Saudi offers tax break for 30-year to companies moving regional HQs to Riyadh

Saudi offers tax breaks for 30-year

Saudi offers tax breaks for 30-year to companies moving regional HQs to Riyadh: A Game-Changing Economic Initiative In the realm of global economics, Saudi Arabia has embarked on an ambitious venture that could potentially redefine the landscape of corporate operations within the Middle East. The kingdom’s recent announcement of a 30-year tax break for companies relocating their regional headquarters to Riyadh has sent ripples across the business world. 

This unprecedented initiative of the Saudi Government for a 30-year tax break to companies aims to attract multinational companies, promising an array of incentives and opportunities. Let’s delve into the details of this groundbreaking strategy, exploring its implications and analyzing the latest examples that underscore its significance.

Saudi Government Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Program

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported about Saudi Arabia’s most attractive Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Program for Multinational Companies (MNCs) on 05, 2023. This program was unveiled by the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA), for a comprehensive 30-year tax incentive package.

The Kingdom’s Regional Headquaters (RHQ) program for 30-year tax exemption for companies who establish their RHQ in KSA include the following incentives:

  • A zero percent corporate income tax.
  • A zero percent withholding tax (WHT) related to the approved RHQ activities.

This Saudi Arabia’s RHQ program is a joint decision of MISA and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC). 

Objectives of  Saudi Regional Headquaters (RHQ) Program

The 30-year tax break is the catalyst for corporate relocation in Saudi Arabia. One of the pivotal steps within Vision 2030 involves the provision of substantial incentives to entice international companies to establish their regional headquarters in Riyadh. The jewel in this package is the unprecedented 30-year tax exemption offered to qualifying entities. This bold move aims to position Riyadh as a strategic hub for businesses operating in the region, leveraging its strategic location, infrastructure development, and growing ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The initiative seeks to draw multinational companies (MNCs) to establish their Regional Headquarters (RHQ) in Saudi Arabia, aiming to elevate the Kingdom as the preeminent hub for commerce, industry, and investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The core aim of the program is to reduce the oil-dependency of Saudi Arabia’s economy. This effort involves providing a diverse array of benefits and top-tier support services that complement Saudi Arabia’s globally competitive value proposition.

This initiative specifically focuses on companies seeking to initiate or sustain business collaborations with Saudi Arabia’s government bodies and authorities. It represents a significant stride in Saudi Arabia’s overarching endeavor to position Riyadh as a leading global economy by 2030.

Past and Present of Saudi Arabia’s RHQ Program

Initially introduced in 2021, the RHQ program has successfully given  licenses to more than 200 companies to run their Regional Headquarters (RHQ) from within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, a specialized support program aimed at attracting top-tier international schools has resulted in seven such schools announcing their plans to establish new campuses in the Kingdom.

Saudi Ministers’ Comments on RHQ Program

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih commented on the RHQ program, “The tax incentive serves as an additional catalyst for multinational companies operating in the region to choose Saudi Arabia as the location for their regional headquarters. This incentive, coupled with relaxed Saudization requirements and work permits extended to spouses of RHQ executives, presents a compelling package of benefits.”

He further emphasized, “The Kingdom’s long lasting economic stability, coupled with its youthful and skilled workforce, strategic geographic positioning, and promising growth prospects, has already enticed leading global companies to choose Saudi Arabia as their new regional operational hub. Moreover, an increasing number of executives, entrepreneurs, and talented professionals from both the region and around the world are finding Saudi Arabia an immensely attractive destination to upgrade their careers.” 

Saudi Arabia Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan further said about the program, “This fresh incentive provides businesses with increased clarity and assurance for future strategic planning as multinational corporations (MNCs) extend their footprint in the region by partnering with Saudi Arabia in our ongoing transformation.” 

He further added, “We eagerly anticipate the active involvement of more MNCs in various sectors, including our Giga and Mega projects, as well as their participation in significant upcoming events like the 2029 Asian Winter Games and Expo 2030.” 

The Impact RHQ Program: Economic, Social, and Infrastructural

The ramifications of this initiative extend far beyond the economic sphere. Beyond the lure of tax breaks, relocating to Riyadh offers international companies access to a rapidly growing consumer market, a pool of skilled talent, and a burgeoning ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. Moreover, it aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader agenda of societal transformation, encouraging knowledge transfer, fostering job creation, and promoting diversity within the workforce.

Conclusion: Riyadh’s Ascendancy as a Global Business Hub

Saudi Arabia’s bold move to offer a 30-year tax break for companies shifting their regional headquarters to Riyadh represents a pivotal moment in the kingdom’s economic evolution. As evidenced by the decisions of prominent multinational companies, this initiative has captured the attention of global business leaders. Riyadh’s emergence as a key business hub in the Middle East not only signifies a shift in the economic landscape but also heralds a new era of opportunities, collaboration, and innovation.

In summary, the 30-year tax break initiative is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversify its economy and position itself as an attractive destination for international businesses. As more companies embrace this opportunity, Riyadh’s stature as a global business hub is set to rise, contributing to the kingdom’s journey towards sustainable economic growth and prosperity.