Saudi Arabia has raised the stakes in a competition with freewheeling Dubai for foreign talent and cash. From 2024, the Saudi government will stop giving state contracts to companies and commercial institutions that base their Middle East hubs in any other country in the region, the Saudi finance minister told Reuters.
The measure is the latest attempt by the kingdom, a religiously conservative nation that is the birthplace of Islam, to remould itself as a financial and tourism hub under the leadership of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But challenging the dominance of Dubai, in neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the region’s commercial and financial capital will not be easy.
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