March 18, 2021
This week, Saudi Arabia ordered international companies to relocate regional headquarters within the country’s borders by 2024 or face cancellation contracts with government agencies, institutions, and funds. The announcement is part of the Saudi Crown Prince’s “Vision 2030” campaign aimed at helping the economic prospects of the country which has been hurt the pandemic and precipitous drop in oil prices.
The surprising announcement stunned the globe and sent shockwaves across the region. Within the region itself, reporting on the announcement have characterized it as direct punches thrown at Dubai and the broader UAE. The UAE and specifically Dubai are favored in the region by international businesses for Mideast HQs due to its western friendly culture.
The thought process appears to be, by ordering international companies to relocate within the Saudi Kingdom, more jobs and non-oil related investments will come to the country currently struggling with a nearly 15% unemployment rate.