Shifting (Regional HQ) Sands – to Saudi

On February 15th , the Saudi Press Agency issued a statement confirming that the Government of Saudi Arabia intends to stop contracting with entities whose regional headquarters are not located in the Kingdom by January 1st 2024.

The objectives behind this policy are clear – to attract the world’s largest entities in stationing their physical Middle East presence in Riyadh, further bolstering the collaboration between the state and the private sector, boosting job creation and reviving businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these themes are consistent with the overarching Vision 2030 of the Saudi Crown Prince, H.R.H. Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

The statement of intent by the Kingdom under this announcement is bold. It will impact the strategic focus of multinational companies that do not currently have a significant “on-the-ground” presence in Saudi and cause them to reconsider their existing regional set-ups.

We examine some of the legal and practical considerations for a foreign business looking to establish, or move, its regional presence to the Kingdom.

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