The boat was carrying registered refugees from Somali who were travelling from Yemen to Sudan. At least 80 survivors were taken to hospital.
Diplomats said it was the latest sign of patronage used by the kingdom to shore up regional support against Iran.
Somalia received a pledge of aid for $50 million from Saudi Arabia this month on the same day it announced it was cutting ties with Saudi rival Iran, a document seen by Reuters showed. The government, which did not confirm or deny the pledge, has said there was no link between long-running Saudi financial support and its diplomatic decision to