Productive families have been a key component of the Saudi economy. In 2022 alone, sales from families supported by the Social Development Bank exceeded SR13 billion, according to an annual report from the National Transformation Program (NTP). This is an impressive figure for family-run businesses, especially considering that the majority of these firms are small.
Productivity and the role of the family are core concepts in Saudi Arabian culture. The family is seen as a central pillar of most people’s social circles and provides financial and emotional support, as well as moral guidance. Individuals often privilege their family’s wishes above their own, and are expected to sacrifice some interests in order to meet the needs of others (see Gheera in Core Concepts).
Despite the decline in average household size, males still play a prominent role in households. Almost two out of every three individuals living in a typical household are males, either as heads or sons, and only a negligible number as daughters. This is in stark contrast to countries such as Japan, where households consist of a single person (Almalki and Ganong, 2018).
The main reason for this discrepancy is related to cultural factors. Many working-women in the hospitality sector have a college degree, and are generally employed by hotels, heritage restaurants, or productive families. Hence, these women are able to earn a higher income and provide a better standard of life for their families. However, it is important to note that this income is still not enough to meet basic living expenses, so the need for more economic opportunities remains a pressing concern. محل اسر منتجة