chapter  3
15 Pages

Regional Markets and Business Environment

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is intimately linked to the Arab and Muslim worlds. It is culturally and nationally part of a larger entity called the Arab world. Because it houses holy places in Islam, Mecca and Medina, it yearly receives millions of Muslims, as pilgrims, from all parts of the world and is often considered the defender and advocate of Muslim issues and concerns. The Kingdom has always found itself at the center of the global stage, in addition to its global energy role. While it is not clear how these three dimensions-national, religious, and energy-interact simultaneously and what their collective consequences are, what is clear, however, is that for good or bad, Saudi Arabia cannot escape its global and regional roles and has to take initiatives or involve itself in confronting issues, whether it likes it or not. These issues have far-reaching global implications. In fact, identifying these issues and dealing with them in a satisfactory way has become a pressing concern.