This paper explores the impact of internal and external corporate governance practices on the decision to hold cash in MENA countries. Using430 non-financial firms in the MENA region for the period from 2000 to 2009, we find that both types of governance practices are important. We report a negative relationship between board size and cash holdings, evidence that firms hold less cash to reduce agency conflicts. Also, we detect that external governance activities are important in cash holding decisions, since we report that firms belonging to countries with international standards of securities law and bank supervision hold less cash. For our sub-sample of 85 firms, we report evidence that institutional owners are seen to be self-opportunistic and that they aim to maximize their own private benefits.