June 24, 2024

Amazon, Microsoft, And Google Open Headquarters In Saudi Arabia As The Kingdom Aims To Curb Tech Giants Working Out Of Dubai

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Ola Precious Akinkuolie

Global tech giants such as Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and Amazon.com Inc. are among companies attempting to increase their footprint in Saudi Arabia in response to pressure from the government, which has declared that it will no longer award contracts to organizations lacking a regional office there.

According to a government database, the three American companies have all been granted permission to open regional headquarters in Riyadh. The Saudi government set a deadline of January 1st, and those approvals were granted just in time. 

Saudi Arabia’s Bid to Stop Economic Leakage From Global Tech Giants

KSA declared in February 2021 that it intended to restrict “economic leakage,” the phrase the government uses to describe public spending that may favor companies without a significant presence in the nation.

Reducing the billions of dollars that the government and Saudi nationals spend annually on leaving the country has been a major component of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic plan. Officials from the government want to restrict the awarding of contracts to foreign companies that only transport executives into and out of the Kingdom.

The Push for Foreign Investment in KSA Amidst Policy Shifts

The Crown Prince has eased regulations on gender mixing, women driving, and public entertainment as part of his efforts to boost the economy and draw in foreign investment in KSA. However, many foreign executives are unwilling to remain in the country due to limited opportunities and laws like the ongoing prohibition on alcohol.

However, the Kingdom’s standing as the largest economy in the region and its intentions to spend trillions of dollars to develop into a commercial and tourism hub have forced several global corporations to reconsider their Middle East business strategies.

Corporate and political commentators interpreted the Saudi action as an attempt to challenge Dubai, the leading corporate hub in the Middle East. Multinational companies have traditionally embraced Dubai due to its connectedness, low taxes, and way of life.

Dubai’s Legacy and Riyadh’s Ascent in Middle East Operations

In the past, the majority of international companies have managed their Middle East operations from offices in Dubai, the region’s commercial and financial hub, and kept smaller offices in Saudi cities like Riyadh or Dammam, close to the oil company Saudi Aramco’s headquarters. It is undetermined what the Riyadh headquarters means for operations elsewhere in the region.

According to Saudi regulations, companies can obtain a special headquarters license if they establish a center in Riyadh that satisfies a number of requirements. These include having a minimum of 15 employees and having two other countries report to it. Riyadh is proposing advantages in exchange for hiring Saudis, such as tax cuts and regulatory exemptions. 

In December, the government declared that companies holding a particular regional headquarters license would be eligible for a 30-year tax vacation. 


The launch of regional offices by major global tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in Riyadh highlights the strategic attempts to stop economic leakage and draw foreign investment in KSA.

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Introducing Ola Precious Akinkuolie, a dynamic professional with over three years of enriching experience in the branding and marketing sector. Ola is characterized by a relentless work ethic and a keen sensibility for the aesthetic elements of branding. Her expertise lies in enhancing the visual and strategic aspects of marketing, making every brand she touches not only visually compelling but also strategically sound.

At technewsme.com, Ola is our go-to expert for insights that blend the beauty of design with the efficiency of marketing strategies. Her approach is deeply rooted in creating content and strategies that are impactful, memorable, and aesthetically pleasing. Ola’s mission is to drive success for our clients by offering a unique perspective that harmonizes the form and function of their brands. Stay tuned as she shares innovative strategies and tips to navigate and excel in the ever-evolving landscape of marketing.

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