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Hi-tech rivalry between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh heats up

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is sparing no effort to lure business from the IT and other sectors in Abu Dhabi to the kingdom.

In an effort to diversity its oil economy along the same pattern as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia has been developing new economic sectors at home instead of investing abroad. Yet to become a regional economic hub, Riyadh would have to strip away some firms from Dubai, as most of the large international firms operating in the Gulf region are already headquartered in the UAE’s largest city.

Perceived as the destination of choice even for Saudi businesses headed abroad, Dubai is the most thriving financial and commercial center in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Yet a turning point in Saudi Arabia’s approach came when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the futuristic city NEOM, which is set to cost an estimated $500 billion.

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