Saudi Vision 2030 and its frustrated opponents

History is witness to the fact that economic and social changes are always met with frustration and scenarios suggesting such a transformation is impossible to achieve.

This has been the case since the days of mud houses in Saudi Arabia when the state paved way for citizens to take loans from the Real Estate Development Fund to build better homes. This has gone on throughout different phases, with plans to eliminate illiteracy and the ambitious government project, the Saudi Vision 2030, all being dubbed as unrealistic.

Let us take the examples of Singapore, Dubai, South Korea, Japan and Germany. They have all laid out vision to work on executing their goals and they achieved them within decades thanks to perseverance and determination.

We won’t be affected by frustrating remarks made by those who are upset with reforms and youthful vitality in Saudi Arabia

Turki Al-Dakhil

Vision and strategies constitute plans that are not devised overnight. Several factors come together and unite to fructify this vision and sculpt projects and initiatives accordingly. These projects which are related to education, entertainment, laws and judicial and cultural institutions all serve the purpose of structuring the aspired future.

Optimism for the future

We won’t be affected by frustrating remarks made by those who are upset with reforms and youthful vitality in Saudi Arabia. What we care about right now is that the subsequent generations are optimistic about the future but not in an exaggerated manner. They shouldn’t also rush things.

The vision, as outlined by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is a path that is not necessarily paved with flowers.

Some of those who benefit from recession will try to play an obstructive role. However, the difference this time is that the developmental plan is in the hands of the decision maker. History teaches us that no reform strategy has stumbled when the ruler himself was its leader and godfather.

This article was first published in Okaz on May 1, 2016.

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Turki Al-Dakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

 

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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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