Providing a voice for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030

The end of driving ban has been crowning achievement so far of Saudi Vision 2030. Women started their engines and hit the roads throughout the Kingdom on June 24, 2018.
Updated 23 September 2018
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Providing a voice for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030

  • In just 3 years, the world has witnessed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 starting to bear fruit
  • "Today I get the chance to write about the transformation step by step, by covering events and stories about young Saudi entrepreneurs, artists and empowered women." — Lojien Ben Gassem

Arab News journalists reflect on the recent changes in the Kingdom and share their hopes for themselves and the country by the time Vision 2030 is realized 

 

Aisha Fareed

Reporting news in a rapidly changing country is, in itself, an honor. To be part of “The Voice of a Changing Region” is quite an achievement I have carefully shaped and built since 2014, when I joined Arab News as a fresh graduate.

Leading the team of Saudi reporters is a responsibility I never imagined I would assume at a young age, but, somehow, it gives me a better vision of how my career will look by the year 2030. Twelve years from now, I picture myself being a senior managing editor with even greater responsibilities. Although, I am blessed to work with such a dedicated team, I see our family growing and our foreign bureaus expanding.

Another dream I hope to realize by 2030 is to be among the elite, handpicked journalists who are asked to interview leaders and high-profile figures in the world. 

Before I reach my 40s (I will be 39 in 2030), I should also be able to say that, throughout my career, I managed to report the humanitarian stories that usually go unheard, from the least-fortunate places, such as war-torn countries.

 

Aseel Bashraheel

I’m lucky to be working at Arab News during the transformational era in Saudi Arabia, and I am very proud to be part the local team who has the ability to report these changes to the rest of the region and the world, helping others to rediscover Saudi Arabia and reshape their ideas and misconceptions.

By the year 2030, I am hoping that with the implementation of the Kingdom’s Vision we will be looking at an entirely different Saudi Arabia, and an entirely different universe. I would love to say that being a journalist had always been my dream, but it was not. 

However, nothing I worked on before felt this right. I would love to picture myself as a senior editor, walking in to this same office, greeting the same kind faces that smile at me every day, a little older and wiser, and newer faces too, as eager and hungry as I was on my first day to acquire the skills that will enable them to be journalists (in digitized forums that will suit the journalism of the future).

 

Abdulaziz Alaquil

My aspirations as a journalist by the year 2030 are not so much attributed to any specific goals, such as being recognized with any particular awards or accolades, but rather how this industry offers a platform for continued growth in my self-development. 

I believe I am constantly refining both my professional and social skills, which is greatly rewarding to me.

There are plenty of occupations that serve simply as a means to an end in the sense of generating an income. 

A unique aspect of the field of journalism though, is the added benefits in the sense of how well informed I am on world events, which in turn translates heavily to my social development. 

The element of spontaneity in this field is also ever present, which can lead to some very interesting travels. My aspirations are being met every day in this job. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

 

Lojien Ben Gassem

Before I became a journalist, I always wanted people to see Saudi Arabia through the eyes of the Saudi citizens. Unfortunately, today’s media politics play a huge role in shaping a country, through biased ideas and false assumptions. When Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed Saudi Vision 2030, “The National Transformation Program,” on April 25, 2016, people started to wonder what was happening to the country. Basically, Vision 2030 promises people a better future and better governance, which is raising hopes and expectations among Saudis. That vision led me to become a journalist in particular because people were becoming more curious about Saudi Arabia. Today I get the chance to write about the transformation step by step, by covering events and stories about young Saudi entrepreneurs, artists and empowered women.

Therefore, my aspirations as a journalist for the year 2030 are: to help to increase the demand for tourism in Saudi Arabia and create an attractive and welcoming environment for tourists who are interested to get to know the country; to educate Saudis on how to understand and accept other cultures and ethnicities; and to help create a culture that accepts constructive and purposeful criticism.

 

Deema Al-Khudair

I aspire to be an accomplished journalist who has made a positive impact in the world through her writing. I hope to have had a hand in making a difference by 2030. I wish to have tackled major issues going on in the world by then, and bring a sense of hope, relief and joy to all those I have interviewed and written about, and make a difference in all the forums I will have participated in by 2030. 

Being a journalist is a very fulfilling job as you have the chance to give a voice to people and make a difference in their lives. I wish to be recognized as a journalist who made a difference. 

I aspire to be a prime example of integrity in this field, make my country and Arab News proud of me, and to learn so much more about the world and how to make it a better place to live in day by day. 

 

Noor Nugali

My first article was published when I was 16 years old. I wanted to change the world and thought if not by actions than most definitely by words, always trusting in the idea that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Many years have passed, and I still believe this, with a broader understanding that not everything is black and white but different shades of all the colors under the glorious sun.

In the course of just 3 years, the world has witnessed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia start to bear the fruits of its labor through Vision 2030. It has given its people hope, inspiration and, most importantly, a higher purpose that can be achieved. 

The reforms we at Arab News have covered show how rapidly things are moving, in the right direction. I feel honored and blessed to not only witness them but to actually be a part of them.

Vision 2030 is a realization that change on a large scale is a team effort that takes millions of believers that share a vision of prosperity and hope. 

The inner child in me still believes I can change the world, but this time not alone. It might not be through pen and paper, but more accurately through a keyboard and a blank Word document.

 

Ruba Obaid

With the rapid growth of virtual data and the information available online, as well as the fast technological developments, newspapers will mostly disappear by 2030. Even in terms of language, we may invent another word in the near future to describe the new digital interactive news-delivery tool. 

News reports will be written by computers, or most of them, which means the concept of competition between competitors in the media industry will change. The more an agency depends on developed technology, the more successful it can be. 

In this regard, I predict more competition in producing creative, interactive, entertaining and high-value content that depends on investigative journalism and feature stories, more so than broadcast journalism, which might have less reliance on news reporters and correspondents, and more jobs for people with creative, critical and analytical skills in the media industry. Journalist will need to obtain knowledge in basic journalism, and more in technology, and creative content production.

On the basis of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030, I would expect the media industry in Saudi Arabia to be more diversified, and prosperous, since the Kingdom is investing a developed digital infrastructure, as well as in the entertainment and sports sectors, and culture and heritage.


Saudi Airlines and Etihad sign codeshare agreement

Updated 21 min 59 sec ago
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Saudi Airlines and Etihad sign codeshare agreement

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier, Saudia, and Etihad Airways, the national is the flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates, have announced a new codeshare partnership, providing customers with access to more than 40 leisure and business destinations in home markets and across the world.
In addition to the codeshare agreement, the two carriers also announced plans for greater commercial cooperation in other fields, including frequent flyer program benefits, cargo, engineering and maintenance.
The codeshare agreement was signed at Saudia headquarters in Jeddah by Saleh Al-Jasser, Director General Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group.
It covers at least 41 destinations on both of the airlines’ networks and see Etihad place its “EY” code on a number of Saudia’s flights, including Abha, Al-Baha, Alula, Arar, Bisha, Dammam, Dawadmi, Gassim, Gizan, Gurayat, Hail, Hofuf, Jeddah, Jouf, Madinah, Qaisumah, Rafha, Riyadh, Sharurah, Tabuk, Taif, Turaif, Wadi-Ad-Dawasir, Wedjh, Yanbo, and Abu Dhabi. Port Sudan, Tunis, Alexandria, Sharm el-Sheikh, Multan and Peshawar, subject to government approval.
At the same time, Saudia will place its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights to Baku, Chengdu, Ahmedabad, Nagoya, Tokyo-Narita, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Belgrade, Seychelles, Chicago-O›Hare, and Abu Dhabi.
Al Jasser said: “The new partnership broadens aviation and transport links with the United Arab Emirates, building on the extensive aviation investment and strong foundation in the sector.
“With the agreement, the added network coverage enables our guests to benefit from added flexibility and convenience, as well as increase the benefits for members of both airlines’ frequent flyer plans,” reported the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Douglas said: “The ties shared between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the deepest that the two nations have, and therefore we are extremely proud to play our role and bring the two flag carriers together in this unique partnership.
“The partnership will allow for enhanced seamless travel across the Etihad Airways and Saudia networks which we anticipate will be highly popular with business and leisure travelers, especially those looking to fly to secondary city destinations.”
At the same time, Saudia will place its ‘SV’ code on Etihad flights to Baku, Chengdu, Ahmedabad, Nagoya, Tokyo-Narita, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Belgrade, Seychelles, Chicago-O›Hare, and Abu Dhabi.
In addition to the codeshare, the teams at the Etihad Guest and Alfursan frequent flyer programs are finalizing discussions which would see members of each program being offered reciprocal earn and burn opportunities, according to SPA.
In the cargo world, the teams in both airlines’ divisions are in talks over greater cooperation, recognizing the increased volumes of freight traffic flowing in and out of the UAE and the Saudi Arabia.
Etihad Airways Engineering will also provide provide select maintenance services for SAUDIA aircraft at its MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) facility in Abu Dhabi.
In 2017 Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) carried more than 32 million passengers, registered over 200,000 flights and traveled more than 320 million kilometers, while SAUDIA Cargo carried more than 637,000 tons of freight.
Carriers in the region continue to post positive growth, and in 2017 alone, they flew more than 216.1 million passengers, up by 4.6 percent over 2016 and representing 5.3 percent of the market share, according to the data provided by the International Air Transport Association.
Between November 2017 and March 2017, more than 400,000 passengers had been served by the shared flights, while 250,000 more had booked their trips in advance.