Saudi Arabia Research

Part
01
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Part
01

Saudi Arabia - Supply/Food

The cultural norms in Saudi Arabia surrounding the suppliers of luxury meat, cheese, and chocolate include the strict need to ensure the meat, milk, and biotech products used in their manufacture are Halal. Luxury Lamb, Patchi, and Forsan are three companies that supply luxury food items in the Saudi Arabian market.

Luxury Meat suppliers

Luxury Cheese suppliers

Chocolate Suppliers

Supplier companies: Food products

  • Luxury Lamb is a company that supplies luxury lamb to Saudi Arabia.
  • Luxury Lamb exports products such as milk-fed lamb meat, light lamb meat fed on natural food, and highly nutritional Spanish lamb.
  • Patchi is the luxury chocolate company that pioneered the chocolate gift-giving trend in Saudi Arabia.
  • Al Jameel Foods is a supplier of luxury items such as nuts, spices, pulses, coffee, cardamom, olive oil, dried fruit, tahini, and halva.
  • Forsan is a luxury food items supplier in Saudi Arabia.

Additional information that may impact luxury food suppliers

  • Alcohol and pork meat are prohibited in Saudi Arabia owing to religious laws.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the families are huge as compared to Western society. Hence, retail food purchases take place in large quantities, and this has catalyzed the growth of supermarkets.
  • Shopping areas and supermarkets also serve as family outing venues and hence, require of baby care options and F&B facilities.
  • Due to cultural norms and certain laws of the nation, women have limited mobility and access to public spaces. Hence, they will have difficulty to operate as part of a supply chain for food.
  • Jeddah, being a global city in Saudi Arabia, has a food taste in-tune with global food trends.
  • There is a strong preference for traditional bakeries among Saudi Arabian consumers.

General Food culture norms that may impact luxury food suppliers


Research Strategy:

Your research team first found the major luxury food items supplied in Saudi Arabia by food supply companies by searching news databases such as Saudi Gazette and supplier company websites such as Luxury Lamb and Forsan. As the next step, the general cultural norms surrounding food items were identified from the Food and Beverage Market Entry Handbook: Saudi Arabia. The food items affected by cultural norms thus identified, were then matched with the luxury food items being supplied in the country. The matching food items and their corresponding suppliers were identified as those affected by cultural norms. For example, lamb and mutton from Europe are considered as luxury items. Also, there is a Halal meat culture in Saudi Arabia, so the team assumed this cultural norm surrounds the luxury meat supply industry and impacts it.

Similarly, cheese is made of biotechnology products. Cheese is a luxury item that Saudi Arabia imports. So, it is another supplier category of food products that is relevant. Many chocolates are also made of milk, and the Halal milk norm applies there, as there is a norm that links with the chocolate supply industry.
Part
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Part
02

Saudi Arabia - Financial Technology

The financial technology industry in Saudia Arabia is undergoing a massive shift in culture. As Saudi Arabia finalizes regulations for sharia-compliant finance, more number of financial tech firms are moving into that market.

Culture Shift in Finance in Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a huge culture shift in the financial technology arena.
  • Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce its dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop defined public sectors in infrastructure, health, education, tourism and recreation.
  • Their vision is defined on their website as "The Heart Of The Arab And Islamic Worlds", "The Investment Powerhouse", and "The Hub Connecting Three Continents".
  • Driven by government initiatives and tech savvy young professionals, the culture of money is rapidly moving toward an open transparent technical infrastructure for finance.
  • This shift however, does not mean a wholesale adoption of western finance standards, rather the creation of standards and regulations for sharia-compliance finance.

sharia-complianT finance

  • The basic beliefs of the Islamic financial system include a framework that enforces justice and equity in all dealings and transactions.
  • This is demonstrated through the enforcement of three fundamental prohibitions — usury, uncertainty, and speculation.
  • Usury means all forms of interest that provide a predetermined, fixed rate of return to the lender.
  • Ambiguity is managed through a series of strict rules that govern transactions to ensure certainty. "The presence of excessive uncertainty is the main reason for the prohibition of various financial instruments such as derivatives (e.g.futures and options)".
  • Speculation in finance refers to products based on guessing without complete and adequate information. It can be compared to gambling or other games of chance, where the winner gains wealth at the expense of a loser.

Regulatory Initiatives

  • In order to promote Saudi Arabia as a financial hub, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the central bank of Saudi Arabia, has set up a Fintech Saudi initiative.
  • Regulations must support the principles of sharia-compliant system.
  • In February 2019, SAMA published a sandbox regulatory environment so that Fintech technology firms can test new digital solutions they hope to launch in the Kingdom.
  • To support and encourage the rise of digital transactions, SAMA has partnered with Deloitte to guide them through this massive shift.
  • Services and products under development and testing include "e-wallets, peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, mobile payments through QR codes, and direct international transfers.
  • As of March 2019, SAMA has given permission to 11 local and international banks to open and update accounts and allowed seven companies to provide various services in the field of digital payments through the sandbox environment."
  • Besides SAMA, Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) is also supporting fintech innovation by providing a simplified regulatory framework.

Recent fintech partnerships

ATEON
RIPPLE
  • Ripple was chosen for its national contract with central bank to provide efficient global financial transactions.
  • Ripple connects financial institutions across the globe via RippleNet to provide a seamless, smooth experience when sending money across borders.
  • In February 2018, the central bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) signed an agreement with Ripple to work with banks in Saudi Arabia.
  • Their main goal is to improve their payments infrastructure using the Ripple's xCurrent technology, which allows banks to instantly settle payments sent into and out of the country.
  • The link to the official website of Ripple is here.
GEMALTO
  • Gemalto was shown because of the size of their global client base and their work with Riyad Bank, which is in merger discussions with NCB to create the largest bank in SA.
  • Gemalto promote themselves as "Across time zones and continents, we protect businesses, governments and individuals from data breaches and identity theft. By relying on us, our clients in 180 countries can offer trusted and secure digital services so that their customers and citizens can enjoy their digital lifestyles. Put simply, we’re there to bring trust to the world’s digital transformation."
  • In 2018, Riyad Bank and Gemalto launched Saudia Arabia's first ever set of contact less payment wristbands.
  • The link to the official website of Gemalto is here.
Part
03
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Part
03

Saudi Arabia - Delivery

The cultural norms for the delivery industry in Saudi Arabia are primarily influenced by the constitution and the regulations instilled by Shari’ah law. The religious rules and traditions established in Saudi Arabia restrict the delivery of various items to its citizens such as alcoholic beverages, ivory goods, and furs. The major players in the delivery industry in Saudi Arabia are Uber, Aramex Fleet, and Abdul Latif Jameel’s brand, S:mile.

Cultural Norms in Saudi Arabia's Delivery Industry

  • According to the USCIRF Annual Report of 2018, Saudi Arabia is primarily governed by the Basic Law of Governance that was issued in 1992 by royal decree. This law states that the Qur’an and the ‘sunna’ traditions form the country’s constitution. The laws and regulations established for the various industries, including the delivery sector, are influenced by Saudi Arabia’s constitution and the laws governed by Shari’ah judges.
  • Under these laws, the government prohibits the delivery of various items that include alcoholic beverages, antiques, asbestos, dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials, electronic cigarettes, firearms, furs, gambling devices, goods of Israeli origin, goods with Saudi coat of arms, imitation firearms, and any item that is offensive to the Saudi/Muslim culture that includes religious figures or religious publications.
  • Other prohibited items are ivory, jewelry, military uniforms, pictures of Medina, Mecca, or the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, pork products, postal envelopes, pornography, precious stones and metals, soil samples, unprocessed tobacco, and TV satellite cards.
  • It was also found that certain items are restricted in the import and delivery industry including some entertainment films, computer tapes, video cassettes, and audio cassettes, blank credit cards, compact discs, blank forms, computer parts and components, cosmetics and non-hazardous chemicals, prescription and non-prescription drugs, personal or commercial food supplements, grain samples, dental and medical equipment, herbal supplements, radio equipment and parts, telecommunication equipment, passports, personal effects, promotional or training films, satellite equipment, toys, and plant products.
  • According to the new regulation that was approved by the PTA (Public Transport Authority), Saudi women are now allowed to drive family taxis. However, there are certain rules that women would have to follow such as the prohibition of accepting passengers without the supervision of an adult Saudi woman. This regulation has led to over 120,000 Saudi women applying for a driver's license.
  • Except for restrictions concerning male/female social interactions, Saudi Arabia's food delivery industry is influenced by the growing demand for food services and health-conscious eating habits. According to Mordor Intelligence, the country's food-service market, including the food delivery sector, is expected to reach $31.6 billion by the year 2024. The food-service market and home delivery sector are currently increasing at a rapid pace and is partly driven by the growing culture of eating out.

Key players in the delivery INDUSTRY of Saudi Arabia

#1: Uber

Website: Link
  • Uber Technologies, is a multi-national company that offers ride hailing services, ride sharing, navigation, food delivery, and various other transport applications. In Saudi Arabia, Uber has adapted its services to the cultural norms and introduced features such as "Women Preferred View" filters that connect female Uber drivers to female riders.
  • A recent acquisition of Careem, which provides ride delivery, hailing, and payments services across the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, is expected to expand the company’s growth and dominance in the delivery industry.

#2: Aramex Fleet

Website: Link
  • Aramex Fleet is a crowd-based delivery platform and is operated in Saudi Arabia by Aramex. Aramex is one of the leading logistics and express delivery services company based in the UAE. The Aramex Fleet is an on-demand network-based digital system that facilitates the delivery of various packages in Saudi Arabia.

#3: S:mile

Website: Link



Part
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Part
04

Saudi Arabia - Military Strategy/Logistic Support

In Saudi Arabia, the local norms for military strategy include their aim to localize manufacturing and isolate their strategy from external influences. The Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 aims to build a defense base for the military industry and train their labor force in accordance with the industry standards aligned with the Islamic faith. The top companies in this segment include the ones that are established by the kingdom — Saudi Arabian Military Industry (SAMI) and Military Industry Corporation (MIC).

THE INDUSTRY AIMS TO Support MILITARY PURSUE REGIONAL INTEREST BUT INSULATE ITSELF FROM external INFLUENCE

  • The industry that supports military supplies tend to pursue a regional interest, but they also prefer to isolate themselves from outside influence.
  • Saudi Arabia needs to protect itself from armament imports because its dependence on military endeavors can lead to the creation of political pressure.
  • They have built capabilities for their defense industry, and it has worked well.
  • The philosophy shift in the kingdom was noted after the weapons trade in Riyadh for Yemen's civil war, followed by the civil outrage for the murder of a Saudi journalist — Jamal Kashoggi.
  • The kingdom plans to make their own arm's industry mature and help diversify the Saudi's economy, while Riyadh is working towards over-reliance of the oil exports.
  • The kingdom plans to develop its military support industry to create larger job opportunities for the citizens and help them to battle unemployment.

SAUDI VISION 2030 ECONOMIC STRATEGY — BUILD BASE FOR DEFENSE INDUSTRY AND TRAINING FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

  • According to the Saudi Vision 2030, Riyadh aims to produce half of its military equipment for its internal security by 2030. To make this goal possible, they are insisting on arms suppliers to manufacture the components in the kingdom itself.
  • To achieve this goal, they made the General Authority for Military Industries in 2017 to coordinate weapons procurement and R&D with an emphasis on local sourcing.
  • SAMI or Saudi Arabian Military Industries was established in 2017, with the aim to create over 40,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs in Saudi Arabia by 2030. The establishment will cater to defense companies working in the field of aeronautics, weapons system, and missile defense system in Saudi Arabia.
  • The measures to localize defense manufacturing is expected to add over $3.7 billion to the kingdom's annual GDP.
  • International firms from other countries are developing their weapons manufacturing base in Saudi Arabia. The US defense contractors have also started to provide training services to the kingdom's local labor force for the military defense industry. The training also aims to enhance the prospects of Saudi's defense industry over foreign competitors.
  • Commitments by other countries include — Britain's commitment with The Al Yamamah I to make $7.5 billion Saudi arms purchases and $1.5 billion of investments in Saudi Arabia. Further, under the 1973 MoU with British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) to make military and aircraft equipment and train their personnel.

SAUDI ARABIA STANDARD FOR INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS

  • The Technical Standards and Regulations in Saudi Arabia is based on a single standard, which is in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. Further, the kingdom's technical regulations exclude the international standards SDOs that was developed by the US-domiciled standards development organizations (SDOs).
  • Saudi Arabia’s exclusion of these international standards used by US manufacturers may tend to create significant market access restrictions for industrial and consumer products exported from the United States.
  • The branding and content of the developed product is of prime importance for the Kingdom. Further, they demand other companies such as US companies familiarize themselves with Saudi traditions, customs, and strict rules for Islamic faith to ensure the branding doesn't offend local norms unintentionally.
  • The increase in localization requirements for the military products is bound to happen with the new policies that emphasize localized production. Further, the SAG Vision 2030 calls for about 50% localization of the defense materials by 2030.

EXAMPLES OF FUNCTIONING COMPANIES IN THIS INDUSTRY

1) SAUDI ARABIAN MILITARY INDUSTRY (SAMI)
  • Website: https://sami.com.sa/
  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is a military industry company that was established in May 2017 to develop arms and military products in Saudi Arabia with world-class quality.
  • The company aims to generate exports worth SAR 5 billion by 2030 and spend about SAR 6 billion on R&D activities.
  • The company's vision is to upgrade and localize the country's military industry by developing localized military products and enhance competency in manufacturing.
2) MILITARY INDUSTRY CORPORATION (MIC)
  • Website: https://www.mod.gov.sa/
  • Saudi Arabia Kingdom was issued to transform the Military Factories to MIC — Military Industries Corporation, a company that builds an integrated industrial base for arms and military industries.
  • This company contributed to boosting the military industrial production, technology transfer, and answering the needs of modern military infrastructure.

Research Strategy:

In order to get an understanding of the local norms in Saudi Arabia, we looked at the business site, government sites, military sites. We successfully gathered data from these sites and got insights about some local norms and standards for weapon manufacturing in Saudi Arabia. This includes — Saudi Arabia Goals 2030.

To identify the top players, we looked at the companies that were formed by the government. We finalized our selection for SAMI and MIC as they aimed to self-develop and upgrade their arms with external agencies, in accordance with their culture and norms.
Part
05
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Part
05

Saudi Arabia - Arts/Galleries

The general cultural norms for the Arts/Galleries industry in Saudi Arabia include things like censorship and limited freedom of expressions for Saudi artists. For instance, it's not allowed in Saudi Arabia to make any human body depictions or any representational forms because it's against Islamic teachings or laws that forbid idolatry. Also, there is the censorship of the art writings in artwork displays, wall panels, labels and essays and this is meant to look for inappropriate words according to Islamic laws and rules. One major player in the Arts/Galleries industry of Saudi Arabia is the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco.

Saudi arabia general cultural norms for the arts/galleries industry

  • Saudi Arabia is one of the sovereign states in the Middle East with an Islamic theocratic monarchy government system which is one of the most tightly controlled governments worldwide.
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very deeply religious country which has Islam as the state religion. Islam plays an important role in shaping the culture and way of life of Saudis.
  • Painting, sculpture, and folk art are some popular forms of arts in Saudi Arabia. However, paintings that depict the human body or any representational forms of arts are considered as a practice against Islamic teachings as they are viewed as a form of idolatry. For this reason, the artworks of Saudi artists mainly focus on abstract and geometric shapes instead.
  • Another popular form of artistic expressions in Saudi Arabia is through storytelling. However, due to Islamic laws, public performances are governed by guidelines such as the restriction not to make "graven images".
  • Another cultural norm affecting Saudi Arabia's galleries and museums is that they have to stick to the rules that govern the exhibitions and showcases throughout all Muslim countries.
  • Also, Saudi Arabia has some museum policies in which Islamic law also applies to artworks and their display. Artwork wall panels, labels, and essays are reviewed by specific museum departments to make sure that there are no inappropriate words included.

saudi arabia arts/galleries industry: major or key players

  • An example of a company involved in the Arts/Galleries industry of Saudi Arabia is the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco.
  • Website Link: https://www.saudiaramco.com/en
  • Brief Description: Saudi Aramco is a state-owned oil company headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Aramco recently developed and funded the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The project was inaugurated by King Salman bin Abdulaziz in December 2017 with the goal of promoting cultural development in the Kingdom.
Part
06
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Part
06

Saudi Arabia - Entertainment/Concerts/Live Entertainment

The country of Saudi Arabia has ultra-conservative sentiments and stricter rules for the entertainment sector such as the banning of cinemas, alongside regulations on dress code, and gender segregation. Currently though, as part of its vision 2030 initiative to lessen the dependence on oil and have a diverse way in generating income, reconsideration on major regulations have been made, including regulation of the entertainment sector, taking on the nation's elite of royals, and providing opportunities for business figures.

Basic Information:

  • The country of Saudi Arabia, originally has stricter rules for the entertainment sector such as the banning of cinemas, alongside regulations on dress code and gender segregation in public triggered by Islamic activities as well as the attempt to overthrow the royal family in Mecca, which led to ultra-conservative sentiments across the Kingdom during 1970–1980.
  • As a result, for "35 years, the country of Saudi Arabia was under a cinema ban, the lack of infrastructure suitable to establish cinemas also made it more difficult for individuals and businesses to challenge this culture by trying to build new film houses. "
  • Recently, the cinema ban was lifted by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of an act to sustain the country’s power and wealth as the Kingdom becomes keen to mitigate its economic dependence on oil and have a diverse way in generating income.
  • The transformation of the country’s economy was announced by the Crown Prince in 2016 through the vision 2030.

  • As part of its various goals as contained in the vision 2030 document, massive infrastructure projects are being developed. These include the Red Sea project to transform the Kingdom’s coastline into a global tourism destination, the Fadhili gas plant to supply energy through clean-burning natural gas, and the “entertainment city” near the capital to bring entertainment and cultural venues the likes of which the country has never seen.

Additional insights/data and how it relates to millionaires and higher-incomes

  • By the mid-2000s, ‘cinema tourism’ become a trend in the country wherein young movie lovers travel to nearby countries to enjoy the big screen.
  • Government data shows that "Saudis spend $30 billion, which is approximately 5% of their GDP on entertainment and hospitality elsewhere. They fly to other Middle East countries like Dubai and Bahrain to visit theaters.
  • The Saudi population is made up of about 32 million people under the age of 30, and young Saudi film-makers have been making waves, such as with Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda, the nation’s first female-created film, and an Oscar entry.
  • During the cinema ban, foreign embassies and private clubs in the Kingdom occasionally conducted movie screenings; local media also started supporting the idea of lifting the ban on cinemas with Saudi-owned satellite stations like MBC, Al Arabiya, and Rotana becoming the region’s strongest and most influential channels.
  • With time, many local universities also started to offer film-making and storytelling courses, and some students were sent abroad to study the subject.
  • With the cinema ban lift, the Kingdom created a $2.7 billion entertainment firm and plowed $64 billion in the entertainment industry.
  • "As first in the Arab nation, it kicked off its first-ever fashion week with designs by Middle Eastern, Brazilian, US, and Russian designers, as well as shows by internationally renowned labels Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier." Though still under the cultural norms and rules on gender segregation, with catwalks open only to women and not outside cameras allowed.
  • In an agreement signed during a Paris Visit, French expertise will be employed to set up national opera and orchestra, and the deal will help the nation produce its classical music and shows. The country also announced the entry to short films at the Cannes cinema festival.
  • "The Kingdom has allowed concerts including mixed-sex gigs, and it's General Entertainment Authority also announced 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018."
  • The country has become more adaptable, but specific rules are still being observed, such as the "Dancing is strictly prohibited" during a concert to underline the balancing act the government must perform in a society with sectors that may not be receptive to the new initiatives.
  • A key policy change is also allowing women in the Kingdom to open their businesses, making a step away from Arabia's guardianship system, wherein women are required to present proof of permission from a male guardian to do paperwork.
  • With the changes giving more opportunities to women, the Crown Prince has taken on the clerics that have dominated Saudi life, as well as the nation's elite of royals, ministers, and business figures.

Other changes in the entertainment sector include

  • Restaurants and cafes allowed to host musical events
  • Madame Tussaud museum opening in Jeddah and Riyadh
  • Jay-Z and DJ Khaled performing in the kingdom
  • International and local stand-up comedians to perform live shows
  • Legal drifting rinks set to be opened
  • Live shows, theatrical plays, and bazaars across the kingdom
  • Religious competitions
  • Sports events and championships
  • Honoring of Saudi artists
  • Discovering and nurturing Saudi talents
  • Saudi Arabia’s decision to open up entertainment and culture as part of its vision 2030 aspirations has attracted multibillion-dollar projects not only for the entertainment of Saudis at home but also created job opportunities.
  • UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim group, one of the top investors in the Saudi entertainment sector has more than Dh13.71 billion invested in current and announced projects across retail, leisure, and fashion, creating more than 114,000 direct and indirect job opportunities"
  • A subsidiary, VOX Cinemas, is further investing Dh1.96 billion to open 600 screens by 2023, with 110 of which to start screening by the end of the year.

Functioning companies

  • The functioning companies in the entertainment industry of Saudi Arabia include MBC group, Orbit Showtime Network, and beIN group.

MBC Group

Orbit Showtime Network (OSN)

  • Website: The website can be found here.
  • Offers blockbuster movies, TV shows, exclusive kids’ and Arabic channels, factual TV, and live sports across the MENA region.

beIN Media Group

Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Saudi Arabia - Tastes/Restaurant

Gender segregation and religious holidays and beliefs surround the restaurant industry in Saudi Arabia.

Overview

  • Saudi Arabia is a theocratic state with a culture and society that is deeply religious, traditional, and family-oriented in nature.
  • In Saudi Arabia, one of the social activities that are well-acknowledged, highly considered, and extremely active by Saudi citizens is going to restaurants.
  • In Saudi Arabia, restaurants are considered to be one of the most highly visited places for celebrating, socializing, entertainment, and social engagement among friends, families, and business partners.
  • Saudi Arabia is opening up to more mixed society norms in social, leisure, and entertainment industry, while still respecting the privacy of the family environment. This makes restaurant design in Saudi Arabia the next big and thriving industry.

Gender segregation

  • Saudi Arabia has strict gender segregation which is sanctioned by the state and society.
  • In restaurants, men and women can't sit together, unless they are family.
  • The restaurant interior designs has taken into consideration the uniqueness of Saudi Arabia, where spinsters and bachelors need to keep their distance from families to maintain their privacy. Therefore, the interior design responds to the cultural and social aspects of Saudi Arabia.
  • Sharing tables with the opposite sex who are not family is also forbidden.
  • Saudi Arabian restaurants are divided into family area and men-only area.
  • According to Saudi Arabian law, women are required to sit separately, specifically in designated family sections. Women cannot consume food in restaurants that do not have such sections.

Religion & Beliefs

  • In Saudi Arabia, Friday is a Muslim holy day. Therefore, businesses are closed on Thursday and Friday.
  • The principles of Islam govern all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia, including business.
  • Saudi Arabian public establishments like restaurant are closed for prayer time, especially the Jummah (Friday) prayer. It enables employees to take time to pray before returning to restaurants. However, some restaurant establishments today do have a small prayer of their own.
  • Islamic teachings also forbid the consumption of alcohol. Therefore, none of the citizens are allowed to consume alcohol in restaurants or when dining out
  • Saudi Arabian restaurants are also required to close during daily prayers. However, certain establishments bend this rule by closing the curtains.
  • Restaurants in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia follow the laws of Kashrut for Judaism or Halal for Islam which just means that all meat has to be Kosher or Halal.

SAUDI Arabian RESTAURANT INDUSTRY: KEY PLAYERS

1. Al Orjouan

  • The Al Orjouan restaurant has established itself as the favorite, among hotel guests and Riyadh residents alike. The restaurant has the longest and most lavish buffet in the city.
  • The link to the official website of Al Orjouan is here.

2. njad village

  • The Najd Village restaurant is a pioneer in the field of traditional cuisine and it was established in the year 1996.
  • The Najd Village is popular with locals, the business world, and Ministries and Embassies.
  • The restaurant has two cuisines located in Riyadh, that can accommodate more than 1000 guests. It embraces unique antiquities which goes back to hundreds of years.
  • The link to the official website of Njad Village is here.

3. the globe

  • The Globe is a signature restaurant at Al Faisaliah Hotel.
  • The Globe is one of the unique restaurants in Saudi Arabia, and it is located in the spectacular golden sphere tops of Al Faisaliah Tower. The restaurant sensation offers a unique perspective of the Kingdom's first city.
  • The link to the official website of The Globe is here.

Your Research team applied the following Strategy:

In order to provide information, insights, and data regarding the cultural norms of the restaurant industry in Saudi Arabia, we started our search on cultural rules/laws of Saudi Arabia. We looked at the business website, media updates, government website such as commisceo-global, traveltips.usatoday, comelite-arch, iexplore, and state.gov. We examined the cultural rules/laws that might be applied to the restaurant industry in Saudi Arabia. From these sources, we successfully garnered the required data.

To provide a list of key players in the restaurant industry, we looked into review domains such as Yelp and Tripadvisor. Then, we focused on luxury restaurants that target families with higher income. We further filtered the list by only choosing the restaurants with high ratings and reviews. We also scanned the official website of the selected restaurants to verify the data.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • " Women’s rights are constrained in particular by the legal guardianship system enforced by Shari’ah courts regardless of women’s religious affiliation and based on the government’s interpretation of a Qur’anic verse describing men as “protectors and maintainers of women.” Under the system, Saudi women do not have equal legal status and must have permission from a male guardian to obtain a passport, marry, or travel abroad, as well as sometimes to access healthcare or other services."
Quotes
  • "A series of recent decisions by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s young, de facto ruler, could revolutionize the lives of Saudi women. They will soon be allowed to attend soccer matches at public stadiums. They have been named to prominent positions. In June, they will be allowed to drive cars, even motorcycles, the government says. Women will probably even be able to join the traffic police."
Quotes
  • "So even if there were no cultural barriers, the possibilities of women walking or cycling to work are very limited. Public transport is significantly underdeveloped and taxis are culturally not an option unless at least two women travel together. Under the female driving ban, this has meant that to leave the house a woman must be driven by a male relative, or if the family can afford it, by a driver."
Quotes
  • "Under the new rules, the licences for the family taxis are issued to registered companies as opposed to individuals, with only qualified Saudi women allowed to drive them. Female drivers are prohibited from taking on passengers in the absence of an adult Saudi woman, while men and young male children are not allowed to occupy front seats."
Quotes
  • "Uber said it conducted a recent study that found the majority of prospective women drivers were only interested in driving women riders. "This newly introduced feature will open new doors and opportunities for women as Uber driver-partners, while being conscientious of local cultural norms," said Abdellatif Waked, general manager of Uber Middle East and North Africa, in the company's announcement about the feature. "
Quotes
  • "Uber and Careem have reached an agreement for Uber to acquire Careem for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020. Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates."
Quotes
  • "Aramex, the leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, announces the launch of ‘Aramex Fleet’, a crowd-based delivery platform that connects Saudi nationals to flexible last mile delivery work to leverage on Saudi Arabia’s sharing economy and support strong demand for Aramex services in the Kingdom. Aramex is the first among major international logistics and transportation providers to integrate this service in the MENA region, with plans to introduce the platform to at least 10 more countries over the next 12 months."
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "Saudi aspirations for an indigenous defense industry are certainly ambitious. In its overarching Saudi Vision 2030 economic strategy, Riyadh wants to produce locally at least half of the equipment it will need for security and military use by 2030. To move toward that goal, when Saudi Arabia negotiates major arms contracts with trade partners, it increasingly insists that component manufacturing and final assembly be done in the kingdom."
  • "As Saudi Arabia pursues its regional interests, it has increasingly sought to insulate itself from outside influence. To guard against dependence on arms imports, which could subject it to political pressure, it has worked to build up the capabilities of its own defense industry. "
Quotes
  • "Localization Requirements - Saudi Arabia’s military is reforming its procurement processes and policies to incorporate new Saudi employment and localized production goals. The SAG’s Vision 2030 program calls for 50 percent of defense materials to be produced and procured locally by 2030, and simultaneously seeks comparable increases in the number of Saudis employed in this sector. "
Quotes
  • "The government is addressing this deficit by including technology transfers and offsets in its weapons contracts with international firms and by developing a manufacturing base for weapons parts and components. The government’s “Saudization” program seeks to train Saudis with specific skills so they can increasingly fill defense technology positions. US defense contractors that include a training component of the local labor force when bidding on contracts can significantly enhance their prospects over foreign competitors."
Quotes
  • "To upgrade and localize the military industries capability, and focus on our unique strengths represented in strategy, competency and manufacturing"
  • "To create world-class products and services that can compete with the very best quality and value"
From Part 07
Quotes
  • "Meals with foreigners are generally hosted in restaurants and hotels, and are either all male or all female. If both sexes are invited, there will likely be separate rooms. If you are invited to a Saudi home for dinner, it is important to be punctual and dress conservatively. Remove your shoes when entering a Saudi home. There is likely to be much greeting and conversation before the meal and very little talking during the meal to focus on the enjoyment of the food. It is important to accept any beverages or dates offered. Hospitality is an important part of Saudi culture and refusing is an insult. Eat with the right hand because the left is considered unclean."
Quotes
  • "One of the social activities that are well-acknowledged, highly considered and extremely active in Saudi Arabia is going to restaurants. Restaurants are considered one of the most highly visited places for socializing, celebrating, entertainment and social engagement among friends, families, business partners and so on. As more and more people are eating out, restaurant design in Saudi Arabia has become a crucial aspect for the developers of these establishments."
  • "In 2018 things are changing, especially on the economical and the social front. The Saudi society is opening up to more mixed society norms, especially in the social, leisure and entertainment industries, while still respecting the privacy of the family environment. This makes restaurant design in Saudi Arabia the next big and thriving industry."
  • "From a more technical point of view, the majority of restaurant design in Saudi Arabia is inspired by the rapidly changing consumption patterns fueled by rising disposable incomes. This is one of the key factors driving growth in the Food and Beverage industry in Saudi Arabia. Less stringent laws, leading to a greater exposure to Western cultures and traditions are leading the discerning consumer towards an appreciation of more sophisticated dining. This is one of the major reasons why restaurant design in Saudi Arabia is fast becoming a thriving industry taking on a life of its own."
  • "The design itself has to take into consideration the uniqueness of Saudi Arabia, where there needs to be separate spaces for bachelors that are segregated from families, so each family can enjoy the space yet maintain privacy. Therefore, thoughtful interior design that responds to the cultural and social needs of the region can definitely have a huge impact on a restaurant’s success in Saudi Arabia."
Quotes
  • "Diners in Saudi restaurants are forbidden to drink alcohol, share tables with unrelated members of the opposite sex, or eat during Ramadan fasting hours regardless of their nationality or religion. Saudi restaurants are also required to close during daily prayer hours, but a handful of upscale establishments bend this rule to allow diners to remain behind closed curtains."
  • "Despite these many restrictions, however, visitors can still find enjoyable dining experiences and quality cuisine in Saudi Arabia. One of Jeddah’s most recommended restaurants is Vertigo Café and Grille (Palestine Commercial Center, Falastin, Al Ham’mra, Jeddah), which offers traditional shisha water pipes alongside its Italian-American cuisine. Those craving Turkish cuisine in Jeddah should head to Khayal (Prince Sultan Road, History Roundabout) a mid-range restaurant whose kebabs are over a foot long and whose menu contains 112 tasty items."
  • "Riyadh’s Mirage Restaurant (Al-Takhassosi Rd, North West Riyadh) is among the few restaurants where business mixed gender groups can dine together in Saudi Arabia’s conservative capital city. The best tables are placed on top of this Taiwanese restaurant’s illuminated fish tanks. One of Riyadh’s most affordable eating places is the Paragon Family Restaurant (Batha, Opp Suncity Supermarket, Riyadh), where kudukka biriyani is served alongside other traditional Chinese, North Indian, and Malabar dishes."
Quotes
  • " In Saudi Arabia, women are segregated from men in offices, schools and restaurants. Even McDonald's has separate dining rooms for men and women. Beaches have separate men's areas and women's areas. In universities, women watch their male professors on television because they are not allowed to be in the same room together. "
Quotes
  • "No Pork In the Middle East, you probably won’t find pork on restaurant menus, unless you’re in a touristy area. Additionally, many restaurants and grocery stores follow the laws of Kashrut for Judaism or Halal for Islam. This means that all meat has to be Kosher or Halal; each is guided by a number of rules."
Quotes
  • "Dining in local Saudi Arabia restaurants is restrictive. Most restaurants are divided into a family area and men only area. Dining in public with a person of the opposite sex is strictly forbidden unless they are family."
Quotes
  • "The cuisine of Saudi Arabia is similar to that of the neighboring nations of the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. Pork is considered impure in Islam and thus consumption of it is banned in the country. Halal Islamic dietary laws are followed while slaughtering animals for meat. The khūzī, a stuffed lamb dish is regarded as the traditional national dish of Saudi Arabia. Another popular dish is the shāwarmā that features flat bread wrapped marinated and grilled meat. Kebabs are also a delicacy of Saudi Arabian cuisine. A rice dish served with shrimp or fish called machbūs is also consumed as a delectable dish. Dates and fresh fruit are also commonly served."
  • "Globalization and the appearance of modern supermarkets and multi-cuisine restaurants have greatly altered the culinary dietary habits of the urban Saudis. Fast food has become particularly popular in the country. The traditional Saudi customs favor consumption of food while sitting on the ground and discourage the use of forks and knives."
Quotes
  • "The law requires women to sit generally in separate, specially designated family sections in public places. They frequently cannot consume food in restaurants that do not have such sections. "
Quotes
  • "Al Orjouan has established itself as a favorite among hotel guests and Riyadh residents alike. The Friday brunch buffet at the restaurant is particularly impressive; with a sumptuous spread of Middle Eastern and International specialties, it is the longest and most lavish buffet in the city."