A Success story built on a vision; the turning point of Saudi Arabia

International Edition 23'



Rolla Al Arabi

The Crown Prince described Vision 2030 by saying that "all success stories start with a vision, and successful visions are based on strong pillars."

As a Saudi woman living in Egypt, I find myself far from my home country. To be exact, I’ve never truly invested time in knowing my background. Recently, this has taken a drastic turn into what I now call a self-learning experience. This piece not only portrays Saudi Arabia from a new perspective, but it also demonstrates the evolution of my thoughts concerning such a significant change in the nation.

Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 following the unification of the two regions of Hejaz and Nejd. Saudi Arabia has been presented by a number of great leaders, beginning with King Abdul-Aziz and lasting until 1953. Today, we have our national leader, King Salman, and his son, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia has been and will always be a state founded on Islamic beliefs, and there is evidence that Saudi Arabia is not only famous for being one of the world's largest oil exporters, but also the home of the Kaaba, the world's most sacred mosque.

Today, according to the 2021 index of economic freedom, Saudi Arabia is ranked fifth in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of economic freedom. As it is the second largest OPEC member, accounting for roughly 18% of total global petroleum output, Saudi Arabia was predicted to be the fourth richest Arab country in 2020, with a GDP of 46,762$ per capita. However, Saudi Arabia has witnessed a great increase in its freedom of growth, increasing by 3.6 points, because of improvements that have strengthened the kingdom's corporate freedom.

Saudi Arabia's trajectory has evolved dramatically in the previous six years. The road that took Saudi Arabia from being renowned solely for its oil exports to being a country that is more than that. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has had a significant influence on both Saudis and non-Saudis. His fresh and innovative approach has given Saudi Arabia a 180-degree makeover.

Tomorrow, we will ask ourselves, is this an era coming to an end? Or the beginning of something new? I ask myself this question every day, but I also ask it as an outsider of some type. A vision does not always imply success, but it also does not imply failure. The change that is taking place does not necessarily indicate that it is for me, but it may be for others who will follow. Vision 2030 is a plan in place to put Saudi Arabia on the map as much more than just an oil exporter. This has already been demonstrated in previous years. According to Vision 2030 accomplishments, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in increasing women's labor force participation from 21% in 2017 to 33.2 percent, as well as increasing the number of residents who own homes while improving average life expectancy, among many other accomplishments. This demonstrates not just the kingdom's success, but also that by enabling the country to focus on the vision, we have reached a moment in history where this has never occurred.

Personally, I believe Vision 2030 is the greatest thing that has happened in a long time; adjustments have been made, and adaptation is on the horizon. By using our untouched treasures, we are growing in all areas, including urban areas, housing, tourism, culture, energy, and healthcare. These industries will help Saudi Arabia become more and more powerful.