Six Flags to open in Riyadh in 2022

Time: April 5, 2018

Amusement park chain enters into agreement with the Saudi Public Investment fund to develop, design and licence the brand

Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. The company which has been operating for almost six decades boasts of world-class coasters, themed rides and thrilling waterparks.

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company have announced plans to develop a Six Flags-branded theme park in the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“Six Flags has entered into an arrangement with the PIF to develop, design and license the Six Flags brand for Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s first entertainment, sports and cultural destination expected to open in 2022,” the company said in a statement.

The company that has been operating for almost six decades boasts of world-class coasters, themed rides and thrilling waterparks.

“Innovation is synonymous with the Six Flags brand, and our international licensing business provides a unique opportunity to continue our strong global growth,” David McKillips, President of Six Flags International Development Company, said. “We see great potential in the Saudi Arabian market and look forward to collaborating with the PIF to create a world-class entertainment destination for Saudi Arabia’s young and dynamic population.”

Located 40km from downtown Riyadh, Qiddiya will provide “unprecedented” leisure option for millions of visitors, the statement promised.

This article was first published in Gulf News

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How Saudi Arabia shows it is open for business

Time: April 05, 2018

Saudi Arabia has always been fertile ground and an attractive environment for foreign investors. Now, with Vision 2030 — a new economic development strategy and national transformation plan —  there is a golden opportunity for investors to take part in building the future, and to take advantage of unprecedented economic opportunities.
The Kingdom aims to increase foreign direct investment from $8 billion to about $18.6 billion. Among the aims is to create the largest possible number of career opportunities for Saudi citizens, and to diversify the sources of the country’s income.
Since 2000, investment in Saudi Arabia has been regulated by the Foreign Investment Act. The General Authority for Foreign Investment is moving fast to develop its services and initiatives, such as increasing the validity period of a foreign investment license from one year to five years, and reducing the time required to issue such a license from 53 hours to 3 hours and 59 minutes. The precision of these figures indicates the importance of such investment.

“Some potential investors wrongly believe that they must have a Saudi partner.”

Dimah Talal Al-Sharif

The act governs not only individuals, but also foreign legal entities. It explicitly permits a multiplicity of investment activities, provided they are not prohibited; activities such as the manufacture of military equipment and devices, civil explosives, real estate brokerage services, investigations and security services are not permitted. The list of prohibited activities is updated annually to keep up with economic changes and developments. For example, the distribution of films, communications services, trains and air and space services have recently been opened for foreign investors. On a wider scale, companies listed on the Saudi stock market are open for foreign investment, up to a maximum of 49 percent.
In addition, the act equates foreign investors’ projects with nationals’ project in all respects, including incentives, advantages and guarantees. Recent rumors about the exclusion of foreign investors are erroneous. Some potential investors wrongly believe that they must have a Saudi partner. However, Article 5 of the act makes it clear that any licensed enterprise may be wholly owned by a foreign investor. The act also explicitly gives foreign investors the right to transfer their share of profits or liquidation surplus abroad. It also prohibits any confiscation or seizure of their assets except through a judicial ruling issued by the competent court.
The act also clarifies the penalties for those who break its rules, after offenders have been given reasonable time to rectify their conduct. Then, they may be subject to the suspension of some advantages and incentives, or a fine of up to $133,265. In the case of a dispute, whether between a foreign investor and the government or a foreign investor and their Saudi partner, the regulator recommends that it be settled amicably, as far away as possible from the courts.
The General Authority for Investment is working to standardize the procedures for issuing a foreign investment license, through building communication bridges with the relevant ministries, mainly the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. The aim is to accelerate and unify procedures, so that an investor can obtain an investment license and list his company on the commercial register automatically, using only a passport number.
Such initiatives illustrate the strong appetite of the Saudi market for foreign investors, along with a determination to support them, and guarantee their legal rights. The necessary information can be easily accessed through the online portal of the General Authority for Investment.

• Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub and a member of the International Association of Lawyers. 

This article was first published in Arab News

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Why Saudi Arabia

Time: April 01,2018


​​​​​There ​​​are many strategic benefits to establishing a presence within the Kingdom. Listed below are several key considerations that support the decision to establish a presence, ranging from market access through to positive regulatory environmentm ​​​



Saudi Arabia is one of the largest markets in the region with a population of 30.7 million (2014) and an annual population growth of 3.5 percent

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 Access to industrial loans and equity partners such as the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) and the Saudi Industrial Investments Company

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Supply of Industrial land, commercial real estate and utilities at very competitive prices,

such as King Abdullah Economic City, MODON, Royal Commission, King Abdullah

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Supply of highly educated workforce – as part of the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship

Program, the government provides US$2.4bn a year to fund students for foreign tertiary education

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• 100% foreign ownership in key sectors

• Exemption of customs duties between members of GAFTA

• Rewarding tax system, 20% corporate tax with ability to carry

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Investors Services

Time: April 01,2018

 SAGIA is committed to enhancing the experience of investing and operating in the Kingdom by serving as an information clearinghouse while providing comprehensive licensing and support services.




Saudi Arabia boasts a wide transport network with a particular strength in road and airport transpor


The Saudi Arabian government has targeted growth in the agricultural sector




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This article was first published in  SAGIA

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Invest in Saudi Arabia

Time:  April 01, 2018


Living in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long welcomed foreign …



Natural Resources

Covering 2 million km², Saudi Arabia is the largest co…




Strategically located at the crossroads of three conti…



Industries & Economical Cities

The economic cities initiative was launched to establi…



Human Capital

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a population of 30 mil…




Real estate for industrial usage is available at diffe…



Investment Incentives & Support

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a fast-growing, business…



Transportation Network

Industrial Infrastructure Real estate for industrial u…


The Future Investment Initiative

Time:  April 01, 2018

 FII 2018 Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaAn Innovative High-level Initiative

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) is a pioneering global investment event connecting the world’s most powerful investors, business leaders, thought leaders and public officials with the pathbreaking innovations defining the future.Hosted under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and under the leadership of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and Chairman of PIF, the forum brings together global CEOs and investors with world-leading experts and visionaries from a range of industries, to explore the evolving role of sovereign wealth in driving the next wave of business, innovation, technology and investment.


Shifting centers of power

The new investment paradigm

Innovation for a better world

An Interactive Experience

Unprecedented opportunities for CEOs, global investors, leading business decision-makers, entrepreneurs and innovators to see first-hand the opportunities created by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economic reform agenda.

Collaborative and interactive platforms to spark deep connections, share perspectives and best practices, and develop a new understanding of industry and company-specific investment opportunities.
Relationship building with an influential community of peers representing a range of sectors, geographies, demographics, and investment backgrounds.
Why was FII established?

The Future Investment Initiative is being organized in the context of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the ambitious blueprint that is already charting the path for the Kingdom to harness its strong investment capabilities and use its unique strategic location to become a global investment hub connecting three continents.

The primary focus of the Future Investment Initiative is to provide a platform for objective, expert-led debate on both current and long-term global investment trends, with the ultimate aim of exploring opportunities for achieving sustainable returns which deliver positive and lasting impacts.

What to expect

A collaborative program and interactive platform designed to spark deep connections, shared perspectives, and best practices for a new understanding of industry and company-specific investment opportunities globally.
Relationships with an influential community of peers representing a range of sectors, geographies, demographics, and investment backgrounds.
Unprecedented opportunities for CEOs, global investors, leading business decision-makers, and innovators to understand the opportunities created by Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
An exposition featuring leading businesses and new large-scale investment projects, many of which are part of the Public Investment Fund’s core portfolio and beyond.


This article was first published in Future Investment Initiative

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Richard Branson to invest in Saudi Arabia’s tourism project

Time: April 01, 2018

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson will invest in a Red Sea project that aims to turn 50 Saudi Arabian islands into luxury tourism destinations, the Saudi government announced on Sunday.

Branson is the first international investor to commit to the project, Saudi Arabia’s information ministry said, in what officials called “a clear sign that Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to international tourism”.

Branson also visited the tombs at Mada’in Saleh – a Unesco world heritage site located near a string of new hotels – in a trip to the Gulf kingdom that appears to be aimed at attracting further international attention, in terms of both investment and tourism.

“This is an incredibly exciting time in the country’s history, and I’ve always felt that there’s nothing like getting a first-hand impression,” Branson said in a statement released by the information ministry.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative countries in the world, only last week passing a decree allowing women to drive.

But since the shock appointment in June of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as successor to his father’s throne, the oil-rich state has launched a media offensive aimed at promoting its image.

Prince Mohammed, who sidelined his cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, to be appointed the royal heir, is also the champion of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 economic plan.

The scheme aims to pull the region’s biggest economy out of its dependence on oil and diversify the country’s economic revenue model.

On 1 August, Saudi Arabia announced plans to turn 34,000 sq km (13,127 sq miles) of its Red Sea coastline into luxury resorts.

The project is aimed at attracting international tourists to a country where alcohol is prohibited and the mobility and dress of women restricted.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is headed by Prince Mohammed, will provide the initial investment into the Red Sea project, with construction slated to start in 2019.

The Red Sea project is expected to generate 35,000 jobs, according to the Saudi government.

This article was first published in The Guardian

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Living in Saudi Arabia

Time: April 01, 2018

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long welcomed foreign people to work in the country, for anything from a few days to several years. Expatriates account for around a 35% of Saudi Arabia’s total population. Politically stable, well-ordered and with very little crime, Saudi Arabian society places great emphasis on family life, safety, hospitality and tradition. When working in Saudi Arabia, foreign executives and their families often choose to live in purpose-built gated communities. Safe, comfortable, convenient and a ‘home from home’ for expatriates, these offer high-quality villa-style accommodation and extensive on-site facilities such as supermarkets, swimming pools, bowling alleys, gyms and even golf courses.

Saudi Arabia has first-class health and educational facilities, both public and private. Saudi Arabia first international school opened in Dhahran in 1962, and highly-rated international schools are now found in many of the Kingdom’s larger cities. Among Saudi Arabia’s historic, cultural and scenic attractions are ancient castles, huge sand dunes and the spectacular coral reefs of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. Spectator and participatory sports include horse and camel racing, falconry, waterskiing, sailing and snorkeling. From enjoying a desert picnic under the stars to scuba diving with the brightly colored reef-fish near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has much to offer. For shoppers, Saudi Arabia has everything from vast, gleaming, air-conditioned malls to vibrant souks selling spices, traditional arts and crafts and plenty besides. On weekdays most shops are open from 08 am to midnight, and on Fridays from 4 pm to 02 am, and in Saudi Arabia there are no sales taxes or VAT.

This article was first published in Industrial Clusters
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Natural Resources

Time: April 01, 2018

Covering 2 million km², Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East and the 14th largest country in the world. Saudi Arabia’s size and geology make it rich in minerals, oil, gas, key raw materials for manufacturing and industrial development. Saudi Arabia has the largest mineral deposits in the Middle East. In the west of the country, the Arabian Shield is a major source of precious and basic minerals such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, chromium, manganese, tungsten, lead, tin, Aluminum and iron. Mainly in the east, extensive sedimentary formations contain industrial minerals such as gypsum, feldspar, mica, Sulphur and salt.

Saudi Arabia is also a source of highly prized rare earth elements such as tantalum – for which it has a quarter of the world’s reserves – and niobium. Saudi Arabia’s deeper sedimentary formations contain most of its 266.4 billion barrels of proven and recoverable oil. This vast natural resource represents up to 22% of global oil reserves, more than any other country. Saudi Arabia oil production began in 1933 and oil exports in 1939. Some eight decades later, Saudi Arabia has enough oil to last another 80 years at today’s extraction rate of 10.2 million barrels a day. Each day Saudi Arabia extracts over 7.5 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas. More than 8588 billion m³ of natural gas is available.

This article was first published in Industrial Clusters

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