JEDDAH: There is no doubt that the most important focus of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is young Saudis, and their energy and potential, through which it aims to develop and boost the nation.
In line with this vision, a number of goals have been set, the most important of which is to create a qualitative social and cultural transition in Saudi society to place it alongside the leading societies in the developed world.
The objectives include a desire to develop a vibrant society and environment, and to improve the contemporary services provided to the community. In addition to the huge leaps forward this year in entertainment and women’s rights, including the reopening of cinemas and the lifting the ban on women driving, there are many other progressive initiatives and projects that focus on family, education and supporting the creativity of Saudi youth. Another important area is technology, which has attracted large numbers of young Saudis to study abroad. Taken together, these projects are designed to offer Saudis the brightest of futures.
The opportunities that are opening up for young people as a result of the transformation in Saudi society are huge and it is up to them to exploit them, as their efforts will form the nucleus of the Kingdom in the future and help to change not only their country, but also stereotypes about Saudi society.
Young people of both sexes, who are committed to hard work and serving their country, will be able to make the most of the great opportunities now available.
Arab News asked young Saudis for their views on the changes in the country and what the Kingdom will be like in 2030.
Mohamed Tomalieh, 28, head of the Global Shapers Community, an international network of young people dedicated to driving dialogue, action and change, said: “I believe that the plan set out in Vision 2030 will help the Kingdom take distinct strides in various fields such as developing and empowering human resources; creating jobs to meet labor market needs that are consistent with Vision 2030 and are also in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the world; empowering young entrepreneurs to realize their ambitions and plans; meeting the needs of young people to acquire suitable housing that fulfills their aspirations; and developing educational standards to meet the standards of modern global education.
“I believe that the implementation of these and other objectives will contribute to realizing Vision 2030, which aims to create a thriving economy, a vibrant society and an ambitious nation.”
Lina Tahlawi, 27, entrepreneur and founder of Basmat Bader, a charity initiative that helps needy families, said: “I’m proud to be part of these changes. I’m proud to be a Saudi entrepreneur watching all these achievements happening in a very short time with success. Change happened with high vision.”
Dina Bogari, 20, freshman student at Effat University said: “The first thing that came to mind was the great focus on entertainment and tourism. I am so happy because everything around me is changing for the better. There will be physical education classes in girls’ schools — I think that’s very important for the girls, to help them have a fit body and a healthy lifestyle. Also Saudi women now can legally drive, and the possibilities are endless for more success.”
Shaza Alwan, 24, translator, said: “We are witnessing the change in Saudi Arabia. We can see already the changes, whether it’s corruption control or entertaining citizens. Of course the most obvious change is the lifting of the ban on women driving. However, as Saudi youths we are looking for opportunities, and the job market offers few chances.”
Loay Fareed, creative design student at Jeddah College of Advertising, said: “Watching the cultural evolution of Saudi Arabia over the past few years has been nothing short of exhilarating. With a plethora of events at the forefront, the Kingdom, while still keeping its religious roots intact, has initiated an astounding change, all for the purpose of Vision 2030, a plan for a Kingdom-wide reform.”
“We have been treated to such events as the world-famous Comic Con, as well as a visit from the WWE (wrestlers). All of this signifies that the country will eventually welcome many different forms of entertainment, leading the way toward a better, brighter future, with Vision 2030 on the horizon.”
Bahaa Gazzaz, 33, entrepreneur and founder of Spark, an art and design platform and marketplace, said: “Vision 2030 is instrumental to our progress as a nation of innovators, dreamers and go-getters. It allows us to ride the wave of changes and imbues us with confidence, purpose and determination.”
He said: “As young people, we celebrate the past with every step and learn from its lessons and challenges to validate and construct our future.”
We’re not afraid of setbacks or unforeseeable challenges. Vision 2030 has defined our goals and we are focused on achieving them for the prosperity and progress of our Kingdom and the advancement of humans on earth. ‘Unique’ has become the adjective of the millennium. We take full ownership of it. We aspire to change the world in a positive and meaningful way.”