Stock - Saudi property / Saudi economy / Saudi skyline / Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Financial District
EY will oversee a workforce of 8,000 employees across 15 countries from its new base Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Multinational professional services firm formerly known as Ernst & Young, EY selects Riyadh as the location for its regional headquarters.

With operations spanning the Middle East and North Africa, EY will oversee a workforce of 8,000 employees across 15 countries from its new base in the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, according to a press release.

This decision aligns with Saudi Arabia's initiative to attract international companies under Vision 2030, which includes tax incentives announced by the Saudi Investment Ministry in December 2023. The move has sparked a significant increase, with over 120 international firms obtaining licenses to establish regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2024 alone, marking a 477 per cent year-on-year rise.

The Saudi Vision 2030 is a programme launched by the government in 2016, with the main aim of diversifying its economy away from the oil sector. It has three main pillars - a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.

EY MENA plans to unveil its expansive new office later this year, underscoring its enduring commitment to the region and marking a milestone in its transformative journey.

The Riyadh office, in addition to housing EY's regional operations, will feature the EY Wavespace Center, a 930 square metres collaborative platform aimed at fostering innovation in areas like artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Saudi Arabia's business-friendly environment, bolstered by incentives such as a 30-year exemption from corporate income tax and other benefits, continues to attract global interest, with 127 permits issued in the first quarter of the year alone, according to the ministry of investment's quarterly report.