The United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have enjoyed a tumultuous yet mainly positive relationship for over 100 years. The origins of the two Kingdoms’ alliance date back to the signing of two historically important treaties. The first, The Treaty of Darin, was signed in 1915 and made the lands of the House of Saud a British protectorate. This treaty was significant as it was the first time international recognition was given to the fledgling Saudi state. In 1927 a second treaty between the two nations was signed, The Treaty of Jeddah. This recognised the independence of Ibn Saud and gave sovereignty over the two regions then known as The Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. It paved the way for the unification of the two regions into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. This treaty ensured the safety of neighbouring British protectorates in the region.
The U.K was one of the first states that recognised the country and as such had a diplomatic delegation present as far back as 1926. Four years later in 1930 saw the cementing of the two countries’ relationship with the opening of the Saudi embassy in London, only the countries second official foreign affairs office abroad.
Today Saudi Arabia is the UK’s primary trading partner within the Middle East. With over 200 joint ventures between the two nations with an estimated worth of over $17 billion the financial benefits of the alliance are clear. Saudi Arabia is known for having strict visa applications but the close ties between the Kingdoms ensure that over 30,000 British nationals live and work in the region thanks to their Saudi Arabia business visas.
Looking forward to the future, it is safe to assume that unless something radical was to occur, the two countries will continue to enjoy their mutually beneficial relationship. With the 2030 Saudi vision plan in full flow it is reasonable to think the 30,000 UK expats currently living and working in the region is a number that will continue to grow. Obtaining a Saudi business visa is notoriously difficult but the relationship between the two countries ensure it is not as difficult a process as applying from a country which does not enjoy such close ties. A Saudi business visa still requires an official invite from the Saudi Chamber of commerce and Ministry of Foreign affairs but with www.saudiarabiavisa.co.uk help, the web of paperwork and green tape is easily navigated.