Saudi Arabia’s growing cafe society offers tasty investment opportunities

Saudi market is still hungry for investments in the cafe sector. (AFP)
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Updated 13 December 2019

Saudi Arabia’s growing cafe society offers tasty investment opportunities

  • Quality investment is key to ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the sector

DAMMAM: The specialty cafe sector offers one of the most promising opportunities for investment in Saudi Arabia, according to experts, and its nature makes it particularly attractive to younger people, they say.

These opportunities, and the best ways to face the challenges of sustainable investment in the sector, were discussed during Investing in the Café Sector, a Pioneers Dialogue Program event organized by Asharqia Chamber’s Young Businesswomen Council. The chamber works to promote the contribution of the private sector to the economy.

Speakers at the event confirmed that the Kingdom is experiencing a boom in specialty cafes, the number of which now exceeds 20,000. They said it is one of the most promising sectors for investment, especially among young people, because, more so than many sectors, it requires careful planning and a structured approach that includes feasibility studies.

Quality investment is key to ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the sector, the participants heard, as cafes depend on it to maintain the high quality standards that customers demand.

The meeting was moderated by Abdul Rahman Al-Moaibed, founder and CEO of the Abdul Rahman Al-Moaibed Group. The speakers included Ahmed Al-Ahmari, the retail director of Khutwat Jamal (Camel’s Step) Roastery; Mishaal Al-Amro, founding partner of Gault Café; Ahmed Al Sanousi, founder of Coffina Café; and Prof. Moudha Al-Ajab, founder of Scratch Café.

They agreed that the Saudi market is still hungry for investments in the cafe sector, and stressed the importance of a pure investment approach based on profit and sustainability, driven by a passion for coffee. They also noted that the challenges facing the sector are not only related to business procedures, which have become much simpler, but finding and retaining employees in what is a highly competitive arena.

The speakers said that it is only natural that young men and women are so keen to invest in cafes, given the incredible growth in what has become a key sector in the Kingdom. However, they pointed out that as a result, success depends on competitive and innovative ideas backed up by rigorous feasibility studies, along with a commitment to internationally recognized standards of management and maintaining the quality of service and products.

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.  
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.

• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah.