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Ajlan Al-Ajlan

Chairman, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce

Hisham Kaaki

Chairman, Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI)

The chambers of commerce in Riyadh and Makkah have important roles to play in promoting the national economy and serving the business sector in line with the strategic objectives of the Kingdom.
Considering Vision 2030 and the significant transformations in the country, what role does the city play in the development of Saudi Arabia?

AJLAN AL-AJLAN The Kingdom’s strategic objectives including transforming the capital into one of the world’s top 10 city economies and doubling its population. Riyadh is witnessing an integrated development movement in the context of gigantic development programs, creating many investment opportunities in several sectors including housing, health, education, and in the fields of heritage, tourism, entertainment, hospitality, and industry besides other sectors. The GDP of the city of Riyadh was estimated to be almost a quarter of the Kingdom’s GDP in 2019, reflecting the economic weight of the city of Riyadh and the competitive advantages of the region. As a business sector, we are keen to wholly engage this sector as a strategic partner in the achievement of the desired economic development and help provide logistics services for events and activities related to private investment.

HISHAM KAAKI Vision 2030 focuses on the haj and umrah sector, and one of its key programs is the Doyof Al Rahman Program, which aims to increase the number of pilgrims and enhance their experience in the Holy Cities by creating tourist and cultural attractions and providing high-quality services. The private sector is working on these strategic and operational objectives. MCCI, as a home for business and the voice of the private sector, is working hard to develop this consistency and its continuity. Our goal is to foster profitable partnerships and relationships and provide investment opportunities that are diversified in terms of scope and customization.

How have policies helped to improve the ease of doing business?

AAA The government has developed many policies to reform the business sector, which has made the Kingdom get a hold of advanced ranks in business performance indicators at the global level. In Riyadh Chamber, we have a wide-ranging strategy for development focusing on several performance indicators, including development of internal work environment and providing high-quality services to business community in Riyadh region. The ultimate aim of all such transformational steps is to make Riyadh region an attractive business environment, attract more companies to move to Riyadh, enhance the role of the private sector economically and socially, and provide basic value-added services to the Riyadh Chamber’s subscribers. The transformation also aims at promoting growth in the small and medium enterprises sector, adopting digitization as a competitive advantage, and providing relevant specialized research to empower the work environment and identify corporate needs in Riyadh. All of our transactions in the Riyadh Chamber are based on the main objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which are to develop a prosperous economy, enhance principles of social welfare, develop education, reduce unemployment rates, enhance the renewable energy sector, increase women employment rate in the labor market, enhance e-commerce, and achieve water and food security.

What investment opportunities would you highlight, and how will MCCI support investors?

HK The move to grant real estate ownership for non-Saudis in Makkah and Medinah is a strategic step that reflects the far-sightedness of the Saudi government. It came to strengthen the pillars of Vision 2030, which aims to make the market attractive to local and foreign investment and play a pivotal role in developing the economy and diversifying its sources of income. MCCI has a number of sectoral committees, each of them working on studying and analyzing the sector and identifying the challenges and opportunities inherent in it. They also submit solutions and suggestions to the competent authorities, represent business owners in government agencies, hold exhibitions and forums that would raise public awareness, and shed light on the available opportunities. One of these committees is the Real Estate Committee, which had an impact on real estate decisions and variables and worked as a link between business owners and decision makers. We cooperated with major real estate companies from Makkah to submit the views that we came with to the Royal Commission of Makkah City and the Holy Sites. We proposed providing foreign investors the opportunity to own real estate for a period of 99 years according to specific requirements that benefit and support the economy of Makkah. Although the proposal is huge, attracting investments is one of the most important strategic goals for MCCI.



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