Saudi Arabia National Day: Celebrating dreams becoming reality
The ascension of King Salman to Saudi Arabia’s throne marked a crucial turning point for the Arab world. With many countries in the region experiencing turmoil and instability, Saudi Arabia faced numerous challenges both domestically and internationally. However, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom initiated the ambitious Vision 2030 initiative to address these challenges and transform its economy and society.
Saudi Arabia’s commitment to progress and transformation through Vision 2030 has yielded commendable advancements both domestically and internationally. One notable achievement is the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy, reducing its dependence on oil and attracting foreign investments. The country has also made significant progress in empowering its citizens, particularly women, by lifting the driving ban and promoting gender equality.
The Kingdom’s National Day celebrates the nation’s remarkable journey and honors the visionaries and leaders who paved the way for its success. It is also an opportunity to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage, including ancient ruins and breathtaking landscapes.
Saudi Arabia’s commitment to progress, economic diversification, the empowerment of its citizens and celebrating its cultural heritage has positioned the country as a dynamic and ambitious nation on the global stage, serving as an inspiration to the world.
The retelling of a personal experience in Dubai provides a glimpse into the excitement and anticipation surrounding King Salman’s ascension to the throne, highlighting the optimism and hope of the nation as a new era of reform and transformation began.
In January 2015, I was attending a University of Arizona GCC colleagues reunion meeting in Dubai. I received an unexpected call informing me that I was speaking with the palace of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Complex. I was startled and asked for clarification, disbelieving what I was hearing. I discovered that King Salman had ascended to the throne of the Kingdom following the passing of King Abdullah.
The Kingdom’s transformation under Vision 2030 puts it on a path to stability and prosperity
Dr. Turki Faisal Al-Rasheed
This news filled me with immense joy, as I knew that a long-awaited national transformation was beginning. King Salman faced significant challenges at the local, regional and international levels; however, he selected the crown prince and proceeded with various reforms. This marked the beginning of the national transformation program and the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia has taken steps to address its challenges and ensure stability, focusing on economic diversification and strengthening alliances. One key strategy is actively engaging with new partners, such as China, to foster stability and mitigate potential threats. By expanding alliances beyond traditional partners, Saudi Arabia strengthens its position and broadens its international support base.
The Kingdom is also forming alliances with countries such as Russia through organizations such as OPEC+. This collaboration allows Saudi Arabia to have a more influential role in global energy markets, ensuring stable oil prices that benefit all participating nations. Extreme fluctuations can be prevented by collectively managing oil production levels, safeguarding the global economy.
These proactive measures have proven successful in establishing stability for Saudi Arabia. Diversifying alliances and engaging with new partners have expanded the nation’s reach and built a resilient network that is capable of navigating potential disruptions. In addition, collaborations with countries such as Russia have strengthened its influence in global energy markets, safeguarding its long-term interests.
On the domestic front, Saudi Arabia has implemented significant reforms to prioritize the well-being and aspirations of its citizens. Improvements in areas such as transparency, accountability and government effectiveness have been achieved. The country has also leveraged technology to actively monitor progress and it has sought private sector expertise to enhance public sector initiatives.
Under Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is promoting religious tolerance and increasing its global engagement. By projecting an image of tolerance and inclusivity, the country aims to foster cultural understanding and encourage religious dialogue. Strengthening cooperation and relationships with various countries, including Iraq, Qatar, Pakistan, India, Turkiye and Israel, has aided Saudi Arabia’s security and economic collaborations, thereby enhancing regional stability.
Domestically, Saudi Arabia has also implemented reforms aimed at embracing a more tolerant interpretation of Islam. These have resulted in substantial societal changes, including granting women the right to drive and reducing the influence of the religious police. The country also shows greater acceptance of other religions, allowing rabbis and priests to conduct their own services. These efforts have fostered a more harmonious and accepting society.
By promoting tolerance, enhancing global engagement and strengthening international relationships, Saudi Arabia has achieved positive outcomes on the domestic and international stages. The Kingdom is committed to continuous improvement, prioritizing governance indicators and implementing measures for ongoing advancements, striving to shape a brighter future for its citizens and inspire transformative journeys worldwide.
- Dr. Turki Faisal Al-Rasheed is an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Biosystems Engineering. He is the author of “Agricultural Development Strategies: The Saudi Experience.”