Brief History

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adopts the approach of development planning in drawing its social and economic policies and programs within the framework of comprehensive five year plans, which included two basic complementary roles: the guiding role, concerned with state institutions and the public sector, and an indicative role, related to the private sector.

In this regard, the 2030 Vision outlines the general trends for all aspects of the country’s socio-economic development for the coming years. The plan also addresses the main challenges expected, along with the policies, programs and resources needed to meet these challenges and achieve development goals and objectives.

In this context, and during 2016, the International Organization for Migration [IOM] appointed, by special agreement, its first staff at the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action to support IOM cooperation with the International Solidarity Organization on humanitarian aspects and capacity-building activities.

Another Memorandum of Understanding was signed, in December 2016, between IOM and the Human Rights Committee in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the field of capacity building for related institutions in Saudi Arabia (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry of Justice).

A related workshop was held from the 26th to 27th of November 2018, resulting in the development of a 36-month anti-trafficking project that is expected to be signed soon.

In 2017, IOM submitted a request to open an official office in Saudi Arabia, and the government is currently considering the application. Thus, IOM is currently a non-resident agency and part of the United Nations country team, where most United Nations agencies have the same status.

Key Donors

King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action 


Office Location

IOM Saudi Arabia 

UN Building, no. 9, Dipolomatic District 

Postal Code: 94623 

Riyadh, 11614, Saudi Arabia 

Migration Activities

Anti-trafficking project in progress 

IOM proposes the support of the Human Rights Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to address anti-terrorism issues with a focus on five areas of intervention: (1) monitoring of anti-trafficking activities in the country; (2) prosecution; (3) protection; (4) prevention; and (5) cooperation and partnership. Thus, when the proposal is signed, the International Organization for Migration will be able to have an active presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This would enable IOM to expand on its other activities as there are good prospects.

Thematic Programming 

Movements of migrants from the Gulf Cooperation Council (2017)


Country of Departure  Country of Destination  Total Travelers
UAE CA, GB, SE, FI, IE  128
Bahrain SE 3
Kuwait CA, GB, SE  80
Oman SE 1
Qatar CA, NO, SE  13
Saudi Arabia CA, GB, GH, IS, NO, SE, 122


The table only covers the records for January-June 2018 

Country of Departure Country of Destination Total Travelers
UAE CA, GB, SE  79
Kuwait CA 9
Saudi Arabia CA, GB, SE, IS  56


External relations / finance (2018)

Value Type Country
$2,230,000  WASH  Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh 
$1,444,986  2nd in-kind NFI  Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh 
$600,000  CS  Greece 
$46,082,678  YHRP  Yemen 
$1,000,000  CS  Lahij, Yemen 
$2,000,000  AVRR  Somalia