Saudi Arabia could be best MENA start-up ecosystem within two years, investment expert says

SourceArabian Business
CountrySaudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia could emerge as the number one start-up ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the next two years, once the country establishes its proposed free zones for promotion of various sectors, a leading investment expert said.

A friendlier regulatory framework for company registration in the country can further bolster the Kingdom’s attractiveness to foreign investors and start-up founders.

“I think Saudi is going to be number one in the coming two years [in the start-up ecosystem in MENA region],” Abdullah Alaraj, co-founder and chairman of Riyadh Angel Investors, an angel network in Saudi Arabia, told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview.

“Even though the UAE comes before [currently], some of these companies who are based in the UAE are Saudi companies because [of] the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai legislations. 

“Once Saudi launches its free zone and the new legislations, the UAE numbers will drop for sure,” said Alaraj, who is also the more...