The Saudi Vision 2030 is a long-term development initiative for Saudi Arabia, announced by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016 (Ismail et al., 2022). It was introduced to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economic portfolio, decrease its reliance on oil and expand public service industries. Making Saudi Arabia a worldwide investment powerhouse and a centre for innovation and creativity is the vision’s main objective. With Saudi Arabia’s leadership in the Arab and Islamic world, its ability to attract investments, and its strategic location, the Vision intends to realise its goals.
The goals of Saudi Vision 2030 are a set of economic and social reform plans for Saudi Arabia to decrease the nation’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy. It plans to achieve this goal by facilitating the following actions.
Saudi vision to transition from an oil-based economy
The Saudi government plans to privatise certain state-owned assets, such as airports and power plants, to generate additional revenue. Another major initiative is the development of the tourism industry, which will expectedly create jobs and increase non-oil revenue. The government has announced plans to issue tourist visas and invest in hotels and other tourism infrastructure construction. Additionally, it has also announced plans to develop its entertainment sector, which includes theme parks, cinemas, and theatres to make Saudi Arabia an attractive tourist destination (Abuhjeeleh, 2019).
The Saudi government plans to reduce bureaucracy and red tape by simplifying regulations and procedures for starting and operating a business. Another major initiative is developing the legal and regulatory framework, which is intended to improve the protection of property rights and the rule of law. It has also announced plans to create special economic zones, which will offer tax and regulatory benefits to businesses operating within these zones.
Moreover, a new regulatory body, the Competition Authority, is being set up to encourage healthy competition, stop unfair business practices, and safeguard customer rights (Albarrak and Alokley, 2021).
Saudi plans to improve human capital to realise its 2030 vision
To achieve the Saudi Vision 2030 goal, the government also proposes the National Transformation Program (NTP). It seeks to enhance the infrastructure for training and education in the country. This includes increasing the number of vocational training programs by focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education (Alhazzani, 2021). The Saudi government also plans to improve the quality of education by investing in new technologies, teacher development, and curriculum reforms.
The Labor Market Transformation Program initiated by the Saudi government aims to improve the skills of the Saudi workforce and match them in regard to the demands of the jobs market. This includes the implementation of a new visa system that will make it easier for companies to hire foreign workers.
Furthermore, the government has also announced the establishment of a new national training program, such as ‘Tatweer’, which aims to provide training and education to unemployed and low-skilled individuals (Allmnakrah and Evers, 2020).
Taking steps towards gender equality
As part of the Vision 2030 plan, the Saudi Arabian government lifted the ban on women driving in 2018 (Eum, 2019). The decision to allow women to drive was part of a larger effort to increase women’s participation in the workforce and promote social and economic development in the country.
Furthermore, other initiatives include new quotas for women in private enterprises. This move requires businesses to meet specific targets for hiring, promotion, and retention of women in the workforce. Additionally, the government has also announced the establishment of a new national program, known as Wafed, which is intended to provide financial assistance and training to women entrepreneurs.
The Saudi government is also establishing specialised training programs for women, such as the Women’s Technical and Vocational Training Program (WTVTP). The program aims to train women in various technical and vocational fields. Furthermore, the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) aims to empower women in the workforce and help them to advance in their careers (Soliman and Al Rubaie, 2019).
Building a solid security structure and quality of life
The Saudi government has proposed initiatives to modernise its military and defence capabilities. The government intends to upgrade its military hardware and invest in drones and cybersecurity. It is also developing a comprehensive national security strategy that focuses on addressing terrorism and extremism, and external security challenges, such as regional instability. In order to coordinate security operations, the government has also announced plans to create new security agencies and institutions, such as the National Cybersecurity Authority and the National Security Center (Ouassini and Boynton, 2021). The country’s intelligence operations to detect threats would be supervised and coordinated by a new entity called the General Intelligence Presidency.
The Saudi government has started developing infrastructure and services, such as housing, transportation, and healthcare, to improve the quality of life in the nation. In addition to constructing new housing units, roadways, and public transportation systems, the government has also made plans to upgrade the standard of healthcare services.
The General Sports Authority, a new organisation that will be in charge of organising and promoting sports and physical activity nationwide, has also been announced by the government (Oxford Analytica, 2022). The nation is working to create a society that is more varied and inclusive by encouraging the involvement of women in the workforce and public life as well as by defending the rights of minorities and oppressed groups.
- Abuhjeeleh, M., (2019). Rethinking tourism in Saudi Arabia: Royal vision 2030 perspective. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 8(5), pp.1-16. Available at: https://www.ajhtl.com/uploads/7/1/6/3/7163688/article_37_vol_8_5__2019_jordan.pdf
- Albarrak, M.S. and Alokley, S.A., 2021. FinTech: Ecosystem, opportunities and challenges in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 14(10), p.460. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/jrfm14100460
- Alhazzani, A.J.N., 2021. Impact of the National Transformation Programs on the Life Quality of the Saudi Woman: A Study Applied to Riyadh. Available at: https://doi.org/10.36941/jesr-2021-0042
- Allmnakrah, A. and Evers, C., 2020. The need for a fundamental shift in the Saudi education system: Implementing the Saudi Arabian economic vision 2030. Research in Education, 106(1), pp.22-40. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0034523719851534
- Eum, I., 2019. New women for a New Saudi Arabia? Gendered analysis of Saudi Vision 2030 and women’s reform policies. Asian Women, 35(3), pp.115-133. Available at: https://doi.org/10.14431/aw.2019.09.35.3.115
- Ismail, M., Baig, A. and Batool, Y., (2022). THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARAB: A CASE STUDY OF MUHAMMAD BIN SELMAN’S (MBS) VISION 2030. Pakistan Journal of International Affairs, 5(2). Available at: https://doi.org/10.52337/pjia.v5i2.511
- Madani, R., 2022. The new image of Saudi cultural shift; MDL Beast music festival; Saudi Vision 2030. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 9(1), p.2105511. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/23311983.2022.2105511
- Ouassini, A. and Boynton, K.W., 2021. The “Silicon Valley of the Middle East”: Cybersecurity, Saudi Arabia, and the path to Vision 2030. In Routledge Companion to Global Cyber-Security Strategy (pp. 427-434). Routledge. Available at: https://ebrary.net/173526/political_science/_silicon_valley_middle_east_cybersecurity_saudi_arabia_path_vision_2030
- Oxford Analytica, 2022. Saudi Arabian entertainment sector will foster change. Emerald Expert Briefings, (oxan-db). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/OXAN-DB267451
- Soliman, F.A.M. and Al Rubaie, N.A.M., 2019. Role of recruitment and qualification centers in achieving vocational qualification of Saudi woman in the light of Saudi Vision 2030. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 9(4), p.104. Available at: https://www.mcser.org/journal/index.php/jesr/article/download/10537/10166