Economic Overview & Business Opportunities
It is one of the world’s 25 largest economies and the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa Region. The Kingdom is one of the world’s fastest growing countries worldwide, with per-capita income forecast to rise from USD $25,000 in 2012 to USD $33,500 by 2020. It has substantial cost advantages due to the low domestic cost of energy and industrial land due to generous subsidies and incentives. It provides duty free access to other GCC and MENA economies and enjoys good transport and infrastructure links which will soon be supplemented by a national rail system. Saudi Arabia’s fast-growing economy is creating opportunities for both exporters and investors. These are further boosted by economic reform, market liberalisation, a growing private sector and moves to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil and gas.
Riyadh is one of the richest cities in the Middle East and the 80th richest city in the world. Once a small walled city, Riyadh has developed into a dynamic metropolis over the years. Along with the urban areas of Dhahran, Dammam, Khobar and Jeddah, Riyadh has become a focal point for both travel and trade.
In addition to being the center of power, the city is also a commercial hub. Numerous educational, financial, agricultural, cultural, technical, and social organizations have set up base here. The architecture is mostly modern, including contemporary high-rise towers, but the Al-Dira district, the nucleus of the city, has been rebuilt in a style meant to evoke the old mud-brick buildings of pre-20th century Nejd.