Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Riyadh’s star is rising strongly… Find out about the most important Arab cities attracting investment


From diversifying the tributaries of the economy and focusing on non-oil sectors, to adopting digital transformation, modern technology and smart city models… this is an ambitious vision that many Arab countries are pursuing to improve their economic growth and attract more foreigners. Investments, so major cities like Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Manama join the list of the most important players. In the world of finance and business.

In this list, according to the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed, Riyadh’s star is rising strongly as one of the most important investment destinations in the region after being able to make a real revolution in the infrastructure of the city in a short period of time. Bin Salman will turn the Saudi capital into one of the world’s largest urban economies.

Will Arab countries become a destination for investors from around the world?

Every country has something that distinguishes it from other countries. For example, the real estate sector is one of the most important sectors attracting investment in Saudi Arabia, while the tourism sector is very important in the Emirates thanks to its unique cultural diversity. Dubai topped the global ranking of best cities in terms of quality of life and quality of life, while Bahrain topped the list of best cities in the financial advisory and cryptocurrency services industry.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the volume of foreign direct investments in Saudi Arabia will reach $7.88 billion by 2022, compared to $22.7 billion in the UAE and $1.95 billion in Bahrain.

In the Arab world, four cities stand out as particularly attractive centers for global investment: Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Manama.

Riyadh… a huge industrial city and an oasis of stability

Two years ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman laid out his vision for the city of Riyadh, aiming to make it one of the world’s 10 largest city economies, insisting the Saudi capital would embrace the world’s largest industrial city. .

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Recently, the Board of Directors of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh announced the establishment of a Special Economic Zone Center with the objective of creating a competitive investment environment, supporting the growth of the Saudi economy, and diversifying Riyadh’s economic base. In line with Saudi Vision 2030, making it a global investment destination.

The center enjoys financial and administrative independence, and its mission is to launch new economic zones in the city of Riyadh, grant licenses to investors and provide comprehensive services in line with the best international standards.

Saudi Arabia has issued Electronic Business Visit (Visitor Investor) Visa to all regions of the world to achieve the aspirations of Vision 2030 by attracting large quality investments that can advance the economy in the Kingdom.

As part of efforts to reduce dependence on the oil sector, the Kingdom is keen to support investment in mining and minerals, tourism, real estate, financial services, industry, health, information technology, communications, human capital and innovation. , environmental services, logistics services and agriculture and food industries.

The kingdom aims to attract about three trillion dollars in foreign investment, while the Public Investment Fund provides local sectors with about $40 billion through 2025. It also wants to attract 480 international companies, most of which are based in Riyadh.

To achieve the sustainability goals, the Green Riyadh project was launched to transform the city into a green oasis to protect the environment and improve the quality of life, improving the attraction of foreign investments, launched by the Saudi Crown Prince. It seeks to pump in investments of around 346 billion riyals.

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Dubai… a tax-free environment

Decades ago, Dubai’s economy relied on pearl fishing and trade, before the city quickly became one of the most important global trading centers, earning the title of the City of Gold.

Dubai has taken great steps to diversify its economic tributaries to include the shipping, aviation, media and tourism sectors. It attracts about 15 million visitors a year.

The city has also established special zones that allow foreign investment in a number of sectors, including construction, finance, health, real estate and jewelry, with the UAE accounting for 40 percent of all investments in Arab countries.

Furthermore, Dubai offers a tax-free environment, with one of the most competitive tax policies in the world; It does not impose income tax on employees and workers, including their salaries, rental income and business profits, as well as tax incentives for startups and small enterprises.

According to the Dubai Investment Development Corporation, Dubai is the world’s favorite destination for foreign direct investment, attracting 70 percent of the most important companies listed on the Fortune 500 list.

Abu Dhabi… from desert oasis to global business hub

Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 sets an ambitious goal to transform the economy into a sustainable one, which requires promoting non-oil sectors such as aviation, defence, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, tourism, transport, education, media and financial services. From a desert oasis to a gateway to global trade in the Middle East and Africa and South Asia.

According to the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, the city enjoys a strategic location with 33 percent of the world’s population only 4 hours by air, which has encouraged the establishment of strong infrastructure in the communications sector while supporting key innovators. It is the title of Smartest City of the Middle East in 2023. For the third year in a row.

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In 2020, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office launched an innovation program worth two billion dirhams, which provides incentives to companies in high-growth areas.

Abu Dhabi is similar to Dubai in offering a tax-free environment in addition to allowing full ownership by foreign companies, and the Emirati capital represents 60 percent of the UAE’s GDP.

Manama… the first legal act for cryptocurrencies

From pitching out-of-the-box ideas to keeping pace with digital transformation, Bahrain and its capital, Manama, have become a hotbed for investors, especially in the fintech sector. It is visited by foreign investments and filled with many emerging companies.

As a result of its technological superiority, Bahrain has provided digital solutions to millions of tech-savvy users in the MENA region.

As of 2018, Bahrain FinTech Bay, a public-private partnership, includes more than 80 fintech startups.

With the growing spread of cryptocurrencies, Bahrain is the first Gulf country to issue strict laws to regulate the digital currency trading environment, and Manama has already issued an official license to operate in the Bahraini market by 2022. Crypto asset trading services in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Bahrain supports the financial technology market from young people with digital expertise, and the country’s workforce is expected to reach around two million people by 2030, with more than 60 percent in the information and communication technology sector.

Bill Dittman
Bill Dittman
"Freelance alcohol fan. Coffee maven. Musicaholic. Food junkie. Extreme web expert. Communicator."

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