Key Insights
Key Insights 1 min

Key Insights

The scale of the opportunity that now exists for Saudi Arabia’s nascent domestic fashion industry can hardly be overstated. 

By cultivating within the Kingdom a thriving fashion sector capable of overseeing and executing all aspects of the fashion value chain - from design and manufacture to logistics and retail - Saudi Arabia will reduce reliance on overseas fashion imports and create a wide range of fulfilling creative and non-creative fashion-related employment opportunities. 

For context, in 2021, the Kingdom spent $7.3 billion (SAR 27 billion) on imported fashion goods.

As it becomes increasingly mature, Saudi Arabia’s domestic fashion industry will contribute strongly toward the realisation of the medium-term Vision 2030 strategic goals, particularly as they relate to non-oil GDP growth, job creation and cultural enrichment.


The State of Fashion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2023

Refer to the downloadable State of Fashion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia report for a full insight into the latest fashion data and findings

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the world’s 18th largest economy with an evaluated GDP per capita of US$27,941 (SAR 104,778) in 2023, making it one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

The economy is driven by the oil sector which accounts for 80% of all export earnings and 43% of the nation’s GDP. As a result of Vision 2030, the economy is now undergoing significant structural transformation to reduce dependence on oil through economic diversification.

The Saudi fashion ecosystem is a broad ecosystem that accounts for 1.4% of the Kingdom’s GDP and that is responsible for approximately 230,000 jobs, or 1.8% of the total labour force. A full 60% of all ecosystem value is presently created within the retail and wholesale value chain components.

Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest nations in the world
gdp per capita
The Fashion Sector

Saudi Arabia's fashion sector is vibrant and valued at $24.6bn (SAR 92.2billion) in 2021, with a predicted rise in demand for fashion goods by a CAGR of 13% from 2020 to 2025. This represents a total growth of 47.9%. Growth is anticipated across all fashion categories—apparel, accessories, footwear, and luxury goods—with luxury expected to surge by 30% from 2022 to 2025.

Import substitution presents a major opportunity. Indeed, the local production displacement of only a fraction of the US$7.3 billion (SAR 27.4 billion) imported annually within the fashion value chain, opens huge opportunities for firms in the domestic supply chain, including manufacturers, logistics and transport service providers, and specialist machinery suppliers. 

Saudi’s clothing and textiles MVA of US$2.3 billion (SAR 8.6 billion) in 2019 was substantially larger than any other GCC economy, and nearly a full US$1 billion (SAR 3.75 billion) higher than the next largest GCC producer, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Saudi fashion consumers proved also resilient amid Covid-19, where private consumption only decreased 8.1% during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 relative to 12.5% (UAE), 13.2% (UK) and 8.1% (France).

A 20% displacement of fashion imports into the Kingdom at 2021 levels would generate additional local manufacturing sales of US$1.4 billion (SAR 5.25 billion).

Find the full report here
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