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Saudi Arabia


Saudi_Arabia_map_527x286px Saudi+Arabia+flag King+Salman+bin+Abdulaziz+al-Saud
Saudi Arabia
King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud

Saudi Arabia country datafile
Country overview
Government contacts

Country data

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015f
Nominal GDP ($bn) 429.1 526.8 669.5 734.0 748.5 777.9* 805.2
GDP per capita ($) 16.095 19,113 23,594* 25,139 24,953 25,401 25,778
Real GDP growth (annual change, %) 1.8 7.4 8.6 5.8 4.0 4.6* 4.5
Government revenue (% of GDP) 36.0 41.6 47.5 50.3 46.5 45.3* 43.2
Government total expenditure (% of GDP) 40.1 36.4 35.5 35.5 37.8 40.0* 41.6
General government gross debt 14.0 8.4 5.4 3.6 2.7 2.6* 2.5
Current account balance (% of GDP) 4.9 5.8 3.6 3.6 3.0 3.2* 3.3
Inflation 4.0 5.8 3.6 3.6 3.0 3.2* 3.3
Population (millions) 26.7 27.6 28.4* 29.2 30.0 30.6 31.2
Unemployment (%) 5.4 5.5 5.8 5.4 5.5 na na
Click to see full economic data (2005 - 2019 forecast)
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database; Last updated: February 2015; *=Estimate

Doing business in...

Regulation: Foreign firms that establish branches in Saudi Arabia must deposit capital in a local bank

Doing business in Saudi Arabia Subscription

Hazem Midani from Jumana House explains the legal issues foreigners face when setting up a company in the kingdom

Saudi Industrial Property Authority industrial cities Subscription

Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) was established in 2001 to develop industrial cities across Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia: A kingdom open for business

Welcome to MEED’s guide to doing business in Saudi Arabia. It is almost a decade since MEED first published a business guide to the region’s biggest economy and much has changed.

Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia Subscription

Not only is Jubail the largest industrial city in the kingdom, it is the biggest industrial centre of its type in the world

Saudi Arabia

Islamic law in Saudi Arabia Subscription

Hesham al-Homoud, partner and head of corporate & commercial for Saudi Arabia at UAE-based law firm Al-Tamimi & Company, explains the implementation of sharia in the kingdom

Riyadh housing units 2011-2015

Accommodation in Saudi Arabia Subscription

Finding accommodation for expatriate workers and their families can be tricky in Saudi Arabia

Education: Children in the kingdom start school when they are six years old

Schools in Saudi Arabia Subscription

According to UAE firm Alpen Capital, Saudi Arabia was home to 37,145 state schools and 3,255 private schools in 2009, but only nationals and naturalised Arabs are permitted to attend government institutions

Housing rental prices in Eastern Province 2010-2011

Eastern Province Subscription

Along with Dhahran, Al-Khobar and Dammam make up the vast majority of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province


Medina province Subscription

Located along the Red Sea coast, Medina province contains Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest city and the second-holiest site in Islam, its capital city Medina

Saudi Arabia government ministries Subscription

Contact details for Saudi Arabia government ministries

Gulf projects index

Information providers for Saudi Arabia Subscription

Middle East media


Female visitors to Saudi Arabia Subscription

Recent years have seen a gradual relaxation in the rules governing women doing business in Saudi Arabia, with women playing a far more prominent and significant role in the kingdom’s economy than ever before.

Healthcare in Saudi Arabia Subscription

In early 2011, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud announced plans to spend SR16bn ($4.3bn) on five medical cities to be built across the kingdom

Renewables target

King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy Subscription

King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-Care) was established by royal order in April 2010

Economic city: Kaec has been designed with a focus on the port, logistics, light industry and service sectors

King Abdullah Economic City Subscription

The $27bn King Abdullah Economic City (Kaec) was launched in December 2005, the first of six economic city projects planned for the kingdom

Jizan Economic City Subscription

Jizan Economic City (JEC) is located in the southwest of the kingdom and is the most remote of all the cities planned by the government

Yanbu, Saudi Arabia Subscription

Located on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, 350 kilometres north of Jeddah, Yanbu is more remote than Jubail on the east coast, but is of almost equal strategic importance to the kingdom

Ras al-Khair Minerals City, Saudi Arabia Subscription

Ras al-Khair, also known as Mineral Industrial City, lies 60 kilometres north of Jubail and is being developed by the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu (RCJ&Y)

Industrial cities in Saudi Arabia Subscription

The diversification of the Saudia Arabian economy has been a strategic objective for Riyadh since the 1970s

The end: A firm may be liquidated if it no longer has the minimum number of two partners required by law

Dissolving a company in Saudi Arabia Subscription

Reed Runnels from law firm Omar Alrasheed explains how to wrap up a business in the kingdom

Saudisation Subscription

The proportion of Saudi nationals working in the private sector dropped from 17 per cent to just 10 per cent over the decade leading up to 2010

Taxes in Saudi Arabia Subscription

Yasser al-Khalaiwi from Saudi law firm Omar Alrasheed & Partners answers key questions about taxes in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia's economy Subscription

As the world’s largest oil exporter, it is unsurprising that Saudi Arabia’s economy is dominated by hydrocarbons income

Ruler:  King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud

Government structure in Saudi Arabia Subscription

The modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by King Abdulaziz al-Saud in 1932

History of Saudi Arabia Subscription

The modern state of Saudi Arabia is relatively young

Map of Saudi Arabia

Basic information on Saudi Arabia Subscription

The total area of Saudi Arabia is 2,149,690 square kilometres, making it the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabia

Focus falls on Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Subscription

6 May 2015

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is taking on a more powerful role in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia's succession challenge

Trends & analysis

Saudi interbank offered rate

Heavyweights dominate deal flow Subscription

20 May 2015 | By James Gavin

Saudi Aramco’s success in sealing a $10bn facility at extremely low pricing will not necessarily lead to a flood of deals

Assets of Saudi commercial banks

Saudi banks to gain from market opening Subscription

20 May 2015 | By

The kingdom’s locally incorporated commercial banks are well capitalised and are expected to be the first choice for foreign investors after the Tadawul opening on 15 June

Saudi IPO market

Foreign investors await June opening Subscription

19 May 2015 | By James Gavin

From next month, qualified foreign investors will have full access to the Gulf’s largest stock market, the Tadawul


Saudi banking: Sector in rude health

18 May 2015

The kingdom’s locally incorporated lenders have posted promising profits in 2014 as well as the first quarter of 2015, despite low oil prices and new regulations

Saudi banking sector market share 2014

Banks enjoy healthy first quarter Subscription

17 May 2015 | By James Gavin

Most of the kingdom’s banks recorded profit growth in the first three months of 2015, after a generally positive 2014, despite concerns about the impact of lower oil prices on the sector

Projects due for award in next 12 months

Projects market loses its momentum Subscription

12 May 2015 | By

While essential schemes are still likely to move forwards, the drop in oil prices means projects that are more speculative could be put on hold

Top 10 contractors and EPC spend by country

Oil price drop reshapes top 10 contractors Subscription

11 May 2015 | By

The decline in oil prices has led to a slowdown in project spending in the region, meaning MEED’s annual contractor survey has seen a big shake up this year

Saudi Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C) at a defence exhibition in February

MEED board report, May 2015 Subscription

7 May 2015 | By

Key events and trends in the region over the past month and their impact on the outlook for the Middle East and North Africa

Saudi Arabia

Focus falls on Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Subscription

6 May 2015 | By

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is taking on a more powerful role in the kingdom

Regional construction awards

Construction awards dip in Middle East Subscription

5 May 2015 | By

Value of contract awards in region’s construction sector have fallen in first quarter

Construction projects in Mecca province

Vision for Mecca under threat Subscription

4 May 2015 | By

While many major projects in the holy city have pressed ahead, with some nearing completion, delays have occurred as Saudi Arabia struggles to stick to its masterplan for 2040

MEED contracts awarded April 2015

Middle East contracts awarded: April 2015 Subscription

3 May 2015

Nearly $5bn of contracts awarded in April in the Middle East

Al-Naimi: The legendary oil minister may retire soon

Al-Naimi's succession challenge Subscription

30 April 2015 | By

Assistant oil minister and son of King Salman are now favourites to replace Saudi Arabia’s veteran oil minister

Divided Zone: Some analysts believe the Saudi Arabia-Kuwait dispute could degenerate into more serious problems

Trouble in the Divided Zone Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

Oil production in the zone is expected to halt as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait fail to find common ground

Oil drop

Oil price drop hits Saudi Arabia Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

The latest IMFdata on Saudi Arabia illustrates the impact the decline in oil prices is having on the kingdom’s economy

US-based GE’s distributed power business finds promising markets in areas of volatility

GE sees opportunity in instability Subscription

27 April 2015 | By

Firm’s CEO of distributed power talks about supply and generation challenges in region

Corporate legal battle

The AH al-Gosaibi debt default Subscription

22 April 2015 | By

The largest corporate financial scandal that shook Saudi Arabia

Abdelmalek al-Houthi

Yemen crisis – main players Subscription

22 April 2015 | By

A guide to the major actors in the ongoing Yemen conflict

Global oil production

Oil price still not ready for recovery Subscription

21 April 2015 | By

Opec optimism unfounded while global market remains oversupplied

Saudi Arabia says the Yemen insurgency is being fuelled by Iran

Regional powers collide in Yemen Subscription

21 April 2015 | By

Fears of growing Iranian influence are behind Saudi Arabia’s military operation

Filter Saudi Arabia analysis by sector

Market presentations

Dubai creek

Managing the Boom: The Outlook for the Middle East Subscription

23 July 2014

Opportunities and challenges for businesses in the region created by the new projects boom

Qatar metro

Webinar: GCC metro and rail projects Subscription

12 September 2013

MEED’s analysis and forecast presentation on the metro projects in the region

Middle East Outlook 2013

A region in transition: Middle East outlook 2013 and beyond Subscription

18 August 2013

Insight and analysis on the economic and projects outlook for the Middle East

Project Finance

Webinar: Middle East project finance outlook Subscription

17 June 2013

Market constraints to continue, with deals flowing to most stable markets in the region

Mena renewables 2013

Webinar: MENA Renewable Energy Subscription

12 May 2013

In this presentation, MEED discusses the trends and prospects for renewable power in the region

After the Uprisings webinar

After the Uprisings: The outlook for business in the Middle East in 2013 and beyond Subscription

4 March 2013

A webinar on the region’s business environment, providing current data and exclusive expert analysis drawn from MEED’s team of experts

Top 100 projects 2012

Top 100 projects: The Middle East market gains momentum Subscription

3 February 2013

This webinar examines projects market trends in the region and forecasts which countries and sectors will grow in 2013


Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud Subscription

30 April 2015

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud

Amgad Husein Subscription

28 January 2015

Amgad Husein is partner at Dentons Saudi Arabia

Rayed Abdullah al-Ajaji Subscription

7 January 2015

Rayed Abdullah al-Ajaji is president at Universal Metal Coating Company (Unicoil) Saudi Arabia

Ismail Shar Al-Sulby Subscription

7 January 2015

Ismail Shar al-Sulby is general manager, Long Products Business Unit at Sabic Metals

Sami al-Louzi Subscription

20 July 2014

Sami al-Louzi is partner in Riyadh and Dubai at Latham & Watkins

Harj Rai Subscription

20 July 2014

Harj Rai is partner in Riyadh and Dubai at Latham & Watkins

See all Saudi Arabia biographies

Top 10 projects


Rank Project Name Sector Contract value ($m)
1 Riyadh Light Rail Transit (Riyadh Metro): Lines 1 & 2 Transport 9,450
2 Haramain High-Speed Rail Network: Phase 2 Transport 8,396
3 Riyadh Light Rail Transit (Riyadh Metro): Lines 4, 5 & 6 Transport 7,820
4 Riyadh Light Rail Transit (Riyadh Metro): Line 3 Transport 5,942
5 King Abdulaziz International Airport: Phase 1: New Terminal: Package 1 Transport 4,034
6 Housing Development: Phase 2 Construction 3,600
7 Abraj Kudai in Mecca Construction 3,500
8 Rabigh Power Plant Extension: Phase 6 Power 3,400
9 King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz Project: Riyadh Security Forces Medical Complex Construction 3,350
9 King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz Project: Jeddah Security Forces Medical Complex Construction 3,350
Click through to the full data table on Saudi Arabia's biggest projects in construction
Click through to MEED's Q4 2014 Top 100 Projects report
Source: MEED Projects; Data compiled: April 2015; All projects are in construction

Project awards


Saudi residential contract awarded to Indian firm Subscription

19 May 2015 | By

Interior Ministry lets $586m deal

Mecca light rail system and example for Jeddah Metro

Dutch firm joins Jeddah masterplan team Subscription

13 May 2015 | By

Arcadis subsidiary joins team working on Jeddah transport masterplan

The Sadara project will encourage further investment in the industrial development of Saudi Arabia's east coast

Sadara awards long-term contracting deal Subscription

13 May 2015 | By

Complex starts commissioning process later this year

Aramco awards offshore contracts

Aramco awards offshore contracts Subscription

10 May 2015 | By

US contractor emerges as the big winner of long-term agreement


US firm wins Saudi power role Subscription

6 May 2015 | By

Company will provide engineering management services for conversion project

Offshore platform

McDermott awarded offshore contract Subscription

6 May 2015 | By

US contractor to carry out additional work in Neutral Zone


Contractor wins King Abdulaziz Road deal Subscription

3 May 2015 | By

Contract covers infrastructure work for Mecca redevelopment

Tasnee awards titanium plant

Tasnee awards titanium plant Subscription

27 April 2015 | By

Asian firms pick up contract for Yanbu facility

Saudi construction awards

ABV Rock to replace Binladin on medical city Subscription

21 April 2015 | By ,

The healthcare city will contain three hospitals and related medical and residential facilities


Aramco awards final major Jizan package Subscription

20 April 2015 | By

$20bn refinery and power plant complex in southwest of Saudi Arabia ready to enter construction phase

Projects trends

Gulf projects index

Saudi Arabia leads Gulf index recovery Subscription

18 May 2015

All countries record gains to bring projects market up by 0.7 per cent

Gulf projects index

Impact of GCC slowdown takes hold Subscription

12 May 2015

Bahrain makes the biggest gain, while Saudi Arabia’s market continues to fall

Gulf projects index

Iran jump struggles to lift Gulf index Subscription

4 May 2015

GCC slowdown cancels out gains in Islamic Republic

More Gulf Projects Index articles

News & comment

Gas plant

Saudi Aramco extends gas plant tender Subscription

24 May 2015

Contractors given more time for largest hydrocarbons project of the year

Bigger threat: Riyadh will have to deal with Isis first

Isis affiliate claims Saudi mosque attack Subscription

24 May 2015

The 22 May attack left at least 21 dead

Offshore rig

Dynamic Industries confirms Aramco award Subscription

21 May 2015

US brownfield specialist one of four signatories of long-term contract for offshore work


Jabal Omar Development secures loan Subscription

21 May 2015

Islamic financing for Mecca development

Power station

Waad al-Shamal deadline extended Subscription

21 May 2015

Technical bids were submitted in October

Emaar the Economic City signs new funding deal for King Abdullah Economic City

Emaar, the Economic City gets financing Subscription

20 May 2015

Islamic financing for development of Economic City

10 biggest transport projects due for award

Saudi Arabia remains focused on transport development Subscription

20 May 2015

Kingdom has said it will increase transport investment over the next 10 years


Divided Zone dispute likely to be costly for Kuwait Subscription

19 May 2015

Dispute with Saudi Arabia has caused reputational damage

Financing debt terms

AH al-Gosaibi reveals improved terms Subscription

19 May 2015

Date set for creditors meeting

Kuwait tweaks oil production strategy

Kuwait tweaks oil production strategy Subscription

19 May 2015

Kuwait Oil Company looking to compensate for Divided Zone shutdown


Saudi Electricity Company extends headquarters deadline Subscription

19 May 2015

Complex will be located in Riyadh

Combined-cycle power plant

Saudi Arabia extends deadline for Duba power plant Subscription

19 May 2015

Plant will run on a combination of gas and solar energy


Saudi residential contract awarded to Indian firm Subscription

19 May 2015

Interior Ministry lets $586m deal

US President Barack Obama speaks while hosting the GCC at Camp David on 14 May. From left are UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Oman Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Sai

GCC leaders reassured by US on containment of Iran Subscription

18 May 2015

Summit fell short of comprehensive security accord

Aramco awards construction deal to Arabtec

Saudi fund to buy South Korean contractor stake Subscription

18 May 2015

Deal reported to involve 30 per cent stake in Posco Engineering & Construction

Filter Saudi Arabia news by sector

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MEED events

Saudi Mining & Minerals 2015 Symposium

Saudi Mining & Minerals 2015 Symposium

26 - 29 October 2015 | Designed to highlight the full spectrum of opportunities within the entire value chain of Saudi Arabia’s mining industry

More MEED events