Starting a business in a foreign land is challenging since it requires vast resources for market research, product development, and proper staffing and marketing per the market’s demands. To start a business in Saudi Arabia for foreign nationals is a task that requires extensive planning to understand the business culture of the country. This article discusses the culture of business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that expatriates must understand to launch a successful business.
Importance of Connections
Despite the government’s strict moves to eradicate corruption in the past few years, the openness of the economy and personal connections continue to be essential to get into business circles with elites. To start a successful business in Saudi Arabia, you can get a head start by building connections with important business associates, leaders in the industry, and big players that may help you by providing further help and guidance when required.
This is a problem in most countries, but you can combat it easily by having an agent to show you the ropes of business in Saudi Arabia, from which you can slowly learn to network your way to the top while meeting the market’s demands and providing customer satisfaction.
Each country has its own set of working hours and ideal conditions. In Saudi Arabia, most offices work from Sunday to Thursday, unlike other countries that operate on weekdays, taking the weekends off.
Working hours also begin relatively early here, usually from 8 AM to 6 PM, making 10-hour work days a common occurrence. Legally, 8-hour workdays and 48 hours of work per week are mandated. However, most employees are seen at work for longer, as the present business environment does not facilitate remote working or flexible hours.
The Saudi Vision 2030
The strategic vision aims to aggregate the Kingdom with the global economy by encouraging entrepreneurship, foreign investment, and government policies to eradicate obstacles like corruption to facilitate a fair business environment for local and foreign players. This has opened doors to a conducive environment where multiple businesses are being set up in the country to use the conducive business opportunities.
It is essential to accurately analyze the market and risks and bridge the gaps in such a background. You can achieve this using thorough research or the services of a consultancy partner like Company Hubs that can help find the perfect business model and documentation and even help incorporate your business.
To set up the best business in Saudi Arabia for expatriates, it is essential to network and make connections that can facilitate more excellent development of your company in the long run. To achieve this, business meetings are inevitable.
Saudi Arabia has a different way of conducting its meetings. They value real connections over business talk and use the first few meetings to understand the person rather than the business. It is also common for meetings to be less formal, often conducted over meals.
The business environment and culture in Saudi Arabia are bound to be different from the culture you are used to in your native country. However, with new opportunities come new ways to experiment and make gains. This article only covers a few of all the cultural differences in the Kingdom’s business culture, which can be better understood with real-time experience.