Fastest-Growing Industries in Saudi Arabia in 2018

In the aftermath of the oil boom of 2003–2013, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ambitiously redefining its economy through diversification and productivity-based ventures in a variety of different industry sectors and government efforts — including the business goal projects National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030, which specify expected national progress by their respective years.

With these reforms and objectives at the forefront of the Saudi economic vision, there’s no better time to take advantage of business opportunities and invest in the a quickly growing economy — but what industries will offer the most promising results for foreign business ventures?

When it comes to succeeding in business in Saudi Arabia, it’s important to align your business goals with the Kingdom’s goals in a rapidly shifting market. Here are the best emerging and opportunity sectors based on Saudi Arabia’s current circumstances.

1. Advanced Technologies

As one of its key modern sectors, Saudi Arabia hopes to transform the nation into a globally recognized hub for information and communication technology as part of Saudi Vision 2030. The nation expects a 35 percent yearly growth rate in consumer data traffic from 2017 to 2022, and Internet penetration is expected to reach 86 percent by 2020. Business will be booming in the technological sector, including computer technology, artificial intelligence, telecommunications, biotech and robotics.

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2. Entertainment and Hospitality

As the primary destination of religious tourists on holy pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina as well as a growing hub of business travel, Saudi Arabia sees its fair share of tourist traffic. Vision 2030 and NTP set a specific target to significantly expand the entertainment and hospitality sector. As part of its growth and diversification goals, the Kingdom set targets to triple the number of religious tourists by 2030 and attract 7 billion dollars in investments by 2020.

In terms of entertainment, Saudi Arabia hopes to increase household entertainment spending from 2.9 percent to six percent as part of Vision 2030. The demand for state-of-the-art entertainment options, world-class events and new attractions — as well as the resources it will take to build these venues — will provide a plethora of business opportunities in 2018 and beyond.

3. Financial Services

As the leading economy among Arab league countries and with a still-impressive GDP of 646 billion dollars, Saudi Arabia expects to continue expanding. The government is currently in preparation for privatization, reform and growth to support an even stronger financial sector, making finance a continually ideal industry for your Saudi Arabian business ventures.

Collection of Saudi Arabia Riyal banknotes

4. Aquaculture

As one of the most rapidly growing methods of food production in the world, aquaculture is projected to produce approximately two-thirds of the fish we eat by the year 2030, and Saudi Arabia intends to profit from and develop this sector further by utilizing its rich Red Sea waters to invest in seafood production. Research, development, infrastructure and marketing in this sector will be worth the investment.

5. Mining and Natural Resources

Saudi Arabia aims to expand its mining sector to create new jobs and contribute significantly to the GDP. With the help of business investments and ventures, the nation hopes to generate 25,000 mining jobs by 2020 and increase its GDP contribution by 50 percent.

The Kingdom has also recently begun to focus on renewable energy as they work to distance themselves from a dependence on oil, making natural resources a wise business investment. The nation currently stands as the sixth-ranked country in the world for solar energy potential and 13th for wind energy. It hopes to target a renewable energy capacity of 9.5GW by 2030.

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6. Defense

Through investments and business opportunities, Saudi Arabia aims to expand its defense sector to be able to produce 50 percent of defense needs locally by the year 2030, making the market for related technologies and industry profitable.

Expand Your Efforts With the Quincy Group

When you want to succeed in Saudi Arabian business, you need to know where and how to play — and that’s how the Quincy Group can help you with your business ventures. With extensive knowledge and experience advising business leaders and companies in building trustworthy relationships and gaining crucial business access in Saudi Arabia, we know how to make your investments and ventures profitable. Contact us today to learn more about breaking into growing Saudi Arabian industries.