This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed "Saudi district gears up for foreign firms" carried by the newspaper on April 8. According to it, "KAFD [the King Abdullah Financial District in the Saudi capital] will offer companies incentives such as zero percent corporate tax for 50 years, a 10-year waiver from the state's 'Saudization' policy to reserve jobs for Saudis and 'preferential' treatment in government contracts."
It is said that the KAFD "is taking centre as competition heats up with Dubai to attract foreign firms". In my view, however, the Saudi district cannot constitute any real challenge to this emirate owing to a variety of reasons. In 2019, for example, Dubai loosened its liquor laws because of a slump in alcohol sales. It is no secret that the UAE dominates other countries around the Middle East when it comes to dinking.
Shahid Bangash (Dubai)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021