The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a high-income country. It has a large population, significant purchasing power and a growing reputation as an important destination for many foreign brands and companies in many different sectors.
Saudi Arabia is carrying out several large-scale projects, including a high-tech city called Neom and a megacity for culture, sports and entertainment in Qiddiya. There are also development projects on the Red Sea coast including hotels, high-end residential properties and a luxury tourist and wellbeing resort called Amaala.
Strong UK trade links
Saudi Arabia is one of the UK’s most important trading partners. The UK exported £6 billion worth of goods and services to Saudi Arabia in 2018 (ONS, 2019). British companies present in the market include Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Unilever.
Saudi Arabia has a fast-growing population, with approximately 39% under the age of 25 (General Authority of Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2018). The young consumer market are early adopters of technology.
Ease of doing business
out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)
GDP per capita
UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Saudi Arabia have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Saudi Aramco is exploiting natural gas reserves off the Red Sea coast to support increased domestic demand. This will involve using deep water technologies for drilling below 1,000 metres. This offers opportunities for UK engineering and service companies with experience in deep water regions, such as the North Sea.
Saudi Arabia needs UK capability to deliver its energy objectives. There is demand for areas of UK expertise, such as project management, innovation and the ability to operate some of the harshest environments globally.