Saudi Round-Up: Collaboration for Global Transformation

From the 27th of November to the 4th of December

Our Saudi Round-Up of top business news stories helps you stay informed about the latest moves across sectors and the Kingdom. This week’s round-up encompasses the major movements in international agreements and the economy, aviation, fintech, travel & tourism, and sustainability, with a spotlight on Saudi’s leading role in the 28th meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28).

Saudi Roundup Spotlight:The Kingdom Celebrates Expo 2030 Win

Facing competition from Italy and South Korea, The Kingdom has won the bid to host Expo2030. Receiving more than ⅔ of the vote demonstrates that Saudi’s bid, ambition, and vision are backed by the global community. 

Adel Al-Jubeir, climate envoy and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs addressed the unique opportunity of the expo, saying it was a chance to “bring the world to Riyadh and show Riyadh to the world.” 

Expected between October 2030 and March 2031, the expo will be a unique, transformative, model for future expos and will showcase Saudi’s pioneering spirit, economic diversification, culture and heritage, and groundbreaking achievements spanning innovation, technology, and sustainability.  Now, the stage is set for rapid building, innovating, and executing at an unprecedented pace—and we are all eagerly watching. The Expo 2030 announcement not only enhances Saudi Arabia’s international standing but also propels Riyadh into becoming one of the world’s top ten largest city economies. Read more on what this means for the Saudi economy

COP28 In-Focus

Experts Praise Saudi Private Sector for Advancing Sustainable Development

During COP28 panel discussions at the Saudi Pavilion, talks included corporate sustainability, carbon emission goals under the Paris Agreement, and the ambitious objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, in which the private sector is a critical component. 

Sustainability Head at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Economy and Planning Hajar Al-Gosair said 

Saudi will be the first G20 country to have a reporting standard aligned with international best practices. 

Al-Gosair also emphasized that environmental efforts must go beyond the public and governmental sectors. Saudi has quadrupled its commitments to the SME sector in the last 12 months, advancing green technology and buildings, electric vehicles, and regional and global manufacturing infrastructure.

COP28 Highlights the Kingdom’s Leadership Role in Global Clean Energy

Head of the Secretariat at France’s Clean Energy Ministerial, Francois Gagne underlined Saudi’s unique and vital position in regard to global clean energy. The Kingdom can lead transformation by leveraging its presence in the G20 alongside its regional knowledge and capabilities.

All eyes turn to the Kingdom as it demonstrates regional harmonization through its ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 objectives, its drive for innovation and new technologies, and its experience in driving private-public sector collaboration alongside economic and environmental sustainability.

The Kingdom to Lead Green Development with Forum During COP28

This week, Saudi Arabia is hosting the third Saudi Green Initiative Forum, in an effort to maximize opportunities to collaborate with global thought leaders and share insights on creating a sustainable, green future. The forum is imagined as a platform where Saudi can share its 10-billion-tree initiative and call for more collaborators to address environmental challenges through innovative solutions and socio-economic transformation.

This leadership role highlights the Kingdom’s dedication and authority in green technology and solutions to climate change, driven by its ambitious missions to reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tons per year by 2030 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

Red Sea Global to Lead in Green Tourism

Red Sea is positioned to impress and inspire at COP28, an opportunity to showcase how nations can bolster economies, share cultures, and protect the environment through tourism development.

CEO of PIF-owned Red Sea Global John Pagano is on-hand at the event to demonstrate how tourism development has the power to provide solutions to global challenges and enhance multiple industries, including entertainment, food and beverages, and hospitality. 

Since September, Red Sea International Airport has received regular flights and is set to be the first carbon-neutral airport in the Middle East. Two Red Sea hotels are open for bookings, and, on completion, the Red Sea Development will comprise 50 resorts, 8000 hotel rooms, and 1000 residential properties. The development also includes five solar farms comprising 760,000 photovoltaic panels, and is making advances on its strategy for destination-wide mobility via electric and hybrid vehicles.

International Agreements and Economy

PIF’s ROSHN Group Signs MOU with Hong Kong Tsangs Group

PIF-owned ROSHN Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong’s Tsangs Group to strengthen their business ties and provide more opportunities in technology. 

The alliance strengthens Saudi’s position as a key player in global technology. The deal also demonstrates ROSHN’s commitment to Vision 2030 objectives as it will drive investment partnerships in technology, support the stable growth of the economy, create jobs, and employ technology as a means for positive global transformation. 

Saudi Wins Bid to Host UNIDO General Conference in Riyadh

The 21st General Conference of the UN Industrial Development Organization — to be held in Riyadh in November 2025 — is expected to draw 1500 participants to promote industrial development worldwide. 

Led by Bandar Al-Khorayef, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, the conference is expected to enhance international recognition of the Kingdom’s central role in economic growth, its political weight, and its position as a driver of global development, leading in terms of systems, regulations, and legislation. 

At the UNIDO conference in Vienna, held from the 27th of November to the 1st of December 2023, the Saudi Fund for Development highlighted its contribution to industry and mining, including over $463.5 million of funding and 16 development projects.

Brazil’s President Seeks Green Energy Partnership with the Kingdom

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has invited Saudi Arabia to enter into an energy partnership to boost the South American nation’s ongoing energy transition. He wishes to leverage Saudi expertise, as both countries prioritize energy transition from traditional reliance on fossil fuels to leadership in green energy. 

Meanwhile, the world’s largest green hydrogen plant is being constructed in the Red Sea. , Attracted by Saudi’s commitment to and investment in a carbon-free economy by 2060, Brazil’s collaboration with the Kingdom will provide joint benefits in energy efficiency, hydrogen, renewable energy, research, and investment. 


GACA, MISA, and Brazil’s Embraer to Boost Aviation Investment

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Investment and Brazilian aerospace corporation Embraer to invest in the aviation sector. 

Mohammed Al-Khuraisi, GACA’s Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Intelligence, said that the Saudi aviation sector has moved into “an era of unprecedented milestones and achievements.”

The move to exchange knowledge and experience in sustainability and innovation supports the Kingdom’s objective to lead regional aviation and grow the sector to 150 million visitors by 2030, 50 million more than the original goal. The aviation sector is already growing rapidly, due partly to significant aviation investment and ongoing socioeconomic transformation. 

ICAN2023 – The Kingdom Will Invest $100 Million in Aviation Sector

At the 15th International Conference on Air Services Negotiations, the president of the Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation announced an investment of $100 million to grow travel and tourism in line with Vision 2030. 

The financial injection is aimed at boosting all aspects of aviation to position Saudi as a global player, fostering economic growth and global connectivity. The money will support Saudi’s strategic objectives through developments across Saudi airlines, logistics, cargo, and other support services.

The meeting of global leaders organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization will also highlight the Kingdom’s investment opportunities and enhance Saudi’s capabilities in alignment with the Kingdom’s National Strategy for Transport and Logistics.

The aim is for air connectivity to grow from 99 destinations to more than 250 across 29 airports, to triple passenger traffic per year to 330 million, and double air cargo sector capacity to more than 4.5 million tons.

Travel and Tourism

Neom Launches Latest Sustainable Tourist Destination

The NEOM giga-project has revealed Siranna, a new sustainable tourism development in a magnificent coastal location. 

Featuring 35 exclusive residences and a 65-key hotel, this luxurious, world-class resort and living experience will help the steady diversification of the economy and boost the travel and tourism industry to 150 million tourists by 2030 in alignment with the Kingdom’s national objectives. 

This follows news of NEOM’s Epicon resort — two towers, luxury hotel, high-end tourist apartments, and exclusive residential suites across 120 rooms and 45 beachfront villas — and a memorandum of understanding with Bosch and Bain&Co intended to boost clean industrial transformation in the city’s Oxagon facility through innovation and technology.

COP28 and Expo2030 are global platforms through which the Kingdom will drive global transformation – daily innovation, imagination, and creative collaboration define the Kingdom and are pillars of Saudi’s ambitions for regional and global change. Check in again for the latest deals, advances, and opportunities in this ever-evolving economic landscape.