Saudi Arabia to host regional headquarters of 44 multinational companies

The capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, will be home to the regional headquarters of 44 multinational companies in the future (illustrative image).

Getty Images / EyeEm - Mohammed Assem / EyeEm

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

The Saudi authorities had announced that all companies that would not have their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia will no longer be able to work with the kingdom from 2024. A severe blow for neighboring Dubai, the region's economic hub.


Read more

 With our correspondent in Dubai, 

Nicolas keraudren

Between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, economic competition is intensifying.

With the announcement of 44 multinationals, including Siemens and Unilever, to set up their regional headquarters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh is in fact increasing the pressure a little more on neighbor Dubai.

The emirate, which currently hosts around 140 seats, which is a Gulf-wide record, could lose its status as a regional economic hub in the future.

This trend could also be much heavier since Saudi Arabia seeks to attract up to 500 regional seats on its territory within ten years.

A necessity to diversify the economy

But for Riyadh, this strategy is a necessity.

As the resources of the petromonarchy dwindle, diversifying its economy has become the number one priority.  

For experts, however, this rivalry between the two main economies in the region is "healthy".

It could even boost the business environment across the region.

At least, if this does not lead to deeper protectionist tendencies.   

See also: Saudi Arabia announces an investment plan to stimulate its private sector


Receive all international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Saudi Arabia

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Trade and Trade

  • Trade and distribution