Doing Business In Saudi Arabia

ima logo

Country Quick Facts

Local Time    

GMT +3


Arabic - official
English - widely spoken

Local Currency    

Saudi Riyal - tied to US$ at rate of $1 = SR 3.75

Dialling code from UK


GDP Per Capita

$24,200 (2010)


2 149 690sq km


27 136 977 (2010)

Population Growth

1.536% - (2011 estimate)



Main Cities

Makkah - Holiest city for Muslims.
Al Madinah - Second holy city for Muslims.
Jeddah - Important port and gateway to the holy cities.
Dammam - Capital of the Eastern Province, oil-rich and an important port.
Dhahran - HQ of Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world.
Arar - Capital of the Northern Border Region.

Geographical Position

Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait in the north, The Arabian Gulf, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE in the east, Yemen and Oman in the south, and the Red Sea in the west.


The Riyadh climate is mild in winter and very hot in summer. The Eastern Province is similar to Riyadh, but with higher humidity. Jeddah has hot humid summers, with cooler, less humid winters. Daytime temperatures between May and September can reach over 50 degrees Centigrade, dropping to around 28 degrees Centigrade at night time. During December - February, the winter daytime temperatures in the cities drop to around 20 degrees Centigrade, and can fall below 5 degrees Centigrade at night.  Most parts of the Kingdom are dry however some areas do receive some rainfall during the winter. For the past few years there have been flash floods in Jeddah.


The country is ruled under Sharia law - Islamic Law


The import or possession of alcoholic beverages and pork products is strictly prohibited. Offenders are liable to severe penalties.
Women are not allowed to drive.


Tap water is generally considered safe in major towns and cities, although bottled water is widely available.


The Hijra calendar, based on lunar months is the official calendar. A Hijra year begins 10-11 days earlier each year than the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian New Year 01/01/11 corresponds to 26 Muharram 1432 in the Hijra calendar.


Saudi Arabia uses a mixture of 110 volt and 220 volt AC, 60 cycles, with two-pin European-type plugs and three (square) pin UK plugs.


Mandatory vaccinations: Certificate of vaccination against cholera and yellow fever are required if travelling from an infected area.
Check with your doctor for the most up to date vaccine recommendations.


World Trade Organisation
Gulf Cooperation Council
Arab League
United Nations
World Bank
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)


Some countries may be subject to export restrictions due to sanctions and embargoes placed on them by the UN or EU. Exporting countries are responsible for checking that their goods can be exported and that they are using the correct licenses.

Further information is available on the Department For Business, Innovation and Skills -

Source - UK Trade & Investment


Strategic Partners