Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had licensed 44 international companies to set up regional headquarters in the capital Riyadh under the kingdom’s push to become a regional commercial hub and vie for foreign capital and talent, according to Reuters.

Among the 44 companies are multinationals in sectors including technology, food and beverages, consulting and construction including Unilever, Baker Hughes and Siemens, the article said. The move, part of efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for Saudis, has put the kingdom in competition with regional business hub the United Arab Emirates.

The kingdom earlier this year said 24 companies had signed agreements to establish main regional offices – including PepsiCo (PEP.O), Schlumberger (SLB.N), Deloitte [RIC:RIC:DLTE.UL], PwC and Bechtel – rather than oversee operations remotely from the UAE’s Dubai emirate.

European law firm DWF Group said on Wednesday that Riyadh would become its regional headquarters for business services.