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Foreign Investment Opportunities for UK companies in Saudi Arabia

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Foreign Investment Opportunities for UK companies in Saudi Arabia

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The Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) have opened up numerous foreign investment opportunities for UK companies.

Saudi Arabia is welcoming foreign investment to the Kingdom and has taken steps to make it an attractive location for companies to expand into. The recent visit to the UK by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also identified opportunities for UK companies in the Kingdom. Here we give an overview of some of the opportunities available.


Energy has long been one of the Kingdom’s greatest income streams, however, as the country diversify their economy away from oil, they are accepting investments in other energy sub-sectors, such as petrochemical, power generation and natural gas-related projects.

The Sadara Petrochemical project is establishing a petrochemical project that will produce 1.3 million tonnes per year of ethylene and 400,000 tonnes per year of propylene once complete. The project will require engineers and procurement firms in the preparation and procurement stages.

The Red Sea Natural Gas Project will use the natural gas reserves off the Red Sea coast to support increased domestic demand. This project has opportunities for engineering and service companies with experience in deep water regions.

Water and wastewater

The government are in search of foreign investors that are able to provide desalinated water, treated water and sewage services, aligned with the NTP objectives to improve the water and waste conditions through privatization, under the Independent Water and Power Projects (IWPPs).

The sewage sector will start being privatized starting with 3 key projects in 5 cities and governorates. There will also be projects building water desalination plants and sewage treatment plants.

Education, training and human capital development

Saudi Arabia’s public education sector is the largest in the GCC region, with the 18-24 demographic set to grow, an additional 125,000 seats will be required for higher education by 2020. Saudi also requires training and professional development as 44% of the population is under 25 years of age.

Opportunities are available in:

  • Teacher training and development

  • Curriculum development

  • Developing kindergartens

  • Special Need Education (SEN)

  • Hospitality and tourism / hospital management / logistics management / healthcare training

  • Marine training / International Maritime Organization (IMO) accreditation


A shortage of affordable houses in the Kingdom has lead the Ministry of Housing to create the Infrastructure Program and Affordable Housing Project, inviting developers to build affordable housing for Saudi residents. The projects aims to develop 1.5 million homes.

Mass transport infrastructure

There are opportunities throughout Saudi to contribute to the building of the railway system in Riyadh and smaller systems in Jeddah and Mecca. The £14 (US$19.64) billion project will require materials, equipment and service providers at each level of the supply chain. The UK has been recognized for having mass capability in the planning and implementation of urban transport systems.

The Urban Transport Projects involve the development of major rail networks, including tram, monorail, light rail and metros. Opportunities exist in the exports of consultancy, products and services.

The Saudi Landbridge project will transform the current railway system to a world-class passenger and freight rail link across the country. The railway will have the capability to move large quantities of cargo over long distances and will provide safe overland passenger transport.

For companies looking to invest in Saudi Arabia, there are numerous opportunities and they are constantly being availed. The UK and Saudi have held strong ties for years as the Kingdom is the UK’s largest trading partner and the UK is a major foreign investor in Saudi. The UK has shown their capabilities in many industries, making it welcome to invest in the Kingdom.

For companies looking to enter Saudi, Proven can assist you with commercial representation, market entry and strategy and immigration consulting. Contact us here

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