At a time when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan is well underway to reduce the nation’s public-sector dependence by 2030, a high-profile delegation from Sharjah visited two major cities of the Kingdom - Jeddah and Mecca, on 26th and 27th November, 2018, to explore prospects for new partnerships in non-oil sectors, which will drive regional growth.
The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) led this delegation, taking them on a "Sharjah Roadshow in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" through the two cities, and facilitated a series networking meetings with leading Saudi businessmen, government representatives, and industry experts.
Through the two-day roadshow, Saudi Arabian players took a closer look at Sharjah’s rapidly diversifying and investor-friendly economy in major non-oil sectors including tourism, hospitality, real estate, trade, media, health, education, renewable energy and SMEs.
They explored ways to leverage these opportunities and promote and strengthen KSA’s private sector.
The Sharjah delegation comprised Aref Ali Al Tabour Al Nuaimi, Consul-General of the UAE in Jeddah; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Deputy Head of the Industrial Investment at the Sharjah Economic Development Department, and Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah.
The delegation also included Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Director of Government Relations at Sharjah Media City (Shams), Samer Bukamel, Vice President of Sales at ARADA, and a number of officials and representatives of government and private bodies in Sharjah.
On the first day of the roadshow, Invest in Sharjah organised a business meeting with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and on the second day, they met with officials from the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Al Sarkal highlighted the strong bilateral relations the UAE and KSA share, especially in the economic sectors.
The UAE is the kingdom’s biggest trade partner in the Gulf and greater Arab region and in 2017, the value of trade was approximately US$23 billion.
He noted, "Our visit to the Kingdom supports our investment approach, which aims to demonstrate Sharjah’s ability to support the growth of diversified and long-term foreign direct investments. One of the reasons for Sharjah’s sustained business success is the continuous development of new partnerships and expansion of the already existing ones based on such exchanges that help global business communities benefit from latest updates coming out of Sharjah and the UAE. We look forward to steadily building on Shurooq’s portfolio of infrastructural real estate, commercial, retail and tourism projects."
Al Musharrkh said, "Thanks to the deep-rooted economic and political ties between the UAE and the Kingdom, we were successful in conducting a roadshow that allowed us to expand on our bilateral relations between Sharjah and KSA, as well as open new doors for investments and promote infrastructural developments and projects that boosted the emirate’s ever-flourishing investment climate, which continues to boost Sharjah as a central gateway to regional and global markets."
"Sharjah is already home to more than 500 Saudi companies operating in various sectors, and we were here to meet again with our counterparts and discuss more ways of establishing mutually beneficial relations. Such partnerships will be key to establishing continued economic development and stability in the Gulf region," he continued.
Established in 2016, Invest in Sharjah is one of the emirate’s key economic growth drivers. It functions as a strategic facilitator to investors, servicing them with a 360-degree informative and physical support, allowing them a full understanding on processes, investment advantages and insights on key sectors that fit their business profiles in the emirate.