Starting a small business in Saudi Arabia in 2021

Are you considering starting a small business in Saudi Arabia? What is different in the year 2021? Saudi Arabia still has one of the top twenty economies in the world. It should be noted, that it is one of the largest economies in the Arab world. It has shown to be an ideal business platform for both global large-scale and small business investors in the Middle East. Although it was challenging in the past for foreign companies looking to establish their businesses in Saudi Arabia things have changed in recent years, even months after the Covid – 19 strike. This is because today, the Saudi Arabia government truly welcomes investments from foreign firms as part of its Vision 2030 plan.  Expats can now 100% own their own companies and small businesses in Saudi Arabia. If you are moving to Saudi Arabia on business, you are welcome!

Custom made sign for open small business in the food industry
A restaurant selling fresh food or organic juice bar are excellent small business opportunities

Starting a small business in Saudi Arabia – steps

Unquestionably, Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of oil in the world but the Kingdom wants to reduce its reliance on oil so they are encouraging the development of the non-oil business sectors, private sector growth, and global investors. Subsequently, the population of the country is also growing, since more people are moving and shipping to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, starting a business in KSA can be a great move after Covid-19 in 2021. Some of the top small business ideas in Saudi Arabia in 2021 are as follows and they fall into these main categories:

  • technology
  • healthcare
  • tourism
  • education
  • services


There is a high increase in demand for the latest, innovative technology in both the consumer and enterprise markets. Importing and exporting such technology is an excellent opportunity to meet the country’s rising demand. Launching a startup in e-commerce would be an excellent business move.

E-commerce and online shopping

Online shopping has grown in Saudi Arabia over the years. So, opening an online store is a great business move you may want to make in Saudi Arabia. Your focus should be on selling luxury goods online as the Saudi royals and citizens show high purchasing power. On the contrary, you could go with widely selling products.  Whatever just stay different from your competitors and have good logistics whatever your field is.

Fashion items sold online
E-commerce and online shopping have grown largely in Covid-19 time

Web design

So, if you are a coding guru,  making and delivering shopping carts, ERP software, widgets, etc. for e-commerce companies will make you a good small business. Saudi Arabian’s interest in online shopping is huge and is ever-growing. As a result, small businesses are looking for web designers who can build, develop and maintain their websites. Nowadays, no business can afford to stay offline and lose touch with their customers.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with a current estimated population of approximately 32.6 million is the largest country in the GCC and it is growing. Therefore, Saudi Arabia is the largest market for medical equipment and healthcare products in the Middle East. You can invest in the healthcare value chain including medical education, research, facilities, provision, and testing. Based on the demand/supply analysis of the healthcare sector in the Kingdom, the following opportunities for investors and operators have been identified. Generally speaking, the medical fields worth investing in because of the high evident demand are daycare surgical centers, maternity, and pediatric facilities, laboratory and diagnostic centers, primary care clinics.

Small business opportunities – Tourism

Saudi Arabia is becoming the new tourism force of the region. Indeed, thanks to its Vision 2030 project, the Kingdom has planned $810 billion of investments in culture, leisure, and entertainment projects in the next decade. There are so many tourist attractions that millions of tourists visit in Saudi Arabia every year. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Kingdom is expected to have  22.1 million in international arrivals by 2025, which would be around 40% higher than Dubai’s current visitors. Therefore, investing in a tourist guide business sounds like a wise idea. 

Hookah places

As alcohol isn’t easily accessible not even for tourists and having a hookah bar is a perfectly legal business. Many young people are starting this kind of business and offering hookah bars on the touristic and nightlife list.


In the education sector, you can either open an expatriate school in Saudi Arabia to meet the educational demands of expatriate children and ensure they keep up with the international curriculum. Secondly, you can start up and even without sponsor tutoring of English language. Many qualified professionals are coming to work in Saudi Arabia. For that reason, the people of Saudi Arabia are actively learning the English language.

Small business in Saudi Arabia
Online education business is one of the largest and steadily growing sectors worldwide

Thirdly, you can open an online tutoring business. Online courses are a profitable business idea for sharing your knowledge of the subject with the world, not just Saudi Arabia. Online courses are expected to reach more than $240 billion by the second half of  2021. Today, education is one of the largest and steadily growing sectors worldwide. The private learning and tutoring market is expected to grow as a $227.2 billion industry by 2022, so think a little bit more into detail about your new online education business.

Home Cooking Services

Home cooking services are the latest trends in the fast-paced life of Saudi Arabia women. As a good cook, you can start preparing and delivering homemade meals to your neighbor area first.

Later on, you can expand the business. Once you earn a good reputation, you will surely start getting more and more orders. Home cooking services are in high demand as well as organic food is. Thus, consider working with fresh organic food, too. You can start a restaurant selling fresh food items or import fresh ones and process them as per demand, for instance in an organic juice bar.

There are a lot of investment opportunities to do small business in Saudi Arabia. We at Easy Move Kuwait hope that we helped you have an insight into some options for beginning your small business in this post-Covid time of 2021 and perhaps making some new business decisions.  Whatever sector you choose we wish you good luck!