Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Trade Mission 2020-03-06T10:02:04+00:00


World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, is coordinating an official state trade mission led by Governor Gary R. Herbert to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The cities of Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai offer tremendous opportunities for Utah companies interested in increasing their footprint in the Middle East.

The trade mission will take place from April 14 through April 24, 2020.
ATTENTION: This date was updated on 12/10/2019.

This trade mission will be a significant opportunity for Utah businesses to grow their international sales and to connect with potential partners and investors in highly dynamic countries that are eager to expand their trade and investment relationships.

On this trade mission, you will engage with high-level business and investment leaders, receive market briefings by in-country experts and the U.S. Commercial Service, attend VIP networking receptions, participate in company visits and take part in customized B2B meetings.

Small and medium-sized companies may be eligible for grants administered by WTC Utah to off-set some trip costs and to receive customized trade services at no cost.  Please reach out to learn how you can apply.

Registration is now closed.

Why Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has the largest economy in the Arab World with a GDP of $684 billion. They are the second largest U.S. export market in the Gulf region, behind the UAE, receiving nearly $24 billion in U.S. exports of goods and services.  Major U.S. export products include transportation equipment, life science products and services (healthcare, medical devices, and biotechnologies), chemicals and pharmaceutical products. Saudi Arabia is also a major importer of U.S. services.  Additionally, Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of food and agricultural products in the Gulf Cooperation Council and demand for U.S. food products has increased in recent years.

Saudi Arabia has made great steps to diversify its economy and create a more moderate, open society, launching a massive economic and social reform program, dubbed Vision 2030, to accomplish these goals.  The primary economic goals of Vision 2030 include: spurring a more innovative, technologically advanced society and population; driving private sector investment; boosting local manufacturing of high-value products; improving the efficiency and accountability of government services; transforming the Public Investment Fund into the world’s largest investment fund and a major player in emerging technologies around the world; providing affordable housing; developing Saudi Arabia’s capital markets; building a renewable energy sector; attracting greater foreign direct investment; privatizing dozens of government entities; developing the mining sector; accelerating the development of the public transportation and the railway network; building effective domestic tourism infrastructure; and expanding natural gas and petrochemical production.

To accomplish these goals, Saudi Arabia is making significant investments in tech companies around the world and opening up the Saudi economy to facilitate more foreign investment into Saudi Arabia and partnerships between Saudi and foreign companies.  The rapid pace of economic and social change has created significant opportunities for technologies, products, and services that can help Saudi Arabia accomplish its Vision 2030 goals.

Why the United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been the top U.S. export market in the Middle East/North Africa region for the last 10 years and is a critical regional hub for 1,500 American companies doing business throughout the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.  In 2018, the United States exported $19.5 billion of goods and many billions in services to the UAE.

Likewise, the United Arab Emirates is a major investor in the United States, including a range of emerging technologies, infrastructure and real estate.  Best prospects for U.S. exports and foreign investment include aerospace and defense, education and education technology, life sciences (healthcare, biotech and medical devices), renewables and hydrocarbon energy, smart city technologies and security.  As the leading commercial hub serving the Middle East, Africa and Southern Asia, the UAE plays a central role as a regional trade, logistics and tourism center.

We are in the early stages of building out the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates trade mission program.  Below is an overview of the meetings and opportunities we are exploring with our Saudi and Emirati partners. They are not yet confirmed and are provided to give examples of the types of meetings and opportunities we are pursuing.

If you see a meeting that would be particularly valuable for your company or organization, please let us know.  We will prioritize these meetings based on feedback we receive from our participants. Likewise, if you are aware of other companies or organizations in either country that would be beneficial for you to connect with, let us know right away so that we can start reaching out to partners and do everything we can to arrange a meeting, either for a group or in a one-on-one setting.

In addition to these meetings, optional Gold Key services can provide B2B matchmaking services. We will send out updates as we confirm meetings and other elements of the schedule.

Saudi Arabia

MiSK Foundation
The MiSK Foundation is one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential organizations and has a mission to transform Saudi Arabia’s human capital.  It is the leading “think- and do-tank” tasked with creating a more innovative, professional, and competitive workforce, a significant task given the fact that nearly 60% of Saudis are aged 30 or younger.  WTC Utah has facilitated recent MiSK visits to Utah. MiSK has made investments with Utah companies and established strategic partnerships with others. Due to the strong partnerships that are forming, MiSK is exploring opening an office in Utah to accelerate the development of its strategic partnerships with Utah companies and universities.

Saudi Public Investment Fund
The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world and is the financial engine behind the Kingdom’s economic diversity initiative, known as Vision 2030. PIF has $300 billion in assets under management and aim to increase that amount to $2 trillion by 2030 through aggressive investments in domestic and international markets. The Utah delegation will promote Utah companies and investment leaders as opportunities and partners for future investments. 

Muslim World League
The Muslim World League is one of the largest Islamic organizations in the world.  Muslim World League Secretary General Mohammed Al Issa made a high-profile visit to Utah in November.  Several Utah organizations are now exploring areas of partnership with the Muslim World League.  Utah delegation members will have the opportunity to learn more about the Muslim World League and discuss potential areas of cooperation. 

Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco is the highest valued and most profitable corporation in the world as well as the largest energy producers, recently making headlines by going public on the Saudi stock exchange.  In recent years, the company has aggressively sought to diversify its energy portfolio, making significant investments in new energy technologies, renewables, advanced power systems, and downstream petrochemicals.  Aramco also is increasing its investments in the United States. Several Utah companies are engaged in significant projects with Aramco, and there remain high-priority potential areas for additional collaboration between Utah companies and Aramco. Utah companies will learn Saudi Aramco’s goals and be able to share new Utah technologies and opportunities to find ways that we can be supportive. WTC Utah and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development are working to host the 2020 Saudi Aramco Supplier Forum in Utah in May 2020.

Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC)
The Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company’s mission is to lead Saudi Arabia’s efforts to ensure that the Kingdom has sufficient food for its rapidly growing population.  In recent years, Saudi Arabia’s demand for imported alfalfa has significantly increased due to new restrictions on inefficient irrigation practices. There is an opportunity for Utah alfalfa exporters to provide significant amounts of Utah animal feed to Saudi Arabia as well as other Utah food and agricultural producers.

Saudi Chambers of Commerce
Utah companies will meet with a broad array of Saudi private businesses in a roundtable discussion to develop relationships and learn about challenges and opportunities for doing business in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East. 

Giga Projects
The Giga Projects are a broad array of developments to attract international tourism and business and to transform Saudi Arabia into “a place of fruitful engagements for the social and cultural needs of future generations.” Projects include Qiddiya City, NEOM – a $500 billion project to build a new international city (think Dubai) in northwest Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea Project – the world’s most ambitious tourism project that includes 28,000 sq. km area and more than 90 islands, and more. Utah companies and investors will learn about these ambitious projects and the fascinating social and economic reforms that are happening in the Kingdom as well as how Utah businesses can participate by providing services and products.

The United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, known as Masdar
Masdar Clean Energy is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale renewable energy projects, community grid projects, and acts as an energy services consultancy. Masdar is active in 25+ countries and has invested $13.5 billion in global projects. Utah companies in cleantech and sustainability will learn Masdar’s vision to find key areas where they can contribute. Additionally, Utah company will have the opportunity to network and present Utah entities as partners for future Masdar investments.

Mubadala Aerospace
Mubadala Aerospace is the parent company to a network of aerospace businesses that create innovative products and deliver value-added services to a worldwide customer base. They focus on manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul services, leasing, and other aerospace and defense areas. Utah hosts one of the most vibrant A&D industries in the country, its companies will find engaging discussions and new technologies at Mubadala Aerospace. Utah A&D companies will engage in partnership discussion as well as gain valuable market information concerning the U.A.E. and the Middle East. 

Mubadala Ventures
Mubadala Capital Ventures seeks to build one of the leading global venture platforms by being fully integrated into the world’s largest technology hubs. Utah technology companies and investors will present Silicon Slopes as a world leader in technology innovation and learn Mubadala practices for future partnerships. 

Sustainable City Dubai (Diamond Developers)
Sustainable City is the first net-zero energy development in the Emirate of Dubai. Utah companies and delegates will participate in a tour and discussion regarding innovative ideas of sustainability and clean energy. 

Dubai Science Park (DSP)
The Dubai Science Park supports innovation in the sciences by helping companies utilize cutting-edge technology and information to foster growth and change in the areas of human, plant, material, environmental and energy sciences. Utah’s strong life sciences industry will find like-minded partners in the Dubai Science Park. They will explore new ideas and possible partnerships in this visit to Dubai’s most innovative and vibrant community. 

Dubai South (Aviation District)
The Dubai South Aviation District has a world-class integrated aviation and aerospace ecosystem. The hub also enjoys a powerful alliance with adjacent Al Maktoum International Airport, which upon completion is destined to become the world’s largest airport with a capacity to fly more than 220 million passengers and 16 million tons of cargo a year. Utah companies will be exposed to innovative ideas, partnerships, and technologies.  

The Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
JAFZA is the primary zone of DP World, a global port operator, and is an integral part of the U.A.E.’s integrated business hub. It contributes 23.8 percent of Dubai’s GDP, sustains $93 billion in trade, sustains 135,000 jobs, and provides access to a market of 3.5 billion people. In addition to the expansive business partnerships and opportunities, Utah delegates will gain valuable knowledge to be applied to Utah’s future Inland Port. 

Gulftainer is a port management and 3PL logistics company with a major presence in the United States, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Iraq. Gulftainer has expressed interest in learning more about Utah’s Inland Port.  Their primary operations include Port Canaveral, Florida; Port Wilmington, New Jersey; Horfakkan Container Terminal; Sharjah Container Terminal; and Sharjah Inland Container Depot. Utah participants will gain invaluable insights into port logistics and operations, new technologies in port management, and share with Gulftainer information about Utah’s Inland Port to explore whether potential partnership opportunities exist. 

Dubai Future Accelerators
Dubai Future Accelerators facilitate partnerships between entrepreneurs, private sector organizations and government entities to create innovative solutions. Utah companies and investors will learn key practices of accelerators and incubators in the Middle East and South Asia and be exposed to export knowledge and partnerships of a wide network of Dubai associates.

Ghadan 21
Ghadan 21 is a $50 billion development accelerator that aims to enhance the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi through a focus on business and investments, society, knowledge, and lifestyle. A variety of Utah industries and companies will gain insights from this visit. The initiative includes projects in renewable energy, housing, technology, sporting initiatives, and more.  It’s flagship initiative is Hub71, which strives to attract top venture capital funds and investors to increase the capital available to startups and to provide access to global markets. Utah investors and companies will engage in discussions about potential areas of partnership between Utah and the UAE’s tech ecosystems.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is one of the world’s leading energy producers. ADNOC has diversified its operations and expanded its influence, now comprising 18 companies and subsidiaries. They seek innovative technologies to maximize value and meet the challenges of an ever-changing energy market. Utah’s energy sector also seeks to expand production through new innovative technologies and strategic partnerships. ADNOC and Utah entities will engage in a discussion focused on technology innovation and future partnerships.

AmCham Abu Dhabi
AmCham Abu Dhabi is a member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce. Their goal is to promote commerce, investment, and goodwill between the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Their network includes Fortune 500 companies, small and medium-sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs. Utah delegates will learn best practices for engaging in business in the United Emirates and gain insights into entry, investments, and partnerships.

AmCham Dubai
AmCham Dubai is a member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce and was the first bilateral trade organization established in the U.A.E. They are the consolidated voice of the American industry, provide a relationship-building platform between business communities, and drive knowledge sharing and information distribution to improve American business.  Utah companies will learn and engage with current business leaders in Dubai concerning obstacles and opportunities in the area.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) drives sustainable growth through the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program. Utah companies will be presented with an array of partnerships and new ideas and technologies. ENEC also serves as the investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi, making strategic investments in the nuclear sector, both domestically and internationally. We will also market Utah as a national competitor and clear choice for future investments.


Please review the “Potential Meetings” tab on the left for additional details about the type of business meetings you can expect on the trade mission 

Day 1, April 14
Depart from Salt Lake City to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Day 2, April 15
Arrive late in the evening in Saudi Arabia

Day 3, April 16
Business meetings and country market briefing in Riyadh 

Day 4, April 17
Cultural excursion to Ad Diriyah followed by a high-level dinner with Saudi business and government leaders

Day 5, April 18
Short flight for a day trip to Al Ula, hosted by Saudi Tourism

Day 6, April 19
Business meetings

Day 7, April 20
Morning travel to UAE. 

Day 8, April 21
Business meetings and country market briefing in Dubai

Day 9, April 22
Business meetings followed by an Embassy reception in Abu Dhabi

Day 10, April 23
Business meetings and the option to participate in a desert safari and Bedouin tent dinner.  Travel to the airport late in the evening for flight to SLC

Day 11, April 24
Arrive in SLC

Participation Cost

Participation fee

There is a required participation fee for each participant who attends the trade mission. Payment details will be sent upon completion of registration.

Participation fee is $1600 and includes: 

  • All official trade mission events and materials, including meetings, embassy receptions and country market briefings
  • Airport pick-up and drop-offs and in-country ground transportation for trade mission meetings and events
  • Most meals

Spouses are welcome to participate in the trade mission at a discounted rate.

Additional Costs

Cultural Excursions

Participants have the option of joining the trade delegation for designated cultural excursions.  In Saudi Arabia, this will likely include visits to the historic heart of Saudi Arabia, Ad Diriyah, and a chartered flight to Al Ula, courtesy of Saudi Tourism, an ancient city and oasis next to spectacular Nabatean ruins similar to what is found in Petra, Jordan.  In Dubai, the cultural excursion will likely be a desert safari and Bedouin tent dinner. We will send updates as soon as we confirm these cultural excursions.


Hotels are to be booked and paid for on your own.  However, we have negotiated rates at the following hotels if you wish to stay with the delegation. Please remember that all delegation transportation will be initiated from these hotels.

Ritz Carlton (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia):  The delegation will arrive in Riyadh on April 15th and depart on April 20th.  If two people will be staying in the room, please book double occupancy.  Link:  Hotel Link in Saudi Arabia

JW Marriott (Dubai, UAE):  Please be advised that the hotel has added additional room block dates before and after our actual arrival and departure dates for people to register. PLEASE DO NOT BE CONFUSED BY THAT. The date our delegation is arriving from Saudi Arabia to Dubai is April 20 and we will depart for the airport late the night of April 23rd. The 23rd will be a day for our delegation to tour Dubai or set up meetings on their own. We will have the cultural outing (a Desert Safari) that afternoon/evening for those who have signed up. Please keep in mind that our flight does not leave until after midnight. When you arrive at the hotel, you can ask for a late check out (6 pm) the night of April 23rd, but you will be charged for a half day rate. This option is subject to availability at the time of check-in. If you wish to have a leisurely evening and be able to stay in your hotel room as long as possible, you may wish to book your hotel room until April 24th. You will be charged the full nightly rate. For those who have signed up for the Desert Safari cultural excursion, it does not make sense to book your room for a full extra night as we will be going straight to the airport upon returning from the Desert Safari.  Room Features:  WTC Utah has requested King Beds for everybody.  If you would like a different type of bed type, please note when booking. You can do this, along with any other special requests, by clicking on “Choose Room Features” in the Review Reservation Details. If two people will be staying in the room, please book double occupancy.  Link:  Book your group rate for World Trade Center Utah.


All participants are responsible for making sure their own flights are paid for and booked.

WTC Utah recommends the following round trip SLC flights below:


LEG #1 Salt Lake City to Riyadh*

April 14: Air France Flight 2611 (operated by Delta – Flight 1182) Salt Lake City – Minneapolis, Saint Paul MSP International Airport (11:09 AM arr 2:40 PM); Air France Flight 3566 Minneapolis, Saint Paul International Airport – Paris CDG (5:02 PM arrives 8:15 AM on April 15th)

April 15: Air France Flight 6672 Paris CDG – Riyadh RUH (11:25 AM arr 6:35 PM)

*The above flight allows you to check your luggage all the way through to Riyadh. If arriving in Paris on a different flight, you will likely need to collect your luggage in Paris and check into the Paris-Riyadh flight at the check-in counter. Please ensure ample time (5 plus hours) to do so as Saudia runs only one direct flight to Riyadh per day.

LEG #2: Dubai to Salt Lake City

April 24: Air France Flight 655 (operated by Delta – Flight 8627) Dubai DXB – Paris CDG (12:40 AM arrives 6:00 AM).  Please note you will arrive at the airport to check-in late the night of April 23rd; Air France Flight 8990 (operated by Delta – Flight 221) Paris CDG – Salt Lake City International Airport (10:30 AM arrives 1:20 PM)


April 20: FlyDubai Flight 848 Riyadh RUH-Dubai DXB (9:50 AM arrives 12:50 PM)

Apply for STEP Funding

The STEP Grant is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant seeks to help Utah businesses enter and expand into dynamic global markets. This initiative aims to increase the number of small businesses exporting in Utah, increase revenues and sales of Utah-made goods and services and increase Utah’s GDP through international trade.

Click here to apply for the STEP Grant and a chance to represent the state of Utah on the Governor-led Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.

If you would like to attend the Governor-led Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. with STEP Grant funding, please contact Nicole Sherwood at (801) 599-9185 or

Gold Key Service

The Gold Key Service through U.S. Commercial Service provides Utah companies traveling as part of the state’s trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. with pre-screened appointments to establish relationships with potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives, business partners and other local entities in-country.


You must be an established, export-ready U.S. company seeking to export goods or services of U.S. origin or that have at least 51% U.S. content to utilize this service.  All applicants will be screened by the Embassy or Consulate to ensure there is a viable market for their product/service before the service is accepted.


The fee for a Gold Key Service will be announced shortly.  

The fee includes:

Pre-trip debriefings with U.S. Commercial Service trade specialists in the market on your product/service.

Up to five pre-screened appointments to establish relationships with potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives, business partners and other local entities in-country in your industry.

Post-meeting debrief onsite with trade specialists and assistance in developing appropriate follow-up strategies.

The fee for the service does not include other direct costs, such as translation, transportation, use of contractors, catering and venue rental.  These costs will be made known to the applicant if applicable.

Appointments with prospective trade partners in key industry sectors.

Post-meeting debriefing with trade specialists and assistance in developing appropriate follow-up strategies.

Applications are now closed. 

The deadline to register for Gold Key Services is January 31, 2020. 

U.S. Commercial Service (Gold Key) Contact:

Shelby Daiek
(801) 524-3091


WTC Utah Contact:

Courtney Rae
International Program Manager
(435) 901-4377

Nicole Sherwood
STEP Project Manager
(801) 599-9185

U.S. Commercial Service (Gold Key) Contact: 

Shelby Daiek
(801) 524-3091