Saudi’s Vision 2030 And Its Impact


Saudi Arabia is a major oil producing country in the world with enormous quantity of oil reservoirs in Dammam field. In the past decades, this privilege had completely converted Saudi Arabia’s economy on petroleum basis, account 90% of countries export, 75% of country revenue and 40% of Gross Domestic Product. By today, Saudi Arabia produces roughly 16.2% of the world’s total fuel production.

At the beginning of 2010, different institutes and organizations started predicting that these oil reservoirs will not be lasting forever. If the necessary alternatives were not explored, the shortage of petroleum can leave Saudi Arabia in the historic crises. The major reason for the huge decline in reservoirs was the use of heavy machineries and modern technology, enabling limitless quantity of fuel extraction without any check and balance. 

The precaution of this alarm took many years to come from a group level to the state level analysis. In 2016, Mohammad bin Suleiman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia at that time, had announced a project on April 2016 under the Council of Economic and Development Affairs namely ‘Vision 2030’. The major and foremost objective of this vision was to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy beyond oil to maintain minimum reliance over petro-economy. In this regard, exploring different areas such as tourism, business, trade and manufacturing are on the list. The necessity of these reforms was felt more in the Covid-19 pandemic when the oil prices went in the negative.

During this pandemic, the oil margins or profit touched the negative of the values. Saudi’s Government too witnessed this tough time. The abandoning of pilgrimage is another major factor for the decline in Saudi’s economy which although has now been revived. In this regards and for the future, a diversified economy is inevitable for the continued progress of the Kingdom.

However, diversifying the economy is easier said than done. It’s means revolution which as defines Guevara as “not an apple that falls when it ripe. You have to make it fall.” The shocks that the country will gain in this conversion can be worst if not controlled. In these years, petroleum has become a cycling wheel for the country. Different trade, transport, businesses and even many non-state multinational corporations are associated with this cycle.

The ‘Vision 2030’ has three main objectives.

A thriving Economy – The Saudi Arabia has made certain plans and programs to divert and prosper its economy. This includes focusing the business, trade and tourism sectors.

The Saudi Arabia rises himself in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training TVET from 86th position in 2019 to the 12th position in 2021 according to the report by the United Nation Development Program. This provides equity and better approach for poor ones to thrive in the changing surroundings.

Saudi Arabia has reached at 7th place worldwide in the ‘Government Spending Efficiency’ index issue by The World Economic Forum. It Increases the contribution of small and medium size enterprises to the GDP from 20% in 2016 to 32% in 2021.   

The Saudi Arabia has reduced the processing time of the visa from 15 days to 4-5 working days. Tourism is the key element of the country to encourage its image on the international level. This step can be a key element in motivating tourism in Saudi Arabia.     

An Ambitious Nation – The digital currency, hybrid and cyber warfare and nuclear powers are all the future of the international relations. Many steps had taken by the Saudi Kingdom in accordance to meet these technologies.

Saudi Arabia launched The Citizens Account Program on 1st February 2017. The main aim of this program is to ease the impact of reforms on Saudi population. The gradual increase can be seen in this from 2017 to 2021.

The Saudi Kingdom planted 33 desalination plants in 17 area runs by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC). This organization had completed 69% of the country desalination and 20% of the world desalination. Salinity is a major problem that Saudi Arabia overcome and become the largest producer of desalinated water in the world.     

A Vibrant Society – The vibrant and independent society in the key element for the stable and effective government. Saudi Kingdom considering this factor promoted the civil needs and happiness.

From 2019 to 2021, Saudi Arabia has organized more than 2000 events including 1750 for entertainment purposed, 50 sports and 56 cultural events attended by more than 46 million visitors.

According to the recent country rating of WorldoMeter on life expectancies, Saudi Arabia has reached to the 86th position in the world having 75.69 life expectancies.

The Saudi Arabia Budget  witnessed the intention of the government. They had greatly decreased the spending on the oil. The main reason told by the Saudi Arabia government for this is because of the Covid-19 pandemic in which the oil prices had put them in the great losses. Thus, the budget means to spend more on the other sectors that are ignored till.   

Seeing 2030 is like a revolutionary Saudi Arabia. The one of the key elements of Monarchy is the economy. The more you can feed the nation the more you can get the support and power from the nation. Seeing this in 2030 can be a good or bad perspective for the whole Muslim World.

Burhan Ahmed Lodhi
Burhan Ahmed Lodhi
BS in Strategic Studies from National Defense University, Islamabad.