The Best Places for Entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia

If you’re about to expand your business or explore new markets, Saudi Arabia is a perfect place to do so. Its economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, 18th to be exact. And it’s still growing, based on its vital oil industry and its branches. Its location is also perfect, seated at the crossroads of important trade routes. Not to mention the relatively young and well-educated population and natural resources. We will mention some of the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia. If you recognize Saudi Arabia’s potential and decide to move your business, movers in Jeddah can see to it. It’s just up to you to choose the right place for the development and progress of your company. Hopefully, our little research will point you in the right direction.

Why is Saudi Arabia a good place for entrepreneurs?

Saudi Arabia’s economy has long been stable and robust, but foreign investments were limited. In December 2005 KSA became a member of the World Trade Organization. This helped modernize international trade and create space for foreign investments. Some of the trading and market procedures had to undergo a standardization process. After that, one by one sector opened up toward the global market. At the same time, the digitization of the banking sector took place. Thus, in a relatively short time, Saudi Arabia entered the company of the top 20 world economies, the G20. So, relocation to Saudi Arabia could be a logical sequence of events for business owners. The best places for small business owners are its major cities due to their developed economies and features.

Arab woman and two men discussing the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.
The state of the economy is favorable for small business owners.

Booming sectors of industry in Saudi Arabia?

Projections of IMF (International Monetary Fund) for 2022 are that Saudi Arabia will exceed the economic growth of 7,6%. And that is the highest rate since 2016. The forecasts for the coming years are similar. Further improvements in the business sphere are expected to bring new investments. Until now the energy sector has been the primary field of investment. But recently, non-energetic sectors have also become a sphere of interest for investors. That led the KSA economy growth to surpass even giants like China and India. And that resulted in increased demand for relocation services Saudi Arabia, too.

  • The oil industry in KSA is the second largest in the world in terms of natural oil reserves and production. 
  • After COVID-19 years, the real estate business is booming again. Thanks to property tax relaxations and affordable housing programs, construction and sales of real estate are on the rise again.
  • Another sector with great potential is logistics and transportation. The plan is to achieve growth of 4% by 2030, by improving railway and air transport. By investing 147 billion dollars in this branch of industry, Saudi Arabia would become a transportation center of the region.
  • The energy and water sectors become extremely important as the consumption of energy grows. Turning to renewable energy sources is the goal of Saudi Vision 2030. It is the government’s project of economic and social reforms in the current decade. 
  • One of the priority sectors of the project Vision 2030 is the tourism and entertainment sector. The plan is to build theme parks, cinemas, and sports venues to attract tourists and increase household spending on recreation and travel. 
  • The manufacturing industry in KSA is growing rapidly at a rate of 7,5%. So far it contributes 10% of GDP. Production of plastics and chemicals dominates.

These are some of the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia welcomes entrepreneurs, offering all its potential and favorable settings for business. As a pioneer in the region, it is an ideal place to start a new or expand an existing business. Many of its metropolises are industrial centers rapidly expanding. Each of them offers equal opportunities and benefits for its residents. Their progress will continue in the years to come as part of the Vision 2030 project.  The goal is to build economic cities whose priority will be the growth of the private sector. 

Architecture in Riyadh.
Riyadh is one of the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh – the capital of the KSA

This metropolis has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. 6 million people inhabit this city. And by 2030 that number should grow to 8 million. 50% of Riyadh’s economy is already non-oil based, and that is its best potential. Also, starting up a new business costs 30% less than in other Saudis cities. The city already has a well-developed infrastructure. Riyadh authorities announced that 24 companies agreed to set their regional HQ in Riyadh. The list includes some big names like PepsiCo. All of this will attract foreign capital to the city. Further, it’ll provide an opportunity for domestic entrepreneurs to collaborate with foreign investors. Besides, Riyadh has one of the biggest expat communities. All this speaks in favor of Riyadh being one of the perspective cities in Saudi Arabia. As things stand so far, movers and packers in Riyadh will be in demand. 

Night in Jeddah, the one of the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.
Jeddah is one of the biggest ports in KSA.

Jeddah – Bride of the Red Sea

This metropolis is located on the coast of the Red Sea, and it’s the busiest port in the Kingdom. It is also the largest urban city in the western part of the KSA and the tourism capital. And also is the biggest trade center thanks to the Jeddah Islamic Port. Jeddah started to grow fast after World War II when the biggest petroleum plant in the world was built. These days, the growing expansion of the city is underway. The airport is being renovated, and there are long-term plans for infrastructure works. Lately, the population of Jeddah is growing, which creates an excellent climate for the real estate market. Moving to Jeddah under these circumstances could be a wise thing to do. Moving a business to Jeddah or starting a new one would make sense since the city’s economy is driven by foreign investments. 

Jubail – one of the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia

Jubail is a major port city on the coast of the Persian Gulf. From its founding in 1975 until today, it has become the main industrial center in the country. And not only in the country but also in the world. Asia’s largest petrochemical plant SABIC is in Jubail. It employs a large number of Saudis and expats. 25% of its population are expats. Jubail can boast of the world’s largest power plant IWPP (Independent Water and Power Project). Its two ports contributed to its entry into the top 100 ports with the highest cargo traffic. All this has led to Jubail becoming one of the popular cities for workers and their families. Companies offer many benefits for workers, like tax-free salaries and affordable housing. If this sounds appealing, head to Jubail. Moving companies in Jubail operate locally and long distances. 

A boardwalk by the sea with palms and waves.
Coastal cities are the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.

Yanbu – an export giant of KSA

In a short period of time, Yanbu turned from a fishing village into a large industrial city. In 1975 government marked Yanbu and Jubail as future industrial centers. Authorities invested in the expansion and modernization of cities. Today they are truly two vital industrial cities. We can say that it is one of the most successful achievements of the empire. Here too, the oil industry has primacy. However, the development of tourism is slowly taking its turn. The highway is passing through the city and Yanbu has an airport. Moving companies in Yanbu have been providing their customers with the best logistics services for years. Also, thanks to its busy port, today it is the main port for oil shipping and the marine gateway to Medina. It has three oil refineries, a plastic factory, and other plants. And there are many expat workers in oil refineries and petroleum plants. 

White mosque on a clear day.
Yanbu is the main port for pilgrims going to Medina.

Dammam – administrative center of the oil industry

Dammam is another crucial industrial center spreading on the coast of the Persian Gulf. It’s laying on the vast oil reserves. And exactly oil discovery transformed it into a major industrial center. Once small coastal village became a large seaport and commercial metropolis of the region. Dammam is also the judicial and administrative seat of the province. Along with two neighboring cities Dhahran and Khobar, it forms Dammam metropolitan area. Except for the oil industry, agriculture is also important for the economy of Dammam, especially livestock and dairy farming. The city itself is incredibly modern and urban. It is the fastest-growing city in the Kingdom and one of the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia. So it might not be a bad choice to start a business there. Movers and packers Dammam could see to your relocation. As well as for moving your company. 

Economic cities in Saudi Arabia

One of the goals of the Vision 2030 project is the construction of 6 economic cities. The idea is to relieve existing metropolises and create new ones. It means population growth in designated areas. And that further means more new jobs, new foreign investments, and development overall. Expansion of the private sector and non-oil-based industries is expected to rise the rate of GDP. All that will then reflect the standard of living. A growing population will have more choices, so this should lead to its distribution between new cities and existing ones. This again leads to the construction of new housing units, the expansion of the city, more workforce, more work, investments, etc. Of course, this process is under the control of The Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA). One would say the ideal climate for entrepreneurs. 

King Abdullah’s Economic City

Economic cities are projects created as part of the Saudi Vision 2030. Their part is to reduce pressure from major industrial centers. Hopefully, they’ll attract part of the population and businesses. That way they will grow and develop equally. The main goal is to bring diversity to the economy. One of these strategic locations is King Abdullah’s Economic City. Its construction is still ongoing, and by the time it ends, it will have a population of 2 million. Residential units and tourist centers are being built, as well as educational and business zones. According to predictions, this will be a promising megapolis and new economical giant in KSA.

Four Arab men walking past the ship.
The private sector and small businesses are developing in KSA.

Is entrepreneurship the future of Saudi Arabia?

Yes, entrepreneurship seems to be the new course in the Saudis economy. Thanks to regulatory reforms, the Kingdom reached 13th place based on the ease of doing business. It is also in the first place in the region. There have been many positive changes in the way of doing business. New foreign investment law and a new regulatory body, are just some of those changes. However, there is still room for improvement. The KSA industry is based on oil production and export, but its potential is beyond its natural resources. Therefore, the Saudi authorities took a new approach, investing in the private sector. That resulted in a 24% increase in entrepreneurial activity from 2019. Also, the ownership has increased by 65% over the past three years. 

Industrial centers are the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia

The very fact that about 10 million foreigners live and work in KSA speaks enough about the current state of business. They generally gravitate towards larger industrial centers. Those are the best places for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia. About 17% of adults are business owners. According to the latest GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) report of Saudi Arabia, more than 76% of adults believe that starting a new business is promising and possible. This suggests that Saudi Arabia is an ideal place to start a business or expand. Forecasts and plans promise a bright future for the Saudi economy. Not even COVID-19 has managed to spur its growth. KSA got back on its feet very quickly. While the rest of the world stumbled, Saudi Arabia picked up where it left off before the pandemic. 

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