Saudi Arabia has come a long way since its formation/unification in 1932. The economy boomed and a desert turned into one of the modern metropolis’ in the world. However, there are several companies which exist since before the Kingdom itself.
1-House of Alireza, which is also known as Beit Zainal, is known to be the oldest commercial enterprise, with its foundations dating back to 1845. Zainal Alireza began importing textiles, food and other stuff in Jeddah. The owner was awarded the commercial registration number 1 by the Government.
2-Binzagr is another one of the oldest companies in the Kingdom. The Binzagr group can trace its foundation back to 1881 when they became a small trading company. Even today, the company’s core business is formed by distribution and trading, with the Binzagr group holding the exclusive rights to distribution to several international products such as personal care, home care, automotive and food and drink.
3-The Yousuf MA Nadhi & Sons Group was formed in 1911 and it has over time become one of the most recognized and trusted names in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The headquarters of the group is in Jeddah and they also have operations in the UAE and Egypt.
4-Jamjoom is a household name which boasts operating in the Kingdom for more than 100 years. There are several subsidiaries under the umbrella of Jamjoom in several countries in the GCC region. The group deals with a wide range of things ranging from real estate, medicine to automotive and manufacturing amongst others.[irp]
5-The Saudi Hollandi Bank started operations in 1926 and was the first bank in the Kingdom. It initially operated as a branch of the Netherlands trading society to serve the Hajj Pilgrims from the Dutch East Indies. The bank then also acted as the de facto central bank of the Kingdom and stored all of the gold reserves as well as the oil revenues on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia. Today it is one of the most trusted and largest banks in the country.
6-Ittihad club is a Jeddah based Sports Club famous for their football club Ittihad FC. It was formed in 1927 which makes it the oldest club in the Kingdom. To date, it has won 8 league titles and also 47 different championships including the Asian championship title.
7-The Saudi Bin Ladin Group was formed in 1931. Saudi Bin Ladin Group is currently one of the biggest construction companies around the world. They are involved in several key projects in the Kingdom since their foundation, such as the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, the Abraj Al Bait Towers, the Al Hada Highway, the King Saudi University and also the expansion of the 2 Holy Mosques located in Madina and Makkah amongst others.[irp]
8-The Al Bilad Arabic language newspaper was started in April of 1932. Initially, it was printed only once every week and was printed under the title of, The Voice of Hejaz. The name was changed to Al Bilad after 28 years.