Saudi Arabia regions comparison table

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regionEastern provinceMakkahRiyadhAl Madinah
Quick summary
Preferred city for incorporation of the company?DammamJeddahRiyadhMedina
Most popular business sector?Oil & GasManufacturing of textileManufacturing and financeGeneral retail
Specific attractive Government incentives available?YesYesYesYes
Oil fields available in this region?YesYesYesYes
CBD monthly office rental per sq m?US$22US$26US$28US$22
Average skilled labour monthly salary?US$2,500US$2,500US$2,500US$2,500
Average unskilled labour monthly salary?US$900US$900US$900US$900
Minimum monthly wage for local employees?US$800US$800US$800US$800
English spoken by what % of population?10%25%35%20%
Computer literacy rate? (% of population)50%65%65%60%
Literacy rate? (% of population)87%94%94%90%
Proximity of sea port to the main city?19km24km394km152km
Proximity of airport in kilometres to the main city?35km45km28km15km
Local Municipality business location licensing bodyEastern Province MunicipalityHoly Makkah MunicipalityAl Riyadh MunicipalityAl Madinah Regional Municipality
Logistical considerations
Attractive Region for oil and gas business?YesYesYesYes
Attractive Region for foreign investment?YesYesYesYes
Attractive Region for an export-oriented business?YesYesNoNo
CBD monthly office rental per sq m?US$33US$22US$31US$25
Average monthly electricity prices? (per Kwh)US$0.042US$0.042US$0.042US$0.042
City airport with flights to Europe and America?NoYesNoNo
Proximity of rail in kilometres to the main city?18km5km6km2km
Quality of internet broadband and Wi-Fi?GoodGoodGoodGood
Total population? (in millions)58.58.32.1
Local purchasing power (GDP per capita)?US$55,940US$31,273US$32,372US$24,000
Business output market size? (in US$ billions)38813513783
Market size relative to the economy?60%21%21%13%
Corporate Banking and Finance considerations
Is the main city an industrial hub?YesYesYesYes
Is the main city an oil industry hub?YesYesYesYes
How many global banks are based in the region?11121
How many KSA banks with local branches?1142319
Recommended bank for corporate banking?SABBSambaQNBBank Al Jazira
Client must travel for account opening?NoNoNoNo
Quality of bank customer services?GoodGoodVery GoodGood
Quality of online banking services?GoodGoodExcellentGood
English e-banking platform available?YesYesYesYes
Does the Region have a reputable financial district?NoNoYesNo
Does the Region have a local Stock Exchange?NoNoYesNo
Are there Private Equity Funds/VCs in the Region?YesYesYesYes
Expatriate employment considerations
Average skilled labour monthly salary?US$2,500US$2,500US$2,500US$2,500
Average unskilled labour monthly salary?US$900US$900US$900US$900
Minimum monthly wage for local employees?US$800US$800US$800US$800
Is there a large expatriate community in the main city?YesNoYesNo
What seasons/month should travel to this region be avoided?July-AugustJuly-AugustJune-AugustJuly-Sep
International schools for children of expatriate employees?YesYesYesYes
Will I find European F&B products in the supermarkets?YesYesYesYes
Mercer Survey Ranking for global cities?Not ranked165164Not ranked
Is the main city of the Region safe for expatriates?YesYesYesYes
How many hospitals and health centres in this region?46313320
Accounting and tax considerations
Monthly and quarterly tax filing required?NoNoNoNo
Business incentives offered by the national government? YesYesYesYes

Average customs duty of export products?3.2%
Average customs duty for imported products?4.03%
Local VAT rate?0%
Number of international tourists? (in million)18
Average annual inflation rate?2.2%
Average unemployment rate?5.7%
Corporation tax rate for local companies?20%
Corporate tax for Oil and Gas companies?85%
Corporation tax rate for foreign companies?20%
Withholding tax on dividends to overseas shareholders?5%
Average pension and insurance benefits (% of salary)?10%
Mandatory labour unions?No
Minimum notice to dismiss employees?2 months
Minimum redundancy indemnity? (for tenure of 1 year)2 weeks salary
Time zone? (ahead of GMT)+3hours
Considerations when dealing with nationals/government institutions
Government institutions open which days of the week?Sunday - Thursday
Government body in charge of issuance of business licenses?SAGIA
Business documents can be provided in English?Arabic
Does businesses shut down during Ramadan and Hajj?No

Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in Saudi Arabia, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
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