SAUDI ARABIA: Business schools eye desert kingdom

International business schools eager for new markets are looking to Saudi Arabia, where a still-strong economy and a big government push to boost management skills have created a pool of potential MBAs, writes Beth Gardiner for The Wall Street Journal.

As nearby economies like Dubai's sag, business schools have begun eyeing the small but growing new niche in the desert kingdom, particularly given Saudi students' taste for foreign education. A handful of international schools have launched programmes in the country, and more are recruiting Saudi students to their existing campuses.

A closed, conservative culture and reams of government red tape make Saudi Arabia a daunting place to set up shop. But its leaders are pouring money into education in an effort to tackle high unemployment and train Saudis to run the big businesses that now often depend on expat talent. Anxious to broaden an economy heavily dependent on oil, King Abdullah and his officials are also investing billions in new industries, and overseas business schools may help provide the trained executives they expect to need.
Full report on The Wall Street Journal site