Taarek Hinedi – vice president of FedEx Express Middle East and Africa Operations
Unlocking Growth: How Logistics is Transforming Saudi Arabian Oud Businesses

In recent years, the appetite for rare and distinctive fragrances has skyrocketed in the West, as consumers increasingly seek new scents that transcend the boundaries of conventional European perfumery. 

With oud – a rare oil derived from agar trees – Saudi Arabian businesses have masterfully seized the opportunity to address contemporary fragrance preferences. By offering fragrances that blend Arabic perfumery with contemporary tastes , Saudi SMEs have brought a unique depth to Western fragrances, while the precious oil itself has grown to become a novelty for European perfume houses .

From Saudi Arabia to the world

The global fragrance industry is expected to be worth SAR 375 billion (USD 100 billion) by 2037. Meanwhile, Google searches for ‘oud’ over the past year were highest in the Netherlands and Belgium. The combination of these two data points suggests a growth and expansion opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Saudi Arabian oud industry. 

These global opportunities have become more accessible with the support of government-backed local initiatives. For instance, the Kingdom's Saudi Vision 2030 transformation plan lists the development of the SME segment as a key priority, with  several programs launched to encourage competitiveness. Additionally, forward-thinking initiatives such as the “Made in Saudi” program have effectively promoted the diversification of the Saudi economy by helping local businesses expand their reach with increased exports to priority markets. 

With a prime geographical location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Saudi businesses are well-placed to export their products to international markets. However, barriers to entry and supply chain planning and coordination have traditionally posed overwhelming challenges for SMEs. Reliable logistics providers, with comprehensive air and ground networks and a thorough understanding of global supply chains, have thus played an important role to unlock new opportunities for Saudi oud SMEs while contributing to the Kingdom's economic growth.

Empowering oud SMEs with advanced logistics solutions

Today, Saudi oud can be found in shopping districts and carts across major Western cities. Local businesses have leveraged the power of end-to-end logistics to streamline their operations and meet the increasing demand for oud in markets all over the world. With innovative shipping methods, efficient transportation networks, advanced inventory management systems, and expansive distribution channels, local businesses have successfully accessed global opportunities. 

As they build and expand their operations, Saudi SMEs can further improve their pace and output through smart logistics solutions such as automated shipping and delivery processes, customs tools, real-time tracking and tracing, temperature and humidity control, and insightful reporting tools. These services help Saudi SMEs compete on the same level as their global counterparts and establish a strong foundation for their international growth.

By adopting a portfolio of logistics solutions tailored to the unique needs of their operations, Saudi SMEs can capitalize on the growing international market for their products. Strategic support from logistics providers will continue to prove essential in ensuring that the rich, aromatic legacy of Saudi oud continues to flourish on the global stage.

Taarek Hinedi – vice president of FedEx Express Middle East and Africa Operations

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