We had the opportunity to sit down with the Welcome Saudi team and learn more about their journey into the Kingdom.
What inspired your move into the KSA market?
To begin with, we were drawn in by the fact that KSA is the land of the Two Holy Mosques and has a great, incomparable Islamic heritage. Combined with the massive tourism development potential in line with Vision 2030, we were intrigued by the potential to build an online travel search and review platform to showcase the beauty of Saudi Arabia to international tourists. We understand the mindset and expectations of international travelers and are able to leverage that to design the Welcome Saudi platform.
What was the biggest challenge you saw when you took the decision to move?
Setting up a business in Saudi Arabia is often seen as very challenging, complex, and expensive for foreign companies. Having AstroLabs as a partner on-ground in Saudi helped make the setup process seamless. Saudi Arabia currently has more complexities and requirements when it comes to doing business than western countries so it is essential to work with a team that is familiar with the setup process, local laws and requirements.
How did you approach the process for the move into Saudi?
We collaborated with AstroLabs who assisted with the company setup and registration process with the various government departments. It can be daunting for a foreign company to move into Saudi Arabia but we believe that it is worth the move. With Riyadh emerging as the capital of the Middle East, it will be open for more business opportunities and ease of doing business for new foreign startup companies Insha'Allah. SAGIA is also providing a great service that is making it easier for companies to set up in KSA. Hence it was all about finding the right partner for the move.
What advice would you give to a company that is looking to move into KSA?
Take the leap, do your research beforehand so that you are aware of the challenges and hurdles that are involved in the process and most importantly work with a partner such as AstroLabs who can guide you through the setup process
What is a major difference between the operations for a business in KSA to that elsewhere in the world?
The Kingdom has more legal and business requirements than in the west at present. Therefore, it requires additional expense and expertise to navigate the business environment in Saudi. Having said that, there are untapped business opportunities in Saudi Arabia due to the potential to develop the tourism and hospitality sector over the next decade as a result of government commitment to invest in this sector enhanced by the amazing natural beauty of Saudi Arabia.