Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the land where Islam was first born, this is the land where more than a billion Muslim turn to pray in the direction of the Qiblah, which is the direction of honourable Kaaba.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a blessed country with the geographical, cultural, social and economic status that have enabled us to be a leading country in the world.
This oil-rich country represents approximately half the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) gross domestic product (GDP) and is home to half of the GCC population. With 90 percent of its export earnings coming from oil, it’s an affluent economy that’s looking to diversify.
Saudi Arabia's plan for economic diversification in order to lead the Kingdom into a new era of innovations and modernity is bursting with opportunities for New Zealand businesses.
To have a more detailed look on our market and how to seize these opportunities please check The Saudi Market Guide
Here's a snapshot - you can find more detailed data in our guide.
|GDP per capita (PPP)||US$21,120|
|Export market ranking||NZ's 20th largest export market (20171)|
|Free trade agreements||None|
|Ease of Doing Business ranking2||92 of 190|
|Corruption Perceptions Index ranking3||57 of 176|
|Value of NZ exports||NZ$507 Million|
|Land area||2,149,690 sq km|
Getting to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Get a Visa, in all cases, expatriates require visas to enter/exit Saudi Arabia.
- Book a Flight, there are no direct flights from New Zealand to Saudi Arabia but you can easily find a flight with one or two stops.
- Find accommodation, you can find plenty of hotels all around the kingdom, NZTE has a list of recommended hotels, contact us to learn more.
- Pack your bags and enjoy your trip.
When to visit
Any day any time of the year, just take into your consideration the following:
The Weather in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is known for its high heat during the summer, the highest temperature reach is in July and august by which a lot of the citizens take their holidays during these two months.
The holy month of Ramadan, usually working hours are limited to 6 hours per day and few companies work late hours at night.
Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, but English is widely spoken.
Religion & Beliefs
- Islam is practised by all Saudis and governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives.
- Friday is the Muslim holy day; Businesses don’t operate on Friday.
- During the holy month of Ramadan all Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, Expatriates must not eat, drink, or smoke in public during this period.
- There are five sets of prayers each day and all businesses are generally closed for 15 to 30 minutes during prayer time.
- Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Under no circumstances attempt to enter with any alcohol on you. Pork / pig-related products are also illegal, so don’t bring any of these sorts of products with you.
Business & Work
- The Saudi working week is from Sunday through Thursday.( The official weekend is Friday and Saturday)
- Appointments are necessary and should be made several weeks to one month in advance.
- Greeting between Saudis differ from one to another, some greet with a handshake, others greet with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek.
- Business meetings start slowly, and there will be initial questions and small talk as this is all part of the relationship and trust building process.
- It’s advisable to set with both feet on the floor and avoid crossing your legs as Saudis consider it offensive.
- Direct eye contact is important while talking to Saudi’s.
- Men and women do not mix freely in Saudi Arabia. As a general rule men do not approach or interact with women they do not know or they have not been introduced to.
- It’s important to dress well, business attire, suits for men and women are obliged to wear Abaya.
Connect with NZTE in Saudi Arabia
If you’re an NZTE customer and preparing to visit Saudi Arabia, please get in touch with your Customer Manager to discuss your plans and possible areas of assistance. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information.
New Zealand's relationship with Saudi Arabia
If you're looking for more information about our trade and diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia, take a look at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. Their Saudi Arabia page is packed with information, including a list of embassies and details of recent official visits.