‘Four new investors per day’: Record foreign investment in Q1 of 2019 for Saudi Arabia

In a special report released on Wednesday, SAGIA said that 267 new foreign investors were issued licenses in Q1 of this year in Saudi Arabia. (SAGIA)
Updated 02 May 2019

‘Four new investors per day’: Record foreign investment in Q1 of 2019 for Saudi Arabia

  • The figures mark a 70 percent increase when compared to Q1 2018
  • The leading growth sectors include education and healthcare

RIYADH: Four new investors have set up companies in Saudi Arabia per day in the first quarter of 2019, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has revealed.
In a special report released on Wednesday, the authority also said that 267 new foreign investors were issued licenses in Q1 of this year, permitting them to operate in the country in a bid to “promote a competitive business environment in the Kingdom.”
The figures mark a 70 percent increase when compared to Q1 2018.
Commenting on the reforms Ibrahim Al-Omar, Governor of SAGIA, said: “Guided by Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, our country is undergoing a remarkable economic transformation. The continued prosperity of the Kingdom depends on sparking innovation, attracting foreign investors and empowering the private sector. The positive growth numbers that we have seen in the first quarter of 2019 represents a significant milestone on the road to 2030.”
The leading growth sectors include education and healthcare, following the recent lifting of foreign ownership restrictions in these industries. During Q1 2019, nine new education-related companies were established, compared to just one in Q1 2018.
A joint venture with UAE-based NMC Healthcare was established to acquire and develop a pan-Saudi network of health care facilities with a capacity of up to 3,000 beds and total investments up to SAR6 billion ($1.6 billion) over the next five years.
Other sectors that saw strong growth in Q1 of this year include the construction industry, which saw 39 new foreign investors receive business licenses, compared to only 22 in Q1 2018.
There was also strong growth from long-standing and strategically important Saudi partners such as the US and the UK.

Full report below...


Giant puppets’ musical show hits high note among Saudi festivalgoers

The Tanween puppets are putting on theater performances for the first time, accompanied by a traditional Saudi band, providing different experiences to visitors. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 4 min 27 sec ago

Giant puppets’ musical show hits high note among Saudi festivalgoers

  • Activities of Tanween Season in Eastern Province are aimed at all ages and are designed to be family friendly

ALKHOBAR: A musical show involving giant puppets has been hitting a high note among visitors to a popular Saudi festival. The models, standing 12 meters tall, have drawn big audiences to Alkhobar Corniche where performances have been taking place as part of Tanween Season.
Three huge puppets made up a family consisting of the father, donned in a white thobe and traditional Arabic head piece, the mother in a black abaya, and their son wearing a green Tanween T-shirt.
Children watching the show sang along to Saudi folk songs as puppeteers using special machinery brought the giant characters to life.
Tanween Season, in the Eastern Province, is a 17-day event that runs until Oct. 26, with talks, workshops, discussion panels, and performances built around this year’s theme of “play.” Activities are aimed at all ages and are designed to be family friendly.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Tanween puppets are putting on theater performances for the first time, accompanied by a traditional Saudi band.

• Saudi, French, Belgian and Spanish talent have combined to stage the show at Alkhobar Corniche until Saturday.

“There’s a wide range of different experiences for visitors when they visit Ithra (the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, in Dhahran) or the installations outside. Our goal is to deliver a message: How to use play in a different, creative way that introduces a myriad of ideas and culture,” the event’s head of performance, Anas Al-Ratoee, told Arab News.
Spanish delights
The Tanween puppets are putting on theater performances for the first time, accompanied by a traditional Saudi band. Saudi, French, Belgian and Spanish talent have combined to stage the show at Alkhobar Corniche until Oct. 19.
“The Giant Puppets is a Spanish band, known as Carros de Foc, that usually performs traditionally in parades and festivals, where these 12-meter giants walk among people.
“We added the Saudi culture to it through traditional music performed by a local band. We wanted to depict a scene from a normal day in the life of a Saudi household; the dynamic between a father, mother and child,” added Al-Ratoee.
Muna Hassan, from Dammam, said her younger brother had thoroughly enjoyed the performance. “I was very happy to see him so excited and to see events like this catering to his age group.”