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Saudi Arabia's Adapted Vision 2030 Still Faces an Uncertain Future

May 15, 2024 | 21:03 GMT

Then-Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds a press conference in Riyadh on April 25, 2016, after unveiling the kingdom's economic diversification plan known as Vision 2030.
Then-Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds a press conference in Riyadh on April 25, 2016, after unveiling the kingdom's economic diversification plan known as Vision 2030.

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia is trimming back its Vision 2030 -- a sign of too great ambitions and of changed priorities in the wake of geopolitical shock. But even after running up against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as wars in Europe and Gaza, the core goal of Vision 2030 -- preserving the primacy of the Saudi monarchy -- remains intact. The question, however, is whether it will survive the next, inevitable geopolitical shock. Launched with great fanfare in 2016, Vision 2030 is the Saudi government's key, performance-driven economic diversification strategy designed to wean the Gulf Arab country's economy off oil as the world increasingly shifts to non-hydrocarbon energy. But recent media reports and statements by Saudi officials have suggested that Riyadh is making cutbacks. In April, for example, reports emerged that the Line -- the linear smart city being built in northwest Saudi Arabia -- is expected to house only 300,000...

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