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Saudi Round-Up: Accelerating Development & Innovation

Saudi Weekly Roundups

14 May 2024

Dunya Hassanein

This week’s round-up encompasses general business and economy with highlights from aviation, manufacturing, real estate, technology, sustainability, and tourism.

From 7 - 13 May, 2024

Tourism and Aviation

Kingdom to Announce $100 Billion Worth of Investment Opportunities in Aviation

The Upcoming Future Aviation Forum (FAF24) in Riyadh will showcase over $100 billion worth of investment opportunities in the Saudi aviation industry, including airports, new aircraft, and special logistics areas. The aviation sector roadmap to grow the industry to $2 billion will be unveiled at the event, which is set to host 5000 industry leaders, investors, operators, and service providers.

Minister for Transport and Logistics Services Saleh-Al-Jasser noted that the ambitious Saudi Aviation Strategy will triple passenger numbers, connect Saudi with more than 250 destinations, and make it possible for the country to handle 330 million passengers by 2030.

Minister for Investment Khalid Al-Falih made reference to global interest in investing in Saudi Arabia and the key role of aviation in the Kingdom’s economic transformation.

Red Sea Global Partners with Saudia and Almosafer to Boost Tourism

Red Sea Global’s agreement with travel firm Almosafer will highlight the Kingdom’s tourism developments and international attractions. With a diverse range of offerings, the deal will help unlock the potential of the Red Sea coast via collaborative marketing and promotion.

The National Tourism Strategy aims for Saudi Arabia to welcome 150 million visitors by 2030 and to provide 1.6 million jobs.

NEOM Will Construct Jaumur Marina on the Gulf of Aqaba

NEOM is poised to build Jaumur, a new marina and community on the Gulf of Aqaba. Jaumur will reflect NEOM’s trademark approach, combining modern living opportunities and sustainable, eco-conscious development.

The marina will be the heart of an exclusive residential community of over 6000 residents. Construction will include 500 marina apartments, about 700 luxury villas, and two hotels offering a total of 350 rooms, as well as retail outlets and entertainment.

AlUla Drives Tourism Sector Growth

Phillip Jones, The Royal Commission for AlUla’s Chief Tourism Officer noted that AlUla is key to Saudi Vision 2030’s tourism objectives. The region’s development is expected to contribute $31 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2035.

The cultural heritage site welcomed over 260,000 visitors in 2023. With more than 290,000 visitors expected in 2024, the area is on track to receive 2 million visitors per year by 2035. Moreover, AlUla's economic impact extends beyond tourism, with the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) expecting to create around 40,000 new jobs by 2035. Waleed Al-Dayel, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer at RCU, stresses the region's sustainable transformation, guided by the AlUla Sustainability Charter and aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative.

Manufacturing

Private Sector Investments in Industrial Sector Reaches $1.8 Billion

Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Industrial Affairs Khalil bin Salamah highlighted the importance of developing Saudi manufacturing with key partnerships to drive private sector growth.

According to data from the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, private sector investment in the Kingdom’s industrial sector reached $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2024, more than doubling the amount reached in the same period the year before.

Real Estate

Saudi NHC Partners with China Machinery Engineering Corp. to Build 20K Residences

Saudi NHC’s partnership with China Machinery Engineering Corp. will address the Kingdom’s housing needs with 20,000 suburban, residential apartments optimizing quality of life.

Partnering with leading international firms and attracting foreign investment advances Saudi’s Housing Program, which is a key component of Vision 2030.

Sustainability

GCC Sustainable Growth Through Economic Diversification

At the Gulf Creatives Conference, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Secretary-General Jasem Al-Budaiwi reiterated the council’s initiatives to strengthen the economy and attract foreign investment.

Mr. Al-Budaiwi underscored the potential for international partnerships supported by council member states’ robust infrastructure and strategic location.

Saudi Arabia symbolizes the region’s growth and increasing international appeal, driven by its ambitious Vision 2030 strategy.

Technology

Microsoft Emphasizes Saudi Tech Leadership

According to Turki Badhris, President of Microsoft Arabia, the Kingdom’s $100 billion technology investment plan is positioning the country as a global leader in innovation and talent development.

With commitment to innovation and the launch of PIF-backed technology and AI firm Alat, Saudi Arabia is bolstering its evolving, digital ecosystem and unlocking the country’s technological potential.

The week’s news demonstrates the Kingdom’s ongoing commitment to local development, preservation of the country’s rich heritage, and creating a vibrant and sustainable future. Bookmark us so you can return next week for another round-up of the Kingdom’s latest business and economic news.

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