why today is about saudi arabia’s future as much as its past
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today

Why today is about Saudi Arabia’s future, as much as its past

Egypt Today, egypt today

why today is about saudi arabia’s future as much as its past

Faisal J. Abbas
Faisal J. Abbas

On National Day, we Saudis typically celebrate our past. In a way, this occasion is very much like Thanksgiving; we look back at the blood, sweat and tears that were sacrificed for the unification of the Kingdom in 1932… and then praise God for what this nation has become.

Cynics would argue that any country which stumbles upon a vast wealth of oil would have ended up the same way. Of course, all these cynics need to do is just look at Iraq and Iran, for example, and they will find out that their argument doesn’t stand.   

On National Day, local newspapers typically publish stories reminding the public of why we should be proud of our past. However, we at Arab News have decided to mark this occasion differently this time.

In 2016, Vision 2030 was announced by then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Promising to rid the Kingdom of its dependence on oil through introducing social and economic reforms, the vision quickly emerged as a blueprint to Saudi Arabia’s future.
It wasn’t too long after that we started feeling the change.We finally had a young leader who spoke our language, empowered by his father, King Salman. It was uncommon for Saudis to hear the terms “Project Management Office” and “KPIs” from their leaders. Then suddenly, international companies were granted licenses to operate without the need for a Saudi partner. The religious police’s powers were curbed for the first time, and their role restricted to a somewhat advisory one.

A government entertainment authority was established and we – like any normal country – started having concerts and live shows. For instance, this year’s National Day will be celebrated by a special performance of Cirque du Soleil, who are visiting KSA for the first time.

In 2017, Mohammed bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince; with greater powers, he accelerated his reform plans. Only a few months ago, cinema theatres re-opened, a Culture Ministry was established, and women were allowed to drive and enter sport stadiums.

Vision 2030 has also unleashed the potential of Saudi women: From government positions, to CEOs, to Uber drivers, there is no disputing that they are now driving much more than just cars.

In a symbolic gesture, MBS – the man who will one day become Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques – also met with the Coptic Pope in Egypt, the Archbishop of Canterbury in England and with Christian and Jewish leaders in the United States.     

Of course, with change comes teething problems. And there is no doubt that not everyone will be at ease with these fast and drastic reforms. Will the vision achieve all of its targets? Certainly not – but the idea is to reach for the stars anyway.  

Needless to say, we as Saudis were never used to paying VAT or having unsubsidized utility bills – and of course, many people would rather this not be the case. 
However, if we want to be a normal country, we must start behaving like one. For the first time, we in Saudi Arabia are minding our spending, switching off unnecessary lights and considering gasoline bills before we buy our next car.

It is also significant that the government launched ADAA (The National Center for Performance Measurement). In today’s issue, we interview the head of ADAA, Husameddin AlMadani, who tells us that their aim isn’t only to monitor government body performance, but to allow citizens to have a constant say in it too.

As government officials constantly review and amend the targets and deliverables, we at Arab News decided to dedicate today’s National Day coverage to imagining how Saudi Arabia could look in 2030.

With the introduction of artificial intelligence, renewable energy, the completion of mega-projects such as NEOM and the restoration of ancient heritage sites such as Al-Ula, our journalists envisioned Saudi Arabia’s future – and it looks bright.

This is why we are also proud to introduce Road to 2030, our new online section dedicated to tracking and reporting on Saudi reforms and Vision 2030. 

As such, today we celebrate the Kingdom’s past, present… and future.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

why today is about saudi arabia’s future as much as its past why today is about saudi arabia’s future as much as its past

GMT 17:13 2018 Wednesday ,05 December

The UAE’s 47th National Day

GMT 08:30 2017 Monday ,13 November

An off-roader that thinks it is a 911 racer

GMT 19:46 2012 Friday ,11 May

Egypt ends curfew around defence ministry

GMT 21:56 2017 Saturday ,21 January

Culture minister returns home from China

GMT 08:14 2017 Friday ,14 April

Premier meets British counterpart

GMT 12:15 2011 Saturday ,10 December

Iran respond Battlefield 3 with Attack on Tel Aviv

GMT 11:11 2011 Tuesday ,06 December

EA app offers $60 worth of in-game downloads

GMT 16:40 2016 Tuesday ,04 October

Taliban forces 'defeated' in Kunduz

GMT 16:43 2017 Tuesday ,31 October

Palestinian National Council deplores Israeli crimes

GMT 11:10 2011 Tuesday ,13 September

Angola wins Miss Universe

GMT 10:10 2017 Wednesday ,01 February

Handwriting could reveal your health condition

GMT 05:27 2012 Friday ,04 May

Hot Dog meets Bun: famous food discoveries

GMT 05:45 2017 Monday ,13 February

Chance the Rapper wins Grammy for Best New Artist

GMT 14:10 2011 Monday ,27 June

Populations around U.S. nuclear plants soar

GMT 01:40 2011 Tuesday ,06 December

Anggun wears Dina Jsr to 25th telethon

GMT 14:45 2011 Friday ,30 September

Michael Morpurgo: Q & A

GMT 18:43 2012 Wednesday ,06 June

How to wax your face at home

GMT 08:42 2011 Monday ,12 September

Knightley glows in Elie Saab

GMT 14:41 2012 Sunday ,13 May

Fruity delight for your skin

GMT 16:39 2015 Saturday ,19 September

Seeds scattered as Wickmayer, Linette reach Tokyo final

GMT 19:39 2012 Wednesday ,24 October

Libya fighters seize ex-Kadhafi bastion
 Egypt Today Facebook,egypt today facebook  Egypt Today Twitter,egypt today twitter Egypt Today Rss,egypt today rss  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
egypttoday, Egypttoday, Egypttoday