The Saudi labor market has undergone many changes in recent years, leading to a shift in the types of projects that are in demand in this broad market.

In response to these diverse changes, many new projects and ideas have been developed to fit this market. In this article from the GoStart.Biz website, we present a list of successful project ideas in Saudi Arabia.

This is to help all businesspeople who want to start their own project and need some information and ideas about the nature of this local market.

1.Solar Energy Project

The Saudi Arabian government is transitioning to solar energy as a replacement for fossil fuels, and as part of its Vision 2030, the kingdom has started implementing some solar energy projects.

In this context, the government is purchasing energy generated by privately-owned solar energy stations, which presents a great opportunity for business owners in the kingdom to establish their own solar energy companies and sell energy to the government.

To establish this project, you need to prepare some requirements, including:

1- Location:

A suitable location for establishing the project, with direct and sufficient sunlight for operating the solar panels or generators.

2. Solar Panels:

Suitable solar panels for the location, which come in two types:

  • Mono panels, suitable for cold climates.
  • Multi-crystalline panels, the most suitable type for high temperature climates.

3. Batteries:

Batteries to store the solar energy generated during the day for use at night. You can choose between:

  • Open lead-acid batteries, which require periodic liquid changes
  • Sealed lead-acid batteries, which do not require any liquid changes.

Both types have a long lifespan, reasonable price, and high quality, and are the best batteries compared to other options such as nickel and cadmium. However, they are smaller than lead-acid batteries and require some periodic maintenance.

Nickel and cadmium batteries are also options, but they are not as reliable or long-lasting as lead-acid batteries. They are also more expensive and require more maintenance.

4. Project Cost:

The cost of a project depends on various factors, such as the location where you want to generate energy.

It also depends on the type of materials you use. You can roughly estimate the cost of the land on which the project will be based, as well as the cost of solar panels, which is approximately $130 for a panel that generates 250 watts.

The cost of batteries should also be taken into account, depending on the type of battery. In addition, the cost of labor should be considered.

5. Technicians:

Specialized engineers or electricians who are experienced in installing solar panels and batteries, or a specialized company, can be hired to do this work.

The good news is that you will not need ongoing labor, and the workers will only be paid for the tasks they have agreed upon. You can search for the best specialists at the best prices.

6. Contracts:

You can sell the energy you generate by contracting with your government or marketing to companies or homes that rely on solar energy.

Note: If you are unable to fully establish this project, you can specialize in importing and selling solar panels, or setting up a company that specializes in installing, maintaining, and repairing solar panels and batteries. The importance of this type of project has increased in recent times.

2. Establishing a Software Company

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to become one of the top 20 most innovative digital countries in the world by 2030 according to its Digital Vision. This has made software and electronic businesses a real future in the Kingdom’s lands. The importance of this shift has increased with the spread of the coronavirus, which has given some major projects such as the ones we reviewed in a previous article titled “Innovative project ideas during the coronavirus crisis” great importance.

You can take advantage of these opportunities by setting up a software company that provides programming and software development services for computers, mobile applications, or specialized business management programs.

If you live in Saudi Arabia and are over 25 years old, have a college or even a high school education, then starting a software company is one of the best successful business ideas in Saudi Arabia.

You can start this project by following these steps:

  1. Obtain government licenses such as a tax register, company establishment license, trade register, and tax card.
  2. Rent an apartment, office, or any suitable place to serve as the company’s headquarters.
  3. Purchase a domain name and secure good, suitable website hosting, and register the company’s website.
  4. Choose a programming language that is suitable for the company’s business.
  5. Set up the necessary servers and databases to complete projects.
  6. Hire a team of competent and skilled employees, and you will need specialists in the following areas: (information systems, proficient programmers in the necessary programming languages, marketing and public relations officer, financial accountant, administrative manager, specialists in montage and video production).
  7. Start marketing your company and attracting customers.

If you haven’t started learning programming yet, now is the time to start in this field, which has become the future. You can learn how to embark on this journey by looking at the programming learning guide we have provided, which includes all the information you need.

3. Café for Women

In recent years, Saudi Arabian women have made great strides due to the implementation of many royal decisions that have restored their rights that were suppressed for years.

With this notable progress in the status of women, an increase in the number of working women and the allowance for women to drive has led to a greater need for women-only cafes where they can gather for leisure, waiting, or other purposes.

As a result, the women-only cafe project has become one of the leading projects that has achieved great success and popularity in the kingdom due to the novelty of the idea and women’s enthusiasm for it.

To run a women-only project, it is important to choose appropriate decorations for women, provide comfortable seating for them, offer their favorite sweets and ice cream, and also provide some women’s necessities in the restrooms.

You should not overlook the fact that you need a full team of women, as men are never allowed to enter. You should choose a responsible person for the kitchen and well-presented girls to serve orders and so on.

In general, this project requires some basic requirements which are summarized as follows:
  1. A suitable location in terms of size should be at least 150 square meters, for example, and in terms of location, it should be next to busy commercial areas, for example.
  2. Café machines such as coffee machines of various types, such as an espresso machine, an ice cream machine, a juice machine, and a snow machine.
  3. Various kitchen tools such as spoons, plates, forks, and knives, as well as pans for making pastries or frying potatoes, and other cleaning tools.
  4. Basic kitchen appliances such as a blender, refrigerator for storing food, drinks, and a dishwasher.
  5. Tables and chairs in appropriate shapes and sizes for the decorations.
  6. The necessary government papers to legally operate the café.

4. Tourism Services

Recently, the tourism industry in Saudi Arabia has been growing, especially after the establishment of various tourism projects, whether recreational or historical.

If you are a Saudi national or an investor living in Saudi Arabia with the necessary permits to set up projects within the country, then setting up a travel agency may be one of the most successful project ideas in Saudi Arabia currently.

The services of this agency generally rely on providing travel visa processing, organizing business and tourist trips, as well as hotel reservations, transportation, and other services.

To ensure the success of this investment project, try to get membership in local and state-approved associations, such as the airline company, to increase your customer appeal and strive to get recognition from the International Air Transport Association to gain more trust.

Tourist services office project requires some basic requirements, including:
  1. A suitable space for an office in a prime location, preferably facing a main street or adjacent to a shopping mall or busy tourist or commercial area.
  2. The office should be well-equipped and luxurious, suitable for the type of business, with comfortable chairs for customers, suitable air conditioning, and signage displaying the name of the office and pointing to tourist attractions. You may also consider placing decorative sculptures in the shape of a globe or of some tourist attractions.
  3. Electronic devices such as computers and phones, along with a strong internet connection, a counterfeit money detector, and security cameras may be needed. You may also want to provide coffee-making machines for employees and customers.
  4. The office typically requires experienced and competent employees with a good appearance and sufficient knowledge of how to interact with customers and persuade them. You will need an executive manager for the office, customer receptionists, and a technical employee responsible for programming and electronic work, as well as a cleaning staff member.
  5. The office should engage in extensive marketing through the internet, airlines, and its own website, among other channels.

5. Agricultural Projects

Increasing agricultural productivity on land in Saudi Arabia is one of the main goals of the current stage in the country. As a result, there are many crops that can be grown, either on a large agricultural plot of land or even on a smaller home surface.

There are also many agricultural projects that can be started, such as rabbit breeding projects, chicken and poultry farming projects, or dairy projects, among others.

The type of project you can start depends on the land area you want to farm, taking into consideration the availability of water and the climate of the location.

If you don’t have enough money to develop your agricultural project, the Saudi government has made it possible to request financial support through the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development program.

The Saudi government also offers the possibility of renting land to improve and increase the size of your agricultural project. You can benefit from this land by growing palm trees or other crops.

6. Mobile Car Wash

Mobile car wash businesses are a successful project idea in Saudi Arabia. This project is ideal for car enthusiasts and people who enjoy traveling between cities.

One of the benefits of this project is the low cost needed to start it. There is no need to rent a location, hire staff, or purchase large equipment. You can start the project by purchasing a used, fully equipped mobile car wash vehicle for only SAR 75,000.

The remaining costs depend on the type of equipment you choose to use, as well as the cost of hired labor and your marketing budget.

These costs can be divided into one-time costs that are paid at the beginning of the project, and ongoing costs that are paid monthly, depending on the various requirements needed to run the business.

We summarize these requirements as follows:

  1. A diesel car wash and disinfection machine costs approximately 25,000 to 30,000 Saudi Riyals.
  2. A good quality vacuum cleaner costs approximately 1,500 Saudi Riyals.
  3. Administrative expenses for obtaining necessary licenses cost approximately 5,000 Saudi Riyals.
  4. A 300 watt electric converter is needed to convert the current from the car to 220 volts.
  5. Cleaning and disinfecting materials cost approximately 150 Saudi Riyals per month.
  6. The car’s fuel costs approximately 150 to 200 Saudi Riyals per month.
  7. Marketing for the project and hiring staff will depend on the needs of the business and your budget.

7. Teaching Driving for Women

In 2018, a Saudi woman finally achieved her dream of driving a car for the first time after decades of waiting. This has caused a lot of excitement among Saudi women who want to try this new experience in Saudi society.

The project of teaching women to drive is one of the most successful business ideas in Saudi Arabia. It can be started with a very low amount of capital and does not require an office to begin.

If you are a Saudi woman who knows how to drive well and have your own or a rented car, you have the opportunity to become a businesswoman by teaching other women the basics of driving through practical training sessions.

You can start by introducing yourself and asking others to recommend you, so you can gain more clients. Alternatively, you can use online marketing on popular Saudi Arabian websites such as OpenSooq Saudi Arabia.

To begin this project, you may not need licenses or official documents, but you may need them later on if you want to expand.

Investors, both male and female, can also open a driving school for women. In this case, you will need a location for the project, as well as larger marketing campaigns and a larger number of cars. You will also need to meet any legal requirements for this project.

8. Importing Livestock is a Successful Project

It is common for the Saudi people to consume a large amount of meat, especially during occasions and celebrations. So, why not benefit from this wide market and import livestock at cheap prices and then sell them at local prices??!!!

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allows the import of livestock from more than 100 countries and regions from most continents. Livestock imported from Sudan, Ethiopia, Romania, Spain, Turkey and many other countries is allowed to enter the kingdom.

These shipments enter the kingdom after ensuring their compliance with the veterinary quarantine law of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and after obtaining an import permit at least one month before the date of shipment.

You can obtain a permit to import livestock and bring it into Saudi Arabia entirely online through the Saudi government’s Nama platform.

To obtain this permit, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Comply with the executive regulations of the veterinary quarantine law in GCC countries.
  2. Have a commercial record documenting the type of activity according to the required permit.
  3. Obtain a valid agricultural project license covering the quantity of the imported livestock.
  4. Obtain a CITES license if you want to import endangered animals.
  5. Identify the imported animals with a passport or an electronic slice or otherwise.

9. Coffee Roasting and Trading

Coffee is the most popular drink in Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf countries in general. In recent years, it has become more widespread with the introduction of new types of coffee such as espresso and many other types of coffee.

Therefore, a coffee roasting project is one of the most important successful project ideas in Saudi Arabia. The profits of this project can be increased by also preparing hot coffee along with roasting.

This project requires some basic requirements, which are as follows:

  1. Buy or rent a location in a busy or touristy area.
  2. Purchase a coffee roaster, which may be relatively expensive, with prices ranging from $25,000.
  3. Buy appropriate amounts of green coffee, with prices ranging from $300 to $500 per ton.
  4. Buy suitable containers for storing roasted, ground, and green beans.
  5. Purchase cups for serving coffee.
  6. Buy a pressing and filling machine for cups or coffee bags.
  7. Buy a scale for weighing beans.

You can also buy a coffee machine with some small tables, in addition to coffee serving cups, so you can serve hot coffee to the guests along with selling roasted beans.

This will multiply the project’s profit and increase the speed of the capital turnover.

10. Restaurant Project

Opening a restaurant is one of the most profitable business ideas in many countries around the world. In Saudi Arabia, the profitability of restaurants has increased due to the recent tourist boom in the country.

This is because the increase in tourists has led to a higher demand for ready-made restaurant meals with a variety of different tastes and cuisines.

If you are a Saudi national or a foreign investor with a Saudi national partner, starting a restaurant project can be a profitable idea for you.

You can choose from a range of different types of restaurants. For example, you can open an Asian restaurant serving Chinese or Indian food, or other popular cuisines. Alternatively, you can open a traditional restaurant that serves sandwiches and fast food.

One innovative idea in the restaurant industry is to open a healthy meal restaurant for those following specific dietary regimes. You could divide this restaurant into sections, with each section serving specific healthy meals, such as a section dedicated to the keto diet.

You could also open a restaurant that specializes in serving a specific type of food, such as seafood, shawarma, steamed rice and mandi, or traditional Saudi and Arab dishes.

In general, the success of a restaurant depends on the following factors:

  1. Providing all of the dishes listed on the menu.
  2. Paying attention to the taste and cleanliness of the food.
  3. Serving the food and drinks in an attractive and appealing way to customers.
  4. Ensuring that the place is always clean.
  5. The staff providing good service to customers and meeting their needs.
  6. Conducting successful and appropriate advertising campaigns.
  7. Offering delivery service to homes or workplaces.
  8. Providing competitive features compared to other restaurants.

Certainly, starting a restaurant requires a large amount of capital to cover expenses such as the location, kitchen equipment, decorations, and staff salaries. If you don’t have enough budget for such a project, you can consider looking for an idea that doesn’t require all of those costs by reading the article “Small Capital Projects.”

We have compiled a list of successful project ideas in Saudi Arabia, considering the variety of these projects to accommodate the different circumstances of those interested in starting a project.

We have also ensured that these ideas are consistent with current conditions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to maximize potential benefit in the Saudi market. Market research is essential for the success of any business project.