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This article also features in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Read more about this report and view purchase options in our online store.

Saudi Arabia Economic Research Highlights

Report: How can the private sector capitalise on opportunities in the Saudi leisure industry?

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a period of sweeping social transformation and economic diversification underpinned by Vision 2030. This is creating a fertile environment for private businesses to expand...

How firms are leveraging entertainment opportunities in Saudi Arabia

Driven by the country’s Vision 2030 blueprint for economic diversification, Saudi Arabia's leisure industry is expanding. Multi-stakeholder efforts have led to rapid growth in the sector in recent...

Investing in airport infrastructure and boosting passenger capacity in Saudi Arabia

Mohannad Basodan, CEO, NCP; and Salman Badr, Executive Vice President for Infrastructure Advisory, NCP

In this Global Platform video, Oxford Business Group speaks with Mohannad Basodan, CEO, National Center for Privatization & PPP (NCP); and Salman Badr, Executive Vice President for Infrastructure Advisory...

The Report: Saudi Arabia 2023

Saudi Arabia's dynamic economy is poised for growth, driven by its Vision 2030 diversification agenda. The Kingdom aims to transform its industries, stimulate innovation and solidify its global position...

Saudi Arabia Economic Spotlight

Overview

Saudi Arabia looks to economic diversification, giga-projects for growth
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Saudi Arabia entered 2023 on the back of its fastest economic expansion in over a decade, with its growth rate exceeding that of other G20 countries in the face of a variety of macroeconomic headwinds...

Interview

Ayman Al Sayari, Governor, Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)
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On the impact of interest rates and new policies on financial capabilities

Analysis

Saudi Arabia develops green hydrogen capacity at NEOM
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With more than 1000 projects – nearly 800 of which are set to be commissioned by 2030 – requiring $320bn in investment having been announced globally, the hydrogen market’s growth is aligned...

Analysis

Why social banking is key to financial inclusion in Saudi Arabia
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Financial inclusion is a pivotal concept in the evolving financial landscape. The term refers to the process of ensuring that vulnerable demographics gain access to financial services, as well as including the provision...

Analysis

Saudi Arabia looks to e-sports to boost ICT innovation, investment
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The Gulf presents a significant growth opportunity for the global gaming industry due to its young and tech-savvy population, extensive government support, and continued investment in tourism, hospitality...

Interview

Eyad Reda, Managing Partner, Eyad Reda Law Firm
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On enhancing the Kingdom’s legal framework, the path to prosperity and the making of a new era

Overview

How Saudi Arabia is laying the groundwork for future growth
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Located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Saudi Arabia has long been a centre of religious and cultural significance, dating back to before the foundation of the modern Kingdom...

Saudi Arabia looks to economic diversification, giga-projects for growth
Ayman Al Sayari, Governor, Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)
Saudi Arabia develops green hydrogen capacity at NEOM
Why social banking is key to financial inclusion in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia looks to e-sports to boost ICT innovation, investment
Eyad Reda, Managing Partner, Eyad Reda Law Firm
How Saudi Arabia is laying the groundwork for future growth
 

Highlights from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2023

Ongoing giga-projects such as NEOM and The Red Sea Project are supporting Saudi Arabia's twin goals of attracting investment and stimulating economic diversification. A rise in non-oil exports...

Driving Saudi Arabia's economic transformation: Unleashing growth and innovation across strategic sectors

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 blueprint for socio-economic transformation is capturing international attention. Beyond high-profile projects and events, strategic cohesion and societal support are facilitating...

Saudi Arabia: Economic Research & Views

Economic View

David Grover, Group CEO, ROSHN

On the trends shaping the Kingdom’s real estate market

Economic View

Wajdy Al Ghabban, CEO, Catrion

On developments in Saudi Arabia’s catering industry

Economic News

Gulf countries look to space to harness scientific and commercial opportunities
OBG
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In the push to embrace emerging technologies and harness their potential commercial opportunities, Gulf countries are launching new initiatives to bolster their domestic space industries.

Economic View

Vincent Miccolis, Managing Director for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, The Ascott

On creating investment opportunities and fostering sustainable infrastructure development

Economic News

Emerging markets invest in film media to extend their global reach
OBG
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As audiences return to entertainment in physical venues following the Covid-19 pandemic, several emerging markets are looking to film and media to diversify economic revenue streams and extend...

Economic News

Gulf countries developing regulatory frameworks for decentralised finance
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As GCC countries look to harness new forms of financial technology (fintech) such as blockchain, deepen their financial services and expand financial inclusion, governments are embracing...

Economic News

Demographic and tech shifts alter the distribution of global talent
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As the global economy continues to adapt to ongoing macroeconomic shocks, many countries are looking to boost human capital through training programmes, technology adoption and immigration.

Economic News

What China’s uneven economic recovery means for emerging markets
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After three years of rolling Covid-19 lockdowns and trade disruptions, China posted faster-than-expected GDP growth in the first quarter of 2023, at 4.5% year-on-year (y-o-y), but the uneven nature of its recovery...

Economic News

The growth trajectory of religious tourism in key markets
OBG
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With many emerging markets diversifying their tourism offerings, faith-based tourism is set to become a key segment for a number of markets worldwide. An estimated 330m people travel for religious reasons...

Economic News

How generative AI could transform education in the GCC
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As public and private entities across the world weigh how to utilise generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, GCC countries are embracing the new tool as a way to transform their education sectors.

David Grover, Group CEO, ROSHN
Wajdy Al Ghabban, CEO, Catrion
Gulf countries look to space to harness scientific and commercial opportunities
Vincent Miccolis, Managing Director for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, The Ascott
Emerging markets invest in film media to extend their global reach
Gulf countries developing regulatory frameworks for decentralised finance
Demographic and tech shifts alter the distribution of global talent
What China’s uneven economic recovery means for emerging markets
The growth trajectory of religious tourism in key markets
How generative AI could transform education in the GCC
 

Saudi Arabia ESG Research & Views

Economic News

The effectiveness of water-management strategies in emerging markets

With extreme weather events such as drought or flooding becoming more common due to climate change, countries around the world are looking to innovative solutions for water management. Water scarcity captured global headlines last summer, as Europe experienced its worst drought in 500 years and China’s Yangtze River reached record low levels, derailing hydropower operations. Elsewhere, widespread flooding affected Nigeria, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world. Due to population growth, climate change and...


Economic News

How emerging markets are navigating the rising cost of solar power

With high energy prices and supply chain disruptions creating shortages of key renewable energy components and materials, emerging markets are reassessing how to build out utility-scale solar power to accelerate their energy transitions. After more than a decade of decline, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has risen around the world, due primarily to the increasing cost of solar-grade polysilicon in China. A key component in PV panels, polysilicon spot market prices rose from less than $7 per kg in July 2020 to $39 in August...


Economic News

Urban areas experiment with cooling technologies to combat climate change

With temperatures in cities set to rise in the coming decades, many public and private players in emerging markets are looking to tackle the challenge of extreme heat through technology, sustainable building techniques and the expansion of urban green spaces. Cities cover just 3% of the Earth’s surface but currently house over half of the world’s population – a figure set to reach 70% by 2050. Urban population growth is predicted to be highest in emerging markets, with 90% of the shift to cities occurring in Asia and...


Economic News

Emerging markets are targeting a share of the global electric vehicle market

With electric vehicles (EVs) set to proliferate and become more accessible to drivers around the world, several emerging markets are looking to expand their EV manufacturing. Once a luxury segment of the automotive industry, EVs have become popular among consumers and companies alike in recent years, with solid growth trends attracting public and private investment. EV uptake is essential to the global energy transition, as transport remains the sector with the highest reliance on fossil fuels, producing an estimated 37%...


Economic News

Which markets are pioneering lower-carbon desalination technologies?

Long seen as a high-cost, energy-intensive process, desalination mega-projects are seeking to tap renewable resources to limit the cost and environmental concerns of this crucial technology. In June 2022 ENOWA, the energy, water and hydrogen subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM mega-project, signed a memorandum of understanding with French energy company Veolia and Japanese trading company Itochu to develop a reverse osmosis (RO) water desalination facility powered by 100% renewable energy...


Economic News

What impact will the rise in oil prices have on the energy transition?

Amid an increase in global demand and concerns over key supplies, global oil prices are approaching $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014. But, with prices rising, what does this mean for the renewable energy transition, especially in Gulf countries? After opening the year at around $78 per barrel, Brent crude prices rose sharply over the first six weeks of 2022 to surpass $94 as of February 14, the highest price in more than seven years. Driven primarily by a lack of supply and a recent post-lockdown spike in global demand...


Economic News

How the UAE and Saudi Arabia are expanding the representation of women in the workplace

More female employees are joining workplaces and boardrooms in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with gender equality a key target of a regional drive to improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. While measurable progress has been achieved in recent years, there is room for further improvement in order to consolidate these changes into a lasting and broad-based transformation...


Economic News

What does the future hold for Islamic finance?

After remaining resilient in 2020, the Islamic finance segment is performing strongly this year, as an improved economic environment, a rise in the number of large projects and an increased focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors combine to drive demand. Despite the twin challenges of Covid-19 and the fall in global oil prices, the segment’s assets grew by 10.6% last year, according to global ratings agency S&P. Although this was down on the 17.3% growth rate recorded in 2019, it was nevertheless...


Economic News

Carbon emissions: How will the Gulf get to net-zero?

As global leaders in politics and business continue to meet in Glasgow to discuss environmental issues as part of UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), some of the world’s most fossil fuel-dependent countries have launched plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions. On October 7 the UAE became the first country in the Gulf to commit to achieving net-zero. At Expo 2020 in Dubai, the government announced that it would aim to reach the target by 2050, in line with major industrialised markets like the EU and the UK...


How Saudi Arabia is working to be a global logistics and transport centre

Farooq Shaikh, CEO, LogiPoint

In this Global Platform video, Farooq Shaikh, CEO, LogiPoint, identifies the key characteristics that make Saudi Arabia a competitive location for logistics and transport activities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic...

ESG Intelligence Reports: KSA & GCC

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: Social and governance considerations in the automotive industry

The rise of connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicle megatrends in the automotive industry are bringing social and governance considerations to the fore of ESG strategic thinking...

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: What factors are driving social development in Saudi Arabia?

Vision 2030 includes social development initiatives to empower micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and citizens, promote entrepreneurship and widen access to financing...

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: How can Saudi Arabia finance sustainable industrial development?

Guided by the Vision 2030 strategy for diversification, rapid advancements are being made in Saudi industry, mining, logistics and renewable energy.

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: Can heavy industry support Saudi Arabia’s sustainability ambitions?

COP26 has focused the world’s attention on the need for a more sustainable economic model that ensures profits and growth are not achieved at the expense of ecological health and social well-being...

ESG Intelligence Report

ESG Report: How can the benefits of the digital economy be extended to all segments of Saudi society?

Saudi Arabia’s long-term vision for economic advancement and diversification is underpinned by commitments that are aligned with ESG principles, with a focus on easing dependence on fossil...

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: The road to a zero-emission automotive industry in the Middle East and Africa

Automotive stakeholders are increasingly aware that the business-as-usual scenario that has sustained the industry for more than 100 years is no longer tenable. Regulatory changes and emissions-reduction...

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: The future of sustainable finance in Kuwait’s banking sector

The regulatory landscape for Gulf financial service providers is changing, with growing awareness of the need for banking institutions to adopt sustainable finance frameworks and responsible lending...

ESG Intelligence Report

Report: How Qatar is confronting environmental and social challenges

With the publication of its National Environment and Climate Change Strategy in 2021, Qatar has recognised that a proactive and holistic approach is needed to meet the challenge of global warming and...

Report: Social and governance considerations in the automotive industry
Report: What factors are driving social development in Saudi Arabia?
Report: How can Saudi Arabia finance sustainable industrial development?
Report: Can heavy industry support Saudi Arabia’s sustainability ambitions?
ESG Report: How can the benefits of the digital economy be extended to all segments of Saudi society?
Report: The road to a zero-emission automotive industry in the Middle East and Africa
Report: The future of sustainable finance in Kuwait’s banking sector
Report: How Qatar is confronting environmental and social challenges
 

Education: Shaping Saudi Arabia's Future

Economic Impact Assessment

Report: Will e-learning transform tertiary education in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia’s tertiary education system is underpinned by a strong network of 28 public universities accounting for 81% of student enrolment. However, the ongoing process of economic diversification is contributing to a rise in admission to vocational training institutes and private universities – helping to raise standards across the board and ensure programmes are attuned to market needs. As new economic growth engines emerge, skills development will increasingly be viewed as a lifelong pursuit that is not limited...


Economic News

How has the pandemic changed university course offerings in the Gulf?

With the current semester winding up, many higher education institutions in the Gulf are already planning an expanded offering of courses for the next academic year – with a focus on supporting the needs of the region’s post-pandemic economy. As OBG detailed earlier this year, the economic fallout of Covid-19 has encouraged higher education institutions in the Gulf to adapt their course offerings to help drive their respective countries’ economic recoveries. The coronavirus pandemic both highlighted and heightened the importance...


Economic News

Can higher education institutions shape the Gulf’s post-Covid-19 economy?

As Gulf countries look to rebound from the disruption of 2020, higher education institutions are playing a key role in meeting the needs of the region’s post-coronavirus economy. Universities, schools and technical colleges were among the first institutions to innovate following the outbreak of the virus. While many were initially obliged to close, educational institutions quickly adapted to the new situation by making learning materials available online, thus enabling students to continue their studies remotely...


Covid-19 Response & Recovery - KSA

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: What are the post-pandemic prospects for growth in the Saudi food industry?

With a population larger than the other five GCC countries combined, Saudi Arabia accounted for more than 50% of the region’s food imports prior to the pandemic, and 80% of food consumed in the...

Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap

Report: How is the Covid-19 pandemic re-shaping the global oilfield services sector?

The global oil industry had yet to recover from the price crash of 2014-15 by the time the pandemic hit in early 2020, which meant that upstream operators and service providers were already grappling with...

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for Saudi industry?

Saudi Arabia was in the midst of a process of economic diversification when Covid-19 hit, as it sought to develop new non-oil growth engines and stimulate private sector job creation...

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: How did Covid-19 impact aviation ground services in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia’s strong economic fundamentals allowed it to raise funds from international debt markets and deploy a broad range of fiscal and monetary tools to plug revenue shortfalls and alleviate some of the...

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: Can agri-tech offer sustainable solutions to GCC food security challenges?

Food production in the GCC has long faced obstacles ranging from water scarcity to a lack of arable soil – factors that are being exacerbated by climate change. Prior to Covid-19, imports accounted for 85%...

Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap

Report: What is the post-Covid-19 outlook for GCC chemicals and petrochemicals?

The GCC chemicals and petrochemicals industry demonstrated considerable resilience in the face of Covid-19 and oil price fluctuations. With economic diversification a leading concern for GCC...

Report: What are the post-pandemic prospects for growth in the Saudi food industry?
Report: How is the Covid-19 pandemic re-shaping the global oilfield services sector?
Report: What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for Saudi industry?
Report: How did Covid-19 impact aviation ground services in Saudi Arabia?
Report: Can agri-tech offer sustainable solutions to GCC food security challenges?
Report: What is the post-Covid-19 outlook for GCC chemicals and petrochemicals?
 

Economic Reports & Interviews in the Middle East

OBG Talks

Is the Gulf ready for electric and autonomous vehicles?

As the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) work towards economic diversification objectives and net-zero goals, opportunities are opening up for automotive manufacturers to roll out innovations...

Vidcast

Video: Balancing hydrocarbon goals with emission reduction targets

In an interview with BBC World News on Thursday, December 13, Oliver Cornock, OBG’s Global Editor-in-Chief, analysed and shared his insights on the agreement that was reached at the 2023...

Media Video

How will e-learning trends shape the future of education?

With an e-learning revolution under way across the world, policymakers and stakeholders in emerging economies are discussing how best to harness technological solutions to meet long-term...

OBG Talks

ESG transition in the petrochemicals trade

Among the sustainability challenges facing the global petrochemicals industry is the difficulty measuring Scope 3 carbon emissions along the supply chain. This challenge is particularly pressing for...

OBG Talks

ESG in Saudi Arabia's digital economy

As Saudi Arabia pursues a path of national digital transformation, stakeholders must take care to ensure the benefits of the digital economy are shared by the whole of society. In this latest vidcast...

Is the Gulf ready for electric and autonomous vehicles?
Video: Balancing hydrocarbon goals with emission reduction targets
How will e-learning trends shape the future of education?
ESG transition in the petrochemicals trade
ESG in Saudi Arabia's digital economy
 
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