Saudi Arabia media companies start moving from Dubai to Riyadh

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia-owned media companies are gradually moving their offices and employees from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the kingdom as part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s campaign to transform the Saudi capital into a regional hub for business, media and entertainment.

The move comes in the wake of the Saudi government’s decision earlier this year to stop granting government contracts to companies and commercial establishments whose headquarters are in any other country in the Middle East.

As per the media reports, the Saudi Arabia’s own television channel Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath on August 30, have asked their employees, journalists and broadcasters to prepare for the relocation as they prepare for their headquarters in Dubai, to relocate to Riyadh.

The move will be carried out in three phases over a period of six months, the reports added.

The Saudi decision has caused confusion among employees, especially those who have children, starting the school from the academic year in September, London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.

Saudi authorities wanted a limited broadcast from the kingdom before the end of the year, followed by a 12-hour broadcast at a later stage, before it would be fully broadcast from Riyadh, Al Arabiya told media.

In mid-February, Saudi Arabia issued an ultimatum to foreign companies to set up their regional headquarters in Riyadh if they wanted to do business in the kingdom.

With effect from January 1, 2024, a Saudi law will prohibit government bodies from concluding contracts with international companies without a ‘regional headquarters’ in the country, but except those who have moved their headquarters, executive staff and support staff to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.