Research Proposal

Saudi Arabian Oil and Gas Professionals


To provide insights around marketing to those in Saudi Arabia and the middle east region that are professionals in the oil and gas industry.

Early Findings

Saudi Arabian/Middle East Oil and Gas Industry Professional Demographic

  • Women make up only 23% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia, with restrictions around driving, labor market participation, and the requirement for male guardianship making any progress in this area is slow. Despite more than 30% of the female workforce having degrees, compared to just 10% of their male counterparts, they are still grossly under-represented in the top echelons of all industry, including the oil and gas industry.
  • Over 85% of those employed in the public sector are Saudi nationals. There is also a strong ex-pat presence in the oil and gas industry, but predominantly Saudi nationals hold the more senior roles. In the private sector, around 80% of those employed are Saudi nationals, with a similar trend toward Saudi nationals in senior positions.
  • Saudi Arabia presents some interesting cultural challenges when creating a marketing plan. The population is predominantly of Islamic origin, and the roots of modern culture are steeped in the traditions and rules of times past. This means that there are certain roles, rules, and hierarchies that need to be considered.
  • Arabic is the most commonly spoken throughout the country. It is the official language of Saudi Arabia and many of the other countries in the middle east. Variations on the Arabic language have seen the development of a gulf dialect, which is the location of the majority of those in the oil and gas industry.


  • There is no precompiled data that can be used to create a demographic specific to the oil and gas industy professional. However, by adopting a process similar to that of a sieve, certain data has been filtered to create the beginnings of a marketing profile for a Saudi Arabian professional in the oil and gas industry.
  • By leveraging national population data, employment data, and other government data against established population characteristics, we are able to develop an understanding of those likely to be in the positions indicated. This can be used in developing an appropriate marketing strategy.
  • Using the data above, the average Saudi Arabian Professional working in the oil and gas industry is a male Saudi national. He will speak Arabic, but use the gulf dialect. His beliefs will be based on the traditions of Islam, meaning certain aspects of the culture must be preserved in any marketing. Finally, the professional will perform a patriarchal role both in his family and community.
  • The primary disadvantage of adopting this approach is it is time intensive as a number of different sources must be considered for it to be meaningful.
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