Saudi Arabia’s ambitions loom large over UAE’s business expat community 


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


Feb. 1, 2023

Bottom Line:

2023 has arrived with the GCC’s business expat community caught between the ambitions of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia is requiring multinationals to relocate regional headquarters to Riyadh by year’s end if they want access to lucrative government contracts in 2024. It’s a bold attempt to pry businesses and their senior management away from well established hubs in Abu Dhabi and especially Dubai, but the UAE isn’t ignoring threats to its status as the region’s premier business hub, although a new corporate tax could undermine its position. That’s setting up a showdown in 2023 between Gulf countries that could upend the GCC’s business expat community.

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