There are also strict cultural rules that govern advertising, which has caused controversy in the past. Notable controversial Saudi ads have included airbrushing women out of Ikea catalogues, the portrayal of athletic women in a Nike ad and a Coke ad where a young woman is being taught to drive by her father.
And last year, Snap said it had blocked the Snapchat Discover channel for Qatar-based news agency Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia to comply with Saudi laws. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have spearheaded a blockade of Qatar for nearly a year, and are fiercely critical of Al Jazeera.
If the Saudi office comes to fruition, Snap would be a pioneer among its generation of tech companies in the kingdom, where some executives question whether authorities are willing to allow the conditions that would typically attract foreign talent.
Marc Raibert, founder of robotics firm Boston Dynamics, recently told a gathering of Saudi and American business leaders that a tech hub needs a certain amount of freedom to pursue projects that might feel threatening in a country like Saudi Arabia. That will lead to some measure of chaos, he said.
"Without that, I don't think the young people who work for me are going to be comfortable spending too much time there," Raibert said during a panel at last week's Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum in New York City.
Saudi oil giant Aramco and Google announced an agreement to explore building a cloud computing hub in the kingdom last week in New York City. The same day, the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund signed a deal with Japanese tech investor SoftBank to develop the world's largest solar power project.
Also during the U.S. trip, Saudi entities signed agreements to develop content with National Geographic, explore industrial financing with J.P. Morgan Chase and expand educational partnerships with MIT.
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.