Realization of Saudi dream is about to start
The restructuring of any state is without doubt a difficult task, but with the right perspective, resolute will, and motivation anything is possible.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in the process of constructing a modern Kingdom built on the back of what he describes as the diligence of the Saudi people.
Realizing his vision will require hard work in a country that during certain periods has lived in a state of inertia, which is somewhat at odds with its pioneering status, rich history, holy land and authentic Muslim Arab people.
The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan aims to correct these distortions, but ambitious dreams are only achieved with a clear strategy supported by practical steps and carried out by loyal people.
Like many movements for change throughout history, Vision 2030 has been criticized and questioned in some quarters, but the far-sighted insist that with faith and determination it will become a reality.
When the Saudi crown prince launched the $500 billion Neom megacity project for the Kingdom’s northwest and said that the Middle East will become like Europe, many struggled to imagine how this could be achieved.
When the crown prince went on to launch massive tourism projects in the ancient area of Al-Ula, he wanted to send a message to the world that the Kingdom’s riches were not only founded on oil, but its heritage and position as the cradle of human civilization. In addition, he wanted skeptics to know that Saudi Arabia would in future be investing not only in oil but in its people, land and nature.
Neom, and the Al-Ula luxury resort and nature reserve projects (supervised by the Royal Commission of Al-Ula), provide a vibrant image of the nation, its people, civilization and leadership.
The initiatives are in keeping with Vision 2030, which aims to develop the Kingdom’s tourism sector and provide the younger generation with the skills they need for the future as the country diversifies the economy away from its dependence on oil.
These mega projects are just the beginning. The future combination of astute investment, private and public sector collaboration, and the energy of the Kingdom’s young people will help to realize the dream.
Also, preserving the human and natural heritage of Saudi Arabia brings glory to the tolerant spirit of Islam, in contrast to the destructive actions of religious extremists in Afghanistan and Syria.
• Talal Al-Harbi, Ph.D., is a published author and political consultant.