Hamburghini, anyone? Huge US firms inspire Saudi success stories

The topic of businesses in Saudi Arabia prompts most people to think of prosaic oil extraction companies and the state-owned oil giant Aramco, estimated to be the world’s most valuable firm.
What is less well known is that the kingdom has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture – particularly in the lucrative fast food industry.
It all started when Ahmed Bin Hamad al-Said returned to Saudi Arabia after studying in the United States. It was 1981 and McDonalds was busy conquering America while other fast food restaurants were popping up around the rest of the world. The entrepreneur-in-the-making soon saw a gap in the market. “Why not in Saudi Arabia?” he thought…

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