From the beginning, Saudi Arabia and the UK have been friends; both countries have worked together on multiple fronts since the early days of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the UK prime minister of the time, Winston Churchill. Saudis and the British have worked side by side for years, laying the groundwork for many mutual interests.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund sealed the deal to own 80 percent of the Newcastle United Football Club, a unifying moment between the two kingdoms. We can say it’s a royal attempt to further develop relations pragmatically.
Such business will routinely happen in the future between both nations in different areas such as education, training, industries, military services, medical, research, and more. This speaks of the historical relationship between Saudi Arabia and the UK, and I have no doubt we will witness a lot of good plans in the coming times.
Many would think it’s worth asking how these smart decisions will benefit all parties fairly, especially given the financial crux the world has felt since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s very easy to believe that we can do something good to recover from the damage and instead find ways to deepen ties and support one another. Both parties are keen to help people by providing investment opportunities.
Personally, I love the UK, and it’s my favorite place to travel. I’ve frequented London for both work and leisure and found myself adopting many beautiful things from the distinctive culture and happily integrated them into my own, especially when it comes to working; professionalism, policies, and the “kindness matters” attitude. The adoption is mutual, and many British are also fans of our culture, food, nature, customs and traditions. This can be seen clearly in how the UK’s ambassadors to the Kingdom live and enjoy their stay in Saudi Arabia.
Recognizing the human context of this acquisition, the English community has welcomed it with open arms, as evident by the many videos circulating on social media of Newcastle United fans holding the Saudi flag, donning the ghutra and iqaal (traditional Saudi male headdress), and more. You could see how impactful it was, and we as Saudis noticed and felt the huge love and support of the fans for us in the way that they interacted and celebrated this good news.
Regardless of the rumors and negative media towards the acquisition, no one can deny that this could be one of the healthiest features of advanced societies, creating growth opportunities, a healthy competitive environment ripe for investment, and more. Saudis and English have a long past together, full of investment plans and projects and the exchange of cultures, and mutual and solid love of the game. Nevertheless, this provides opportunities for others to learn that investments are not all about the money you put into it; it’s the cultural exchange you gain out of it.
- Noor A. Al-Naboud is a writer and insurance expert. Twitter handle: @moionlynoor