other oil rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) as well as important markets such as Egypt and Sudan.

Everything about KSA is ‘large’. It has two large coastlines on both the Red Sea
and the Persian Gulf. KSA is the largest member of the GCC with the largest population at 28 million, as well as having the largest population of nationals (approximately 70% of its residents). In the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) it also has the largest economy and stock market (Tadawul).

The Tadawul is the same size of all the stock markets in the GCC combined (currently 7 excluding Tadawul). It has approximately 24% of the world’s oil reserves and an area of 2.1 million square kilometres. This can be contrasted with other GCC states such as Qatar which has an area of 11,600 square kilometres and a population of 1.4 million. KSA is 180 times the size of Qatar.

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