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Saudi Market Expansion Strategies: A Guide to Hiring, Relocation, Business Readiness in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Setup Practical Guides

23 May 2024

Dunya Hassanein

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in business expansion activity in the Kingdom. The main drivers behind these trends are the country’s favorable economic outlook and the government's policies designed to attract global investments.

Hiring local talent, ensuring expansion readiness, and facilitating smooth relocation are viewed as crucial elements to accelerate the market entry process for incoming companies, leading to an uptick in overall business expansion activity in the country.

This guide explores these key elements, providing valuable insights into how companies can effectively hire local talent, ensure expansion readiness, and facilitate smooth relocation to thrive in the Saudi market.

Hiring Local Talent is Key to Fueling Business Growth

Companies seeking to establish a footprint in Saudi Arabia must comply with talent-hiring quotes as per the Saudization program. Ensuring compliance with Saudization unlocks extensive growth opportunities for companies entering the Kingdom, enabling them to utilize the local workforce to gain valuable insights into market dynamics and customer preferences and tailor offerings accordingly.

Top Strategies for Effective Hiring:

  • Increasing familiarity with local regulatory frameworks is necessary to ensure compliance and smooth operations.
  • Leveraging local networks, be they recruitment agencies or business setup partners, helps navigate the hiring process efficiently.
  • Expediting the onboarding process is key to accelerating business expansion plans. As stated in AstroLabs’ 2023 Saudi Market Entry report, 91% of companies successfully hire Saudi nationals within 2-4 months. Aim for a rapid hiring process to tap into the skilled local workforce.

Expansion Readiness: Bridging the Gap Between Opportunity and Execution

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the market’s dynamics has proven to be paramount to speeding up the market entry process.

Top Strategies to Ensure Expansion Readiness:

  • Developing a robust expansion strategy that covers market entry tactics, resource allocation, and growth projections.
  • Utilizing local partners and expansion platforms is key to achieving a quicker, more efficient soft landing. A startling example of this is AstroLabs a leading expansion platform, which played a pivotal role in enabling 600 high-growth companies to expand into Saudi Arabia.
  • Enhancing awareness of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the various incentives and benefits they offer incoming businesses. Our market report showed that 88% of the companies surveyed had little understanding of SEZs.

Relocation is Key For Seamless Expansion

Relocation might look complex; securing housing, navigating cultural differences, and finding schools for employees' children were voiced as key priorities for businesses in the report.

Top Strategies to Facilitate Smooth Relocation:

  • Prioritizing finding residential real estate for the company’s staff is crucial for their productivity and morale.
  • Collaborating with relocation experts or specialists like EER and RelocateME can help businesses address the logistical and emotional aspects of the move.
  • Relocating to private offices is largely viewed as a necessary step to smooth the transition for the company’s employees. A growing number of companies are increasingly setting sights on the Kingdom as a choice destination, motivated by a sense of urgency to capture the opportunities that the market offers. Our report showed that a significant proportion of companies planning a move into the Kingdom have plans to have their own private offices within a year.

Expanding to Saudi Arabia presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses across diverse sectors to capitalize on. 75% of the companies expanding to Saudi in the AstroLabs network generate less than $50 million annually, with 13 companies generating over $1 billion annually. The rising interest of larger-sized companies entering Saudi Arabia speaks volumes about boosting its growing status as a global hub for businesses and innovation.

Streamlining hiring, relocation, and expansion readiness is essential for a successful market entry into Saudi Arabia, driving greater business expansion, and laying a strong foundation for future business growth. This will ultimately enable companies to seize the growth avenues presented by Saudi Arabia's growing market.

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