Unlocking Investment Opportunities: Saudi Arabia and Egypt Open Doors to Foreign Investors in their Mining Sectors

In recent years, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have made significant strides to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into their respective mining sectors.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have made significant strides to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into their respective mining sectors. With ambitious economic visions and strategic plans, both countries aim to capitalize on their rich mineral resources to drive growth, diversify their economies, and foster sustainable development. This blog post delves into the regulatory changes made by Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and Egypt's revised Mining Law, shedding light on the opportunities and challenges that await foreign investors in these burgeoning mining markets.

Under the Vision 2030 initiative, Saudi Arabia has set its sights on the mining and minerals sector, targeting an astounding USD 170 billion in investment. This plan seeks to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and establish a robust, diversified economy. To achieve this, Saudi Arabia has made pivotal amendments to its Mining Law in 2021, effectively easing restrictions and inviting foreign investors to participate in this transformative journey. 

The new Saudi Mining Law marks a significant shift by allowing foreign investors to obtain mining licenses without requiring a Saudi partner, except for oil and gas exploration, drilling, and production. This move has allowed international companies and investors to participate actively in the Kingdom's mining and minerals sector.

To ensure that investors are well-equipped to undertake mining operations responsibility, the Saudi government requires them to demonstrate sufficient technical expertise and financial capability. This includes providing at least five years of experience in the mining industry and having the financial means to fund their mining ventures adequately. 

Foreign investors seeking mining licenses in Saudi Arabia must have a Saudi entity to hold the license. This requirement encourages partnerships with local entities, fostering collaboration between international investors and local stakeholders. However, a Saudi consultant's involvement may still be necessary for certain licenses, ensuring the expertise and knowledge of local mining practices are respected.

Egypt has taken bold steps to transform its mining sector and position it as a major contributor to the country's GDP. With plans to increase the mining sector's economic impact tenfold by 2026, Egypt revised its Mining Law in 2019, aiming to attract foreign investment and create a conducive environment for mining companies.

In an effort to encourage FDI, Egypt's revised Mining Law removed the mandatory requirement for foreign investors to form local joint ventures. However, authorities may still require joint ventures with the Egyptian government on a case-by-case basis, ensuring a balance between local involvement and foreign expertise.

One of the challenges foreign investors face in Egypt's mining sector is the patchwork of regulatory authorities overseeing mining projects. The involvement of multiple authorities, such as the local governorate, the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA), can lead to administrative complexities and potential conflicts.

While Egypt's revised Mining Law brought about positive changes, investors must still carefully assess the financial obligations they would incur. Significant royalties and social responsibility contributions may impact the overall viability of investments in the Egyptian mining sector. Additionally, investors must commit to exploration expenditures to support their operations.

On the bright side, Egypt's Investment Law designates the natural resources sector as a priority for investment, offering tax incentives and reduced customs rates. Companies operating in designated geographical areas, known as investment zones, may benefit from these incentives, providing an added incentive for foreign investors.

The regulatory changes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt have undoubtedly opened up exciting opportunities for foreign investors seeking to tap into their vast mineral wealth. With Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 seeking USD 170 billion in investment and Egypt envisioning a tenfold increase in the mining sector’s contribution to GDP, both countries are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for sustainable development and economic diversification.

For investors, navigating the intricacies of the regulatory environment in each country will be vital. While Saudi Arabia has lifted many barriers for foreign ownership and licensing, Egypt presents a unique landscape with potential challenges related to regulatory complexity and financial obligations. However, with the promise of tax incentives and reduced customs rates, Egypt remains an attractive destination for investors willing to embrace its evolving mining sector.

As the global demand for minerals continues to surge, foreign investors now have the chance to participate in developing Saudi Arabia and Egypt's mining sectors, contributing to their economic prosperity while reaping the benefits of this profitable venture. By carefully evaluating the opportunities and challenges, investors can make well-informed decisions and play a pivotal role in shaping the future of mining in these dynamic nations.

Contact Bremer Law 

Bremer’s team of experienced attorneys can assist you in staying up to date on foreign direct investments in the mining sector in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

DownloadRead ArticleLISTEN HERE

Strategic Locations

Bremer maintains offices throughout the Near and Middle East and Africa, positioning clients for success in the region.


21 Soliman Abaza
GIC Tower 3rd Floor
El-Dokki, 12311 Giza
Cairo, Egypt


Amenity Center
Ras Al Khaimah
United Arab Emirates

Saudi Arabia

4461 Al Hamdi
Ar Rabwah
Riyadh 12816
Saudi Arabia


Sahab Tower
Level 18
Mohammad Thunayan Al-Ghanim Street
Kuwait City, Kuwait


Nymphenburger Str. 190
D-80636 Munich


Nymphenburger Str. 190
D-80636 Munich